So, I’ve recently completed the initial version of The Meyer-Hoffman Affair (Alexander Templeman book two) and despatched it to the editor. That’s very definitely a good thing. However, the act of hitting the send button on that email does always plant a tricky question in my mind, namely what comes next.
Now, I do have a plan for my work, which I build out by quarter, using the three hats model of Maker, Manager and Marketer. Work is also prioritised, although I do leave myself room to tweak this if real-life suggests that’s needed. Often it does.
In theory, therefore, everything ought to be as clear as could be. But, well, I’m human, not a robot. I recall that Eisenhower made a comment prior to D-Day along the lines of a plan being great right up until the point at which stuff starts to happen and then it’s of no use at all. (I believe I have rather butchered the actual quote, but I think I’ve got the general thrust right).
One of the things which can cause all of this planning to come (a little) unstuck is my creative brain. It is resolutely no respecter of plans. Phaah! It says. I have a wonderful new idea for a story and I’m delivering it to you right now.
Of course, I don’t want to let a good idea slip away, so I dutifully start scribbling. Most of the time, I stop at some sort of outline, but occasionally I keep going and… going. I might even keep going until the whole thing is complete. When I do that the plan needs a pretty significant update, but I can live with that.
Fortunately, most of the time I can stop at the point where I have captured those initial ideas and my plan suffers only minor collateral damage. That was the case this week, which has resulted in yet another document being added to my ideas folder before I dutifully returned to my plan. But, there again, that was a really good idea…
What about you? Are you a top-flight planner or a total freewheeler?
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