Surviving the Cut

You know those people that go out almost every night to either party or talk philosophy over drinks with friends – yeah, that’s not me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to go out and have a good time but not every single day of the week. It gets me mentally exhausted just thinking about it. I mean, what’s wrong with pondering the universe while you sit on the couch in your most raggedy jammies munching on some stale cereal or whatever’s left in the fridge? Some of my greatest conversations with people came from this type of one-on-one slothiness.

I guess there’s a reason I was a part of the exclusive college group known as the Deadly Dorm Sins. One guess as to which sin I raised my glass to…

But I’m not completely anti Energizer Bunny. In fact, this last month has been crazy busy. It feels like I haven’t had a weekend to kick back and relax in ages, which isn’t a bad thing. I love it when I’ve got a momentum going to get things done and visit with good friends that I haven’t annoyed to death for a while. Plus, I genuinely enjoy playing hostess.

And I don’t mean dressing up as a giant cupcake.

Or do I…

Seriously though, I legitimately love to make my friends and family feel comfortable in my home. My mamma raised me right and I firmly believe in the old saying: mi casa es su casa. That’s just how I roll. I want people to want to come back for a visit, and not just for obligation’s sake.

But, however much of an amazingly, excellent, overwhelmingly intuitive hostess (don’t forget humble) I tend to be, I am not a great event planner. Basically, I suck. I despise making plans or organizing anything. Poking my eye with a paperclip would be less painful. Okay, that’s a very obvious fib but you get the picture right?

Me + Planning = No Go

It’s not that I don’t like sticking to a game plan and following an itinerary note by note, because I do. I’ve done tons of things with friends where the entire list of events was planned step-by-flippin’-hairy-big-foot-step. I just don’t like being that person. You know, the one who actually takes the time out of their livelihood to plan these things. It’s annoying as hell. When I plan something it’s more along the lines of: I want to do something now, let’s go find out what options are available to us and choose one of them to do.

Voilà! It works perfectly every time.

So sadly, that’s what my friends have had to put up with over the past few weeks. The wise ones, the ones that know me too well, already checked out the attractions of the city before visiting and planned out the entire visit. The sad, pitiful ones who left their entertainment up to me, got first row seating to my decision making process.

But you know what? Those friends that left things up to me had a hell of a time. Yeah, maybe every second of our visit wasn’t spent doing something worthy of expelling energy, but being spontaneous has its own rewards. Getting lost in traffic can be fun when you don’t have things to do and you happen to see a really cool thrift store dying to have some company. Or when you somehow stumble upon an Amish buggy race and it takes less than half a second to decide what your next hour will look like.

Some of the best times in life cannot be planned.

Like writing.

The first novel length story I ever wrote, wasn’t planned. I had a whim of an idea and started writing no holds barred. Somehow it evolved on its own and I enjoyed every minute of it. I was able to make up my own rules as I went along and stop when I knew a certain plot wasn’t working out like I’d wanted it to. If I’d been planning it out, none of this would have been possible. I wouldn’t have been able to let the characters loose and laugh at their silly antics that made me gasp in surprise just as much as it had them freaking out. I wouldn’t have been able to change plots halfway through without major setbacks.

I wouldn’t have been able to do a lot of things.

And I’m starting to relearn that because, now that I’m a writer who’s aware of the fact that I want to someday be published, I’m constantly fighting myself when it comes to planning a book. Now every time I get a book idea, I force myself to stop the urge to go all gung-ho with my writing and take a step back to character sketch, plot, and all those other annoying book essentials.

Only it’s not essential when you’re drafting.

Tons of people consider themselves pantsers (people who write by the seat of their pants) and don’t listen to their inner writing weirdo telling them to plot things out. I wish I could shove out my writing weirdo as easily as some people. It was easy when I didn’t have a writing conscious but, now that I do, it’s really difficult for me not to think ten steps ahead. But on the same hand, I find myself bored with what I’m writing when I take too much time to plot something out. Basically, I’m a big confusing mess of wannabe writer status because I’m a pantser at heart but a school taught plotter in my brain.

So maybe I need surgery.

The question is: do I need heart surgery or brain surgery?

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