When I was in school and learning to appreciate literature and partake in writing, my teachers spoke often and with admirable vivacity regarding the merits of organized, structured writing. Assignment after assignment, we plotted, outlined, composed first drafts, second drafts, and final drafts all in the attempts of reaching our goal of creating a masterpiece of writing, well, at least a piece good enough to achieve an A on it.
Therefore, when I first embarked on writing a novel the first thing I did was brainstorm and create an outline. I pushed, pulled, scribbled ideas and tried to create a story that was woven tightly from beginning to end. All I had to do was put the actual words in, fill in the details of the outline. Or so I thought. The novel which I performed those tasks for was never written, it sits somewhere in the background of my mind, causing me to shutter when I even brush over the idea of it. After all that work, however, I felt extremely frustrated. I had planned, working hard to iron out details I was certain would be important, yet which ultimately came to nothing. I sighed and threw up my hands, telling a friend I would never be a writer.
She had a simple solution. Just write. Her advice was to drop all rules and structure out the window and just write. There would be plenty of time for editing and polishing up once the words were on the paper. I told her I would try, just for a few days, and see what happened. My first novel, "A Convoluted Tale" is the result. I sat down and wrote just a couple paragraphs a day, just whatever came out, letting the words and the story guide me. The only time I found it difficult was when I got in the way and wanted something a certain way. Once I let the story reveal itself to me, writing became the joy it should be. Yes, there was a great deal of editing that had to take place after the rough draft was done and yes, I can still see things we missed here and there. The story, however, is there for all to read and to partake in, which in and of itself is a joy.
All this being said, it is important to know I have nothing but respect for all writers. Those that plan and are brilliantly organized from the very beginning, and those that twirl about in a frenzy of eccentric brilliance all their own. Every writer is different and writes in their own, unique way. For me, writing became the dream and the joy it is meant to be when I stopped worrying about the logistics of writing and let the story freely tell itself.