Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What summer?

Where has the summer gone? As a teacher, I have always approached August with little less than a panic attack. There’s so much to do. Lesson plans, opening your classroom, in-service days, professional training, slideshows to make, teacher pages and blackboard classes to update, direction sheets and work sheets to be created and copied. The list is never-ending. And teachers operate on a different calendar than others. This is the beginning of our year, and so much rides on it. If I’ve prepped and worked all summer, I can start the year more easily, and it unfolds much less stressfully. If I haven’t had the time or the chance to do all that prep, the year gets off to a rocky start and goes downhill quickly from there. I’m hoping to get it all together during August, so we’ll see.

Is writing for you the same? Tons of prep and then a fairly easy delivery of your writing? Or do you do it the other way? Less prep, more pantsing? I’ve been working on transitioning to some hybrid approach that I’m still not sure is a good thing. How about you?


  1. I usually have a ton of prep then the ms flows. Love the comparison toe teaching!

  2. I pants it. Which does cause great stress later, in that I am left with plenty-o-plot holes and timeline issues to tackle during Revision Hell.

    I'm currently trying my version of a 'hybrid' , which is to do (my version) of an outline/timeline after my first draft, but before my second draft. I read through my first draft and make notes on the holes/inconsistencies etc., then write up an outline(ish) on my (new) whiteboard and now I'm trying to use that as my map to clean up my pothole ridden streets. We shall see how it works for me. I've already found myself going off the path. *sigh*

    Happy humpday, SJS.

  3. Hmm. First of all best of luck with all your classes this year! I'm sure you will do great.

    Now when it comes to writing I do outline a bit and it does help, but then I still pretty much vomit far too many words onto the page. I'm working on this but revision is tough for me, not doing it, but more motivating to do it.

  4. The never ending rain here in Britain is starting to make me ask the same question (a question I happen to ask every summer, of course).

    As for writing, I'm the sort that does very little (hardly any) preparation, and just goes straight into the writing, only concerned about getting across ideas and expressing scenes. Which is odd really, for in life I plant almost everything in advance :)

  5. I have mostly pants it. This I have finally decided is not necessarily the best way to do it. If I'm still alive when I get this first book revised and published, I may try some other possibly better approaches, though I suspect at my age I'll stay with memoir. Memoir requires remembering the pieces of your life, and then picking out the ones that work into the theme you've decided upon. The personal may be the most difficult to write. But I think I've waited too long to do a fictional novel. Sigh.

    I once taught freshman English each fall, so I can relate to what you say about getting prepared in August - and with family to take care of to boot. I do hope you have a productive August in this regard!!

  6. I hate lesson planning!!!!! In daycare, we have to post one every week. The upshot of it is that most of the time, it goes out the window because either the kids just don't want to participate, a teacher is out, some child is having a meltdown, etc. I'm a last minute person, across the board. It wastes a lot of productive opportunities, for sure....

  7. I prep first -- and prep a lot -- and then write with significantly more ease than if I hadn't prepared.

    Best of luck to you as the school year starts!

  8. Whoa, August already! Frightening, isn't it, but I'm glad that you remained employed.

    Writing-wise, I'll always be a pantser. I just have to accept that and work with it. I've no doubt your hybrid approach will be successful!

  9. Most of my writing is prep work, absolutely. Then it's mostly revising after I've written it. Very little time, I think, is actually spent writing the "raw" book, so to speak. Crazy where the REAL writing comes in!

  10. Pants the first, planning the second. I have found being organised is going to help me write faster.

    I do not envy you lesson planning in the holidays.