Planning: A Gift That Keeps on Giving

Chaotic life

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~Benjamin Franklin

We all plan things out: our meals, our vacations, when we can squeeze in a nap during the day (if only, right?). However, I find that many writers that I work with in the Writing Center don’t plan out their writing.  I always try to convince them that planning when it comes to their writing can produce really positive results and give them back a lot of time and energy that they would have expended in writing without a plan. I’m not just talking about making an out line before they write, though this works really well for some people. By planning, I mean whatever it takes for them not to go into or spend their time writing in an aimless fashion. For example, my form of planning consists of setting out a particular time every day a week before my due date and writing for a set period of time. For others, it’s writing out their argument and topic sentences in order before they work on the body of their essays.There are many ways to plan, you just have to find a form that suits you.

Whatever you do, having a plan for how and when you write can help projects seem more manageable and help you finish sooner. For more anxious writers, it can actually make the writing process less painful: since they already have their writing mapped out, they often feel like they are have less work to actually do and a structure to fit it into. Finding the right way to plan out your writing is a tool you can use each time you are faced with a writing task, large or small. So next time you have an essay due, instead of starting it whenever you find the time or just putting words down to fill up a page, make a plan for your writing and see what kinds of great things, like time, relaxation, and sanity, that you get out of the process.


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