Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Plan Ahead

My husband has a lot of sayings he uses as a painter. My children quote them all the time. One he uses a lot is "Plan your work and then work your plan." When painting a room or an entire house, there is an order to things so everything comes out looking good. You also want to work efficiently, painting everything that is one color first before you clean brushes and start another color.

I always like to say I don't set goals. I make plans. Sometimes those plans are written down somewhere though usually they're sitting somewhere in my mind at all times. I know what order I need to do things in to get everything done. For instance, I had to get this blog ready for today, so I wrote it Tuesday night before I went to work on my newest WIP. This had to be done today. The WIP is still in the infancy stages and there's no deadline on it so far. In the efficiency department, I usually outline what I want to include in a post and open windows to all the links I'm going to use before I start typing. For my WIP, I always have a scene outlined in my head or on paper before I open the document. Much more efficient than staring at a blank page wondering what is coming next.

My painter family also has a term called, negative painting. Negative painting occurs when you mess up and have to back track or redo. Serious negative painting occurs when someone spills the paint or steps in the paint tray. Other examples are using the wrong paint, leaning against a wall that is still wet or bumping the roller pad against the ceiling or trim when you're rolling the walls. Negative writing is when you keep redoing a scene or continuously edit the first draft so you never get to the end. I believe in pushing forward through the doubts and crappy first draft. All can be fixed in the second and third drafts.

"Inspiration exists, but it must find you working." Pablo Picasso

Enough painting analogies.  On the TV front, I'm loving the new season of Fargo and Blindspot is keeping me interested as is Limitless. I gave up on Minority Report already and might give up on the Bastard Executioner. Doctor Who was good last week after what I thought was a weak start to the season in the previous episodes. Once Upon a Time has been terrific. That show made Peter Pan the bad guy two seasons ago and this time around it's King Arthur being the nasty. I love the creative spin on fairy tales they do.

I know we all have people we enjoy following on Facebook and Twitter but I'd like to recommend an entertaining writer who makes me laugh every day on Twitter. Brain Rathbone writes epic fantasy and he says so many clever things on Twitter. Check him out if you want to add some humor to your social media.

"Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain." Edward de Bono

Still ten days to get your short story in for the IWSG anthology. Speaking of epic, this venture is going to rock.

Have any sayings to fit the way you approach your work? Have you done any negative writing lately? Any show capturing your interest this season? Who makes you laugh on social media?


  1. I just plow forward on first drafts. I might be slow as I do ponder each sentence and word, but I don't go back to edit.
    And didn't Fargo start off just batshit crazy? I was NOT expecting that.

  2. I like the idea of making plans instead of setting goals. And I am so guilty of "negative writing" with my longer works. This year, NaNo is going to help me end that once and for all! :)

  3. I can plan ahead if I am writing for a poetry book, but planning ahead for other events in life are not as simple.
    Great post to read.

  4. Yep, I just keep on going, get it done. Can fix the rest later. Plans tend to come to fruition more than goals too. Minority Report is getting abysmal ratings lol

  5. I hadn't heard of the term negative painting and then of course how it could be used for other such "no win" situations. I think I have negative editing days, LOL, at work (which is different editing than when one is writing a book; but more like I'm matching up what the doctor said with what the voice recognition thought the doctor said and making corrections; some days all it seems like I'm doing is making corrections instead of the machine supposed to be getting smart to catch what the doctor says).

    Haven't gotten involved in any TV shows this season; trying to not get hooked on anything, but we'll see how that plays out :)


  6. I make plans too. Sometimes those plans have to be revamped, but that's okay. I liked the two newest Doctor Who episodes rather than the first ones as well. The new Fargo season started off excellently.

  7. I like some of those painting phrases. My favorite is Picasso's--it reminds me of Stephen King's "If you show up to write every day, your muse will know where to find you" (or something close to that). You and I are watching several of the same shows. I am not caught up on them all, but it seems to be a pretty good set.

  8. As an "edit as I go" writer, I have to be careful of Negative Writing. I like that term. We should coin that as a phrase! :)

  9. I'm with you on plans vs goals. I'm starting my second draft now after having 3 different starts in the previous draft. Here's to forging forward and making things happen!

  10. I love making plans and having them. It's how I know I'm getting things done. But I suppose I have to allow for some "negative writing" (good name).

    Sadly, no new shows have caught my interest this season. I don't know if I'm just not interested or they really aren't that good...

  11. I like the painting analogies. :D I am a natural planner, but these days, 'plan the work' bit goes well, but then 'work the plan' bit, not so much. I need to get back on track.

  12. "Plan your work and then work your plan." I love that! And I like that you said that you don't set goals, you make plans. That's a great way to look at it and now that I think on it, I do the same thing. :)

  13. I think I just did a whole chapter of negative revising. agh.
    I loved, loved, loved this post. Thank you for those great quotes and the painting analogies. I agree that Brian Rathbone is hilarious - a much needed dose of humor during the day.
    My goals are more like plans, too and I love that statement: Plan your work and then work your plan.
    Great attitude.
    Happy Writing!

  14. I'd like to say I'd done negative writing just to have written, but I haven't. I hope to get some writing done this weekend and start creating a new routine around the new day job next week.

  15. My negative writing is the lack thereof, does that count? :P

    Also, a strange thing that happened while painting a room--the colors changed when we painted the walls a dark purple (turned bluish gray) and the ceiling white (turned light gray). What sort of chemical reaction do you think happened there? O.O


    1. Hi Elizabeth. My husband said whatever kind of paint you had underneath 'bled' through. The guys at the paint store can tell you what you need to block that from happening. Probably you needed to put on a base coat or at least multiple coats of what you were using. Perhaps it was oil-based paint on the walls which shouldn't be used on interior walls.

  16. I'll have th check Rathbone out. Planning sounds good. Having run my life by the seat of my pants, I may be too far gone to change. lol

  17. Negative Writing is definitely the perfect description of what I tend to do sometimes! Your style sounds much more practical in terms of time spent and I can see how productivity would increase by first planting your seeds before attempting to harvest them :-)
    Having been in the painting industry for twenty-six years, I can appreciate your husband's observations ;-) Mishaps and mistakes are costly in every sense of the word and you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. I'll take revisions over repaints any day!
    Regrettably, I don't often get the chance to watch a lot of TV. But you've mentioned what sounds like a great list of what to watch if I do!
    You've inspired to me start planning (more) today! Though I must say, I've been diligently adding to my A-Z Challenge theme for next year;-)

  18. I don't tweet or FB but people seem to enjoy it. Glad you found something from from it. Have a spooky weekend and an oogie boogie day.

  19. I like negative painting. It made me chuckle. I have been guilty of negative writing a time or 10. LOL

  20. My son paints houses on the side. He's a WO in the army. He treats painting like one more form of expression. Meticulous doesn't come close to describing how he tackles painting. Being happy and funny and laughing, I think it's as important as breathing.