Menu Home

The Plan, From Someone Who Hates Planning

I hate planning because, more often than not, my plans get upended by unforeseen circumstances.  For example, …

I plan to finish a painfully detailed and tedious project at work by week’s end only to find an error in my SQL query which means I will have to fix said error and then redo several days’ worth of work. To add insult to injury, I crash our server in my effort to fix said error and then have to wait until the next day before I resume my work on the project.  As of this post, I am still behind on that project.

I plan to make a quick stop in a boutique store to find a wallet that will go with my new (bought online and on sale) Baggalini messenger bag.  Only it’s Saturday and I’m fasting and I become so flaky and indecisive that a young saleswoman basically has to “tell” me what it is I will buy so I will finally leave the shop. (I had been loitering around their Baggalini collection for about an hour.  I think they were getting worried that I was planning to steal something.)

I plan to go to yoga three times a week, but there’s my occasional insomnia that sometimes results in me skipping yoga because Half Moon Pose is just not a safe pose to be in when you’re feeling delirious.


I plan to write, but find myself engaged in the many wonderful and interesting posts my many wonderful and interesting friends have written.   Next thing I know, it’s going for 7 o’clock.  Post Meridiem.  Evening time.  Time for dinner and perhaps a glass of wine or two and then I just forget all about writing.

I plan to write, but have rediscovered Pinterest.

English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I plan to write, and NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.  The one month of the year when I actually do write, when I actually give myself permission to focus first on my writing.  When the first thing I do in the morning is write, not check my email.  I don’t call it planning, though.  The joy of writing is that it can be done anywhere at anytime.  I plan to write, but I don’t plan to write at particular times on particular days.  I won’t have a schedule.  I’ll just take it one day at a time.

In preparation for NaNoWriMo, I’m going to run a little experiment and you, my readers, will be my guinea pigs (I’m the cat, of course).

I plan (God, I hate that word) to post the first three chapters of a novel in progress on my blog.  These chapters were written about five years ago for a class.  Of course, once the class was over, so was my writing.  But I did wind up with those chapters, an “action” scene and a long synopsis.

For a pantser, this is pretty awesome stuff.


For those of you still reading this post, the title of the novel in progress is Clemency.  Here’s a blurb:

Clemency is a story about Misty Daniels, a young girl (~18) in prison for allegedly killing her live-in boyfriend after he beat her up, causing her to miscarry.  Enter Sarah Mansfield, a newly minted attorney who believes in Misty’s innocence and wants to secure her freedom.  But not everyone believes that Misty is innocent.  Not even Misty.  And there are some people in Misty’s poor small town that want to see her stay in prison.  And they will do anything to make sure that happens.  Even if means someone has to die.

Only in her mid-twenties and alone in an unfamiliar southern city, Sarah finds her life on the line and with few people she can trust.  Her boss and mentor, Lucas Danforth, seems to know more than he lets on and brushes off Sarah’s concern for her and Misty’s safety.  Michael Daniels, Misty’s half-brother and a former Marine, is more interested in hindering Sarah’s investigations than helping her.  And the people of Oyster Point, led by Sheriff Cooley, harbor more than a general mistrust of strangers.  They are all hiding something, and Sarah suspects that what they are hiding is the key to Misty’s freedom. 

I will start posting these chapters, broken down into (hopefully) post-size bits, on November 1.  I will schedule them (oh, no, more planning!) so my blog can run along without me while I throw myself into picking up where I left off.  No mean feat after five years of doing nothing with the novel.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to hide behind the “skirts” of other bloggers because, frankly, putting these chapters out there for you all to read is not really something I’m looking forward to.   I’m just glad I won’t be able to see you cringe as you read them.


Categories: Writing about writing

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

20 replies

  1. Had to laugh at your experience in the boutique store 😀 I get asked A Lot if I’m still ok because I dawdle so much. I hate being rushed or pestered into buying something. I am so looking forward to reading your chapters Marie. Your blurb is a winner!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Yolanda! Usually I’m not so indecisive when I’m shopping, unless I’m shopping online. But I also have a budget and that store had prices that I had to consider very carefully 🙂 I’m so glad you like the blurb 🙂


  2. Marie – I like a lot of things about this post. One, there’s all your wonderful wit … you’re quite funny, and I can’t write funny if I try (though I’m pretty sure I can write badly, even without trying). Second, it’s interesting to hear about the non-writing things you do (SQL, buying wallets, yoga, and pinterest … the last one having caught my attention lately … quite dangerous). Third, glad to hear you’re doing NaNoWriMo again. My wife has talked me into doing it again even though the last couple of years things haven’t gone that well. And, as a fellow pantser (or discovery writer as some have called it :-), you’ve done some great planning.

    Looking forward to those post from your old novel. I’ll be reading along and trying to keep up with you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Dave, thank you so much for your kind words.

      I’m definitely more comfortable being a “discovery writer” for NaNoWriMo. This will be my first time trying to work off a synopsis, but I give myself permission to deviate if the spirit moves me (and I need to up my word count). For the chapters, I hope to set it up much like Eric did for his short story but I’m a little worried because I’m having to break up chapters to make the posts a reasonable size. That is, I don’t know if where I break the chapter will work to make a reader want to read the next post. Then again, with Eric’s story, I actually waited until he had a few posts and then read them in one sitting. It was more convenient for me. Oh, well. I said it would be an experiment 😉


      1. I did the same thing with Eric’s story as well. Saved up pieces and read them at once. Better to keep small pieces that people gather and read later than put up something too long and have people skip over it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I hate that “plan” word myself. It only leads to self-flagellation over my failure to follow through!

    But I REALLY hope you decide to post your chapters for “Clemency.” It sounds awesome. Maybe a good time to try out Wattpad? I could see such a story getting lots of readers.

    And I can’t forget your mention of Pinterest! I will easily spend an hour looking at delicious recipes and saying, “I should make that.” But that day never comes…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Phillip. Yup, I do plan to post my extant chapters of Clemency on my blog and maybe snippets of the WIP as I go through November. I was thinking of using Clemency to try out Wattpad. By the way, I noticed you have an article about Wattpad. Haven’t read it yet, but I will soon!
      So you’re a man who likes to cook, eh? After my own heart .. I don’t like to cook 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’t knock yourself, Marie. There are plenty of other people in the world who will gladly knock you down, so you don’t need to give them a head start. I’m sure your chapters will be great, and no one will be cringing. I’m looking forward to the posts.


    Liked by 1 person

%d bloggers like this: