Ever wake up, stub a toe on something and let that define the kind of day you are going to have? When I was younger I tended let the quality of sunrises define the type of day I was going to have and often this affected my writing.
Learning to drive a vehicle was the first time I began planning beyond each day. When I learned to drive for the first time, my father told me to be aware of what was around me, and to be aware of what was further down the road. He was always looking and planning ahead, at least for the things he could see. There was a drawback for me to planning ahead; because I already had a plan, I started missing the sunrises, began sleeping in, and often would put off until tomorrow what I should have done today.
Creating an outline for chapters in a book, then simply filling in the blanks leaves me without purpose. I get it into my head that since the book is virtually written, there is nothing more to look forward to. A writer without purpose is not a very good artist, maybe a good translator, but not much of an artist.
I’ve realized this year, while doing research, I needed a solution to wanting to write each day while trying to see as far down the road as possible. Using the advice my father gave me about driving, I’ve decided to look as far down the road as possible by setting a destination and coming up with the ending for my book first. I will no longer worry about all the stops I may make in between like I would with an outline. In doing so, it is like not knowing what the sunrise will be like each day hence each chapter I create is like a new beginning -- not a planned one. It makes the creative process much more enjoyable and not so structured that I get lazy.