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When Does Planning Get in the Way of Doing?

planning doing

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There is something to be said for making a plan, then setting it into motion. . . BUT, there are some serious results to be seen by just diving in & DOING. The former runs the risk of getting too caught up on the planning; the latter runs the risk of having to back-track because of being blind-sided. . . It seems to me, the most ideal situation would put you somewhere in between. . .

Can you have too much of a good thing? (Image from

Can you have too much of a good thing? (Image from

I've always thought myself to be a creative person — maybe not in the areas of painting, sculpting, sewing, or anything else “crafty,” but perhaps when it comes to words. . . Yet my brain is hard-wired to over-analyze every. little. thing. It doesn't matter what I am doing, I have to think about it up one side & down the other, then around in circles & back & forth again. It is exhausting! (& it is stifling.)

When I decided to start back to school, it took me MONTHS to decide whether I would go to an online college or find a traditional route, then MONTHS again to decide which specific school I wanted to attend & what kind of schedule I could keep. When it came to buying books, I had to shop around for the best price — & decide whether to purchase new or used or to rent or to get the electronic versions. I guess the good thing is that once I finally decide on a course of action, it is hard to derail me. . . It's just getting to that point is excruciatingly tedious with me.

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Every thing has to be planned out with a Plan A, a Plan B — & sometimes even a Plan C — taking into consideration as many different variables as I can possibly think about. . . THEN — & only then — am I confident enough to take the first step in ACTION towards actually accomplishing my goal.

I am currently going through this mental anguish in regard to trying to write fiction again. I have a rough idea of my main characters & foggy formation of a plot. I've started mapping out the details that are floating around in my head, trying to get them to mold into a solid storyline, but they are evading me. There's still something missing. Something. I just am not quite sure what that something is yet. It's driving me insane.

I am tempted to just choose one of the scenes that keep coming to mind so I can start putting words on a page in some sort of meaningful fashion. I am eager to get a little tid-bit of something formed that I can be proud of. . . A glimpse into a world that I can begin to immerse readers into. . . & maybe an extra spark of inspiration that will help me sort out the part of my story that is missing.

I just can't bring myself to take that first step without having a fully formed plan! Ridiculously frustrating.

I am “fighting” a similar battle in regard to my mental health. In less than twelve hours, I have my second appointment with a counselor. The lady seems nice enough, but I am not sold on the idea that she is part of my plan. The hour in her office last week felt like a waste of time, but I am trying to keep an open mind.

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I took a leap of faith & went to her even though I didn't have a fully formed plan. In fact, I made an appointment with a doctor (not a counselor), but the day before my first appointment, I got an email saying that the doctor was ill & would not be back in the office for six weeks. Wait! What?! SIX WEEKS?! Now that's craziness. Seriously?! After all I've had to go through mentally & emotionally to get to this point, here is yet ANOTHER hurdle?? Ugh. Obviously, I took their office's suggestion of scheduling with the counselor so I wouldn't have to wait for the doctor to get back. Maybe just talking it out will lead to something good.

Likewise, maybe just starting with one scene in my story will lead to something much more grand. Maybe a rough plan is good enough sometimes. Maybe that is all you need before taking the first step. Sometimes. Besides, what can it hurt? Well, maybe we'll find out.

I wonder what else I am stalling on because my plan isn't fully formed? Maybe I am on to something here. . .


4 thoughts on “When Does Planning Get in the Way of Doing?”

  1. I was thinking about this same thing when it comes to resolutions. Every year I make them, I plan to do X, Y and Z and do nothing. This year I resolved to just DO. Anytime I think of something I’m just going to do it.

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