I started a magazine, which became widely known throughout my second-grade class, called “Teen Dog”. I spent months mapping out my cover pages, articles, and layouts. I planned my future headquarters, all the way down to picking out the material the office desks were to be made from.
Being older now, I have come to realize that how I worked on my magazine back in second grade is equivalent to how I work in my everyday life, especially in my writing. I spent countless hours planning every detail of my future business to guarantee perfection and have no need for change later down the road. When I write, I start with an outline, making it more and more detailed, until it is essentially a paragraph with bullets in the middle. I lay out all my quotes, facts, and arguments in order, making sure there isn’t a single item out of place. I then go in and retype the outline, adding in transitions and making words flow. Everything directly reflects my outline, just as I had planned, with no major changes.
As I have gotten older, I have come to realize that this is a doggone terrible strategy. I tend to get so dead set on my original plan that I ultimately refuse any change and feedback. This leaves much of my writing repetitive and uninspired, despite the large amount of time spent planning. Although I am inherently afraid of change, I have been working on tweaking my process. I have realized writing is not solidified, but rather a piece that will probably never be finished. Recently when I write, I print out multiple copies and mark all over them, rearranging paragraphs, structure, and even changing my entire topic. But, even doing this, I will still revert to my old habits, rearranging an entire essay so that it ends up the same as the original. Changing my mind is like trying to pursued a car to run on its own. But as I get older, and technology grows, maybe cars will be able to start with just a simple thought, just as I will be able to accept change.