Pantser to Planner

As you can see below, I have set some very lofty goals for myself this year. I know there are planners out there as well as pantsers (people who fly by the seat of their pants). I have spent the majority of my life a pantser, and I’m making my 2019 self do a complete transformational makeover on how I do life. 

Below is the plan for 2019 I wrote for each month of the year. Numbers do not correlate with the month, just that each month I need to be ticking off at least one of these goals. In bold are updates on the goals I’ve tackled or touched.


1. Finish revising Book 1 10 of 30 chapters complete
2. Revise Book 2
3. Finish writing and revise book 3 in the trilogy.
4. Find a group of beta readers that give good feedback (Learned other authors make the best beta readers – building a crew now. 2 people in the crew at this point.)
5. Find a critique partner that I enjoy working with. (DONE)
6. Begin the new series Cult of Blindness with Serenity and Mac (DONE – Ch. 1-3 are published at )
7. Begin chasing down the ideas that are beginning to populate for the offshoot series I’ll be writing based off of my current trilogy.
8. Balance all of the branches that seem to feed into becoming an author, and create a plan that keeps me from feeling so overwhelmed. (Working hard on this and failing at this point. Not ready to give up! I have learned that an exacting schedule doesn’t help this, because life throws curveballs weekly and daily!)
9. Query as often as possible, and focus on all of the yes’s and positives that come out of my writing. (Participating in pitch events so far – querying after the revision is finished)
10. Revise my curriculum as this year of full implementation with 1500 students has illuminated some needs and necessary changes.
11. Go to a conference for writing this year.
12. Make and BELIEVE that 2019 is going to be a banner year! (Not an achievable goal) Revising this goal to be: Build a platform that exceeds 10,000 interactive and engaged followers. Continue the #revisingclub and #revisingachapteraday hashtag and begin to give away a critique a month as a following/liking/interacting reward.

I’m doing this for several reasons. I had a major AHA moment in my life as I watched my new boss step into her position three years ago and establish incredible plans and then implement them. It truly made a difference. She still experienced failures and frustrations, but overall things were accomplished on a grand scheme that I hadn’t thought were possible.

As I dug further into this mindset I had a second AHA moment. God has a plan for our lives, in Jeremiah 29: 11-13 it says the following:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

If the creator of the universe plans, how am I to say that I should fly by the seat of my pants. Is that just laziness, or a battle against a cage that doesn’t exist. For me planning often feels like a cage. It comes with anxiety and stress with deadlines and goals that may end in failure.

What I’ve discovered has truly revolutionized my way of thinking. It’s inside the cages that we are most able to focus and finish something. I have been able to set free some of my greatest aspirations and hopes within the confines of a plan.

As a life long pantser and a newbie planner there are few key things that have helped me begin the transformation. I will go over these now.

  1. First, has been forgiveness. Goals may or may not be achieved. I’ve learned to shift them without judgment from day 1 to day whatever until they are finally achieved. Our own judgmental attitude about our own failures limit us far beyond any cage of planning.
  2. Second, plan big! I was surprised to find out quickly and easily I hammered out impossible goals when I had a plan. When I was pantsing my feelings ruled my world. If I felt like writing I did. If I felt like eating a box of Oreos I did (Okay that’s a problem for another blog post), but in reality, feelings should not dictate decisions.
  3. Third, adjust and evaluate the plan for successful implementation. Rigidity is not going to work, but checking in daily, will. I look over my daily list and try to tackle as much as I can. I have goals for writing, platform growth, family, myself, and my reading life. They are all on one list. I even created a code system that helps me track it all. Write it all in your plan, not just your writing, because it all will have an influence on your success.
  4. Fourth and Finally, family and life matter. Check in, give your loved one’s facetime, and don’t put your writing above all the other things you love. Failure paves EVERYONE’s pathway to success. The most famous people, the most successful, will tell you that they failed regularly. So get that failure in people! It’s mandatory for success to happen.

Please let me know if this helps, if there is anything else you want to know about transforming from a pantser to a planner, or if this resonates with you and your life.

Thank you for reading,

Jennifer Lynn

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