Reality Check: Can We Fight Who We Are?… or How Clark Kent Got Stuck In The Phone Booth

Ready to go.

Sit. Desk. Write.


This morning I either 1) acted spontaneously or 2) got distracted.  I took a quiz. 

According to the results, I’m a “pre-panster.”  That’s a person who “sort of” flies by the seat of her pants.  I wing it—kind of.  A wimpy version of the go-for-the-gusto kind of gal I like to think I am: 

“Pre-Pantser: You’d love to throw caution to the winds but often hold back from just diving right in…” 

That’s right, I’m the one who’ll get you all excited to jump in the lake, but when I get right up to the edge, I might decide it’s too cold. 

The quiz I took was to assess whether I am a planner or a pantser, specifically applied to my writing style. 

Honestly, though, how I approach writing is an indication of how I approach the rest of my life.  Isn’t it? 

According to the quiz results and my own guilty spin, I’m someone who lives in a spot between planning and all-out going for it – a sort of indecision Hell. 

This explains a lot. 

Why there are visions of living an uncluttered life running around in my head all day, yet I’m not quite willing to part with all the old writing magazines I’ve already read. 

Why I envision going on vacation in Cape Hatteras with my wind-surfing husband, yet I haven’t quite picked up the phone to make the reservations. 

Why I can’t walk three feet without reaching for a piece of paper to make a list, yet nothing is crossed off the list. 

Why I think about my five pages every waking moment, yet I struggle to keep my seat in the chair.  Caught between thinking about action and taking action.  A Clark Kent who gets stuck in the phone booth. 

Oh, I don’t want to be that person. 

Yet, I am eternally optimistic.  The quiz result goes on to say: 

“You prefer to consider multiple options but can go along with any challenge and turn any good idea into a potential story.” 

There we go.  I’m not all bad.  I can go along with any challenge and turn any good idea into a potential story.  Like my post for today—I didn’t plan it; it came to me after I impulsively took that quiz—risk-taker that I am! 

And, after I’m done vacillating on important decisions for breakfast like whether to make a fruit smoothie or have salsa and eggs in an effort to plan my eating strategy today, I’m going to live vicariously through Tess Trouve’, my headstrong and go-for-the-throat feisty heroine.  At least for five pages. 

Pass the seat glue, please.  ~ JD here 

PS:  Here’s the link to the quiz if you dare assess your style—writing or other:

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7 Responses to Reality Check: Can We Fight Who We Are?… or How Clark Kent Got Stuck In The Phone Booth

  1. “part with all the old writing magazines”

    *jaw drop* Well if you don’t want them they’d always have a home here. I’m a “writing resource” collector. I’ll gladly fill my shelves with anything that is writing related because it makes me feel more writerly. 😉 After all, if I have a massive bookshelf full of writing books I MUST be a writer, right? Even if I didn’t write a word today? (Thankfully I did write today, so I’m feeling very good about being an actual WRITING writer with a bookshelf full of writing books. 😉 )

    I swing slightly to the other side as a “pre-planner”. What that really means is that I don’t do things spontaneously anywhere near as much as I’d like to. Especially when it comes to my writing. I poke and prod and plan it – to death sometimes. I write lists about the lists I should write lists about. 😉 Thankfully I do manage to cross things off, sometimes. But usually only after I’ve added a few more lists to the pile.

    Thanks so much for allowing yourself to be “spontaneously” “distracted” today. 😉 I enjoyed reading your thoughts and thank you for sharing the quiz with others. 🙂

  2. JD says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    Ha Ha! Perhaps you skipped over the beginning of that sentance:

    “I’m not quite willing to…”

    “…part with all the old writing magazines…” in hopes I will send them to you?

    For here is my quandary. In my perfect world, I would have them all neatly catalogued in magazine holders on my bookshelf referenced by year and issue instead of mixed in with leaning piles of writing notes, dictionaries, seventh draft manuscripts, and oh, that’s where I left the graduation announcement for a dear friend’s son I missed last month.

    Should I ever get to the point of letting go of them, I will certainly let you know. Although I’m guessing we probably have some of the same issues.

    Thank you for your comments and your lovely quiz. I’ve had a lot of fun with it and if I’m not mistaken, this was only the first part of six? Or seven? Either way, I’ll be looking for them. Back to my five pages. ~JD

    • Perhaps you skipped over the beginning of that sentance:

      A deliberate blind-spot. 😉 Or maybe an encouragement to put aside your procrastination and make it happen. 😉 Either way, magazines!!!

      If I’m not mistaken, this was only the first part of six?

      That quiz was actually pulled out of the archives at The Craft of Writing Fiction. Since our name change at the end of July I’ve been wading through some of the longtail posts to clean them up, optimize them, remove dead links, add new links, etc. and that quiz is one of my favorite treasures. You’re not mistaken, it is a part of a six part “Planner/Pantser” series.

      The seventh part is really the introductory first post here:

      That post links to all six sections of the series that were written in 2007. But since resurrecting them I’ve had new ideas and inspiration so perhaps there will be some new Planner/Pantser posts coming. As soon as I get them written. lol

      • JD says:

        Hi Rebecca,

        Thanks for the extra (distracting, but informative and I’m sure fun) information!

        Once I finish my five pages today, I’ll check it out! 🙂

  3. Paula says:

    I was catching up on some FB suggestions this am and your page had been suggested. Being as attracted to all things writing as I am to all things shiney, I had to follow the leads and found you post quite entertaining. I can identify with your to-do lists that never get anything crossed off, the vacation that doesn’t happen because reservations are not made, and, oh, pretty much everything you said. Love it.

  4. JD says:

    Hi Paula!

    You are so sweet to comment. It’s nice to be on the same page! All we can do is keep trying, right? Hope to hear from you again; I appreciate your stopping by. ~JD

  5. JD says:

    Hi Rebecca and Paula,

    I have no way of knowing, but in case you signed up for my blog via RSS feed, I’ve changed the feed to go through Feedburner.

    To keep receiving it, you would need to visit again and re-subscribe. Just thought I should let you know. Hope you’re having a great weekend! ~ JD

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