And then I got to the paragraph that said all professional writers worked in this way. She sounded so confident, so certain, I found myself wistfully thinking that this was obviously what I needed to do in order to be a professional writer. Her argument was that a professional writer saved time this way because there was no need for time-consuming re-writes. People who didn't plan were losers. I felt very humble at this point, because I love doing re-writes; to me, that's where the book is created from the rather trashy raw material that is the first draft. I was obviously NEVER going to be a professional writer. I was a loser.
Except...I AM a professional writer, in the sense that I make my living from writing words which become books which get sold. So here's the conundrum; how can I possibly manage this when my working practices are, frankly, haphazard, slapdash and distinctly unprofessional? I don't like planning, and I spend (or waste, depending on your point of view) months on rewriting. Could it be that there is more than one way to write a book? And just because one writer is convinced that their way is the right way, and has no problem with declaring this loudly and forcefully, it doesn't automatically follow that their way is right for you.
I believe all writers are on the same road. Some are travelling more quickly than others, some are currently sitting in a lay-by, some are slow and steady, others are speed merchants. Some are in limousines, others in sports cars, I think I'm in an old jalopy held together with bits of string. But so long as we get there, does it matter how we travel?