Careful or fearless – Which are you?

Ireland and Casey. Notice how Ireland is holding on while Casey is wide open.

Casey and Ireland, my twin grandbabies, will turn one November 10th. I’ve had the joy and pleasure of being a big part of their lifes since their birth. Mainly becasue they have an older sister, Ivy, who will turn two on November 12th. Yeah – you read that right. They’re 363 days apart. Or two days shy of a full year. Any way you look at it, my daughter and her husband had their hands full.

So, during this past year, I’ve been paying close attention to the twins and waiting for that whole ‘twin telepathy’ thing to kick in. So far it hasn’t.  They’re just now really starting to play with one another. They do show a kind of odd interest in what they other one is doing. They take toys from one another, laugh at one another, and clap for one another. But they’re polar opposites.

Casey is fearless. He loves to be rough-housed by daddy or big brother Landon. He laughs so hard he snorts. He’s a stair climber and and plots his next attempt each time the baby gate is left open for a fraction of a second. He climbs over, crawls under, bulldozes his way through whatever is blocking his goal. Ireland, on the other hand, is cautious. She’s not timid by any means but she thinks things through before diving in like her brother. Try swinging her upside by her ankles like her brother and she reacts like a cat hovering over water. The hands stiffen, she is not smiling, eyes wide with fear. Yeah, we no longer play with her like that. She’s much happier and more content for you to play a ‘thinking’ game with her. Like matching shapes, or cause and reaction games. Casey doesn’t care what the reaction is going to be – he goes for it. All out.

Although they’re twins, they’re as different as night and day. They each have their own style, their own way of doing things. Neither is wrong or right. Ireland’s style works for her and Casey’s works for him. Much the same way writing styles differ.

I’m a ‘pantser’ writer. I write by the seat of my pants. I know how my story ends, I know how my characters are going to get there, I know what happens in between but I don’t outline. But I have friends who do. Every scene is carefully outlined down to the dialoge. More power to them. They need that precise roadmap, including the dirt roads and side streets, to take their character from beginning to end. I like the adventure of not completey knowing. Kind of like Casey.

So in honor of the upcoming NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writering Month), which style fits you better? Are you a Casey or an Ireland? Do you bulldoze ahead or do you think it through?

Either way you do it, just do it. Doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you enjoy the journey.


  1. I write like a pantser but am much more cautious in life away from the written page. In retirement, though, I’m trying to be more like Casey!

  2. I bulldoze ahead, not only in writing, but in life. I’ve picked up and moved to places where I don’t know a soul. I don’t outline at all. Sometimes even the ending isn’t clear. I once wrote a 73,000 novel in three weeks starting with nothing but a character. Oddly enough, though I’ve done Nano two years now, I haven’t made the 50,000. Maybe this year.

  3. I am so much a pantser it’s scary! As if watching a movie, I see what my characters are doing, surprised more often than not. However, I usually know the ending and then go back and work on the plot. It’s all so fun!

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