First, I preached to the converted - you inveterate planners, who avidly lap up any new way of organising thoughts. My mission there wasn't to enthuse about the endless variety of tools available, but to caution against gorging yourselves to the detriment of your writing.
Then I threw myself on the mercy of the pantsers, risking your ridicule as I offer the tools as valuable lifelines in times of adversity while you sail the trackless seas of unstructured creativity.
Now I address a different audience: those who yearn to be more structured, more disciplined in your writing.
In a sense, this whole series of posts was inspired by you.
Over the last year or so, I've seen numerous blog posts describing one tool or another. In amongst comments on how great an idea this was, I invariably saw a few plaintive cries of "if only I was that organised."
And I felt some resonance with those cries, because (believe me here!) my own writing process is not all that organised. More ominously, I found myself sinking into despairing feelings of inadequacy. "If So-And-So-Big-Name-Writer is using this method and I'm not," the thinking went, "then maybe I'm not a real writer."
It was then that I decided to rebel against those feelings. At the same time, I wondered if others out there, you of the "if only I was that organised" variety, might suffer the same pangs whenever you see someone espousing some nifty tool to ferret out structural plot weaknesses or lack of character growth.
Sure, it's good to be curious. Try out new ideas. You never know, they might be helpful. But if they don't work for you, then don't stress about it. This is back to my core theme: know the outcome you seek, and pick a tool that works for you to achieve it.
Just because you don't use Snowflake Pro, or religiously outline each chapter on colour-coded index cards, doesn't make you a bad writer. There are all sorts of reasons why you may not be good writer, but failure to use any given tool or technique does not number among them.
No more so than the conspicuous absence of a Le Creuset $1,500 copper cookware set in your kitchen cupboard makes you a bad cook.
So, my message to the yearners out there is:
yearn away, but nix the angst!