3 Powerful P's of Storytelling - Planning, Pantsing, and Plantsing

3 Powerful P’s of Storytelling – Planning, Pantsing, and Plantsing

Are you someone who likes planning things? Do you need to know what’s happening to be able to focus? I do. It’s probably why I’ve had such a hard time focusing (and writing!) and keeping to the plans I made oh so many months ago. Trying to complete anything in the last few weeks/months has been nearly impossible. I know I’m not alone in this. My outlines have sat empty, my drafts have been collecting digital dust, and my grand plans of launching activity plans have all but evaporated. For me, planning is everything, without it I’m lost.

How to move forward

To combat this rudderless feeling, I’ve been going back to basics and sticking to the core of things. For me that is planning, thinking about what I want/need, and creating my way forward. That seems to be helping. Here’s to a quarter filled with moments that mostly go according to plan… and embracing the moments that inevitably don’t. For better or worse, they all make up our human experience

Making the plan

When it comes to planning our storytelling projects and planning things where we're if we're caring for others, if we're planning activities, if you are staff, and you're in a facility, and you're trying to navigate what plans look like now, when quite frankly, things are not going to go according to plan. It's really hard to even think about investing the energy in creating the plan. And I totally get that.

Even when it’s hard, it's still worth making a plan because it's kind of like making an outline. When we sit down and make an outline of something it helps us remember what was most important. 

Whether we're outlining a

  • story
  • memory 
  • video 
  • letter that you want to send to someone 

I find that when I outline something and then draft it, it makes it so much easier to actually create the thing. That includes programming and activities. 

When we go through an outline of what we want to accomplish in a session or in a period of time and what we want the participants to get out of it. It helps us decide what we actually need to facilitate and create those moments and that success.

What does planning even mean?

Planning is just a really big umbrella word. Planning can be outlining, it can be bullet points, it can be a conversation you have with another staff member. It can be just a few minutes in your head going over what you want to accomplish for the day. Deciding how you like to see the information 

  • Do you need to write it down? 
  • Do you need to just talk to someone about it? 
  • Do you like to draw pictures?
  • Do you outline with post-it notes? Yes, this is a thing.

From a storytelling perspective, ask those same questions of someone else. Ask a resident if they're a planner, or if they're someone who likes to fly by the seat of their pants and the writing world. We call that a pantser. 😛 It will open up a whole new line of communication and storytelling you didn’t know was there.

Planning Prompts

You can use these prompts to start a storytelling conversation around planning and dig into the topic. Remember these are guidelines and a starting point. Feel free to add in your own questions and veer off in another direction to keep the conversation going.

  • How do you like to plan?
  • What is your favorite planner or planner type?
  • Have you always enjoyed planning?
  • If you don’t like it, what do you do instead?
  • Which parent did you get your planning chops from (or lack thereof)?

I hope that this helps you start a conversation with someone that you wouldn't otherwise get to have. It’s so easy to run out of things to say and hard to find new ways to ask them. If you are looking for more ways to connect with others and get support click here.

Audio variation of written post

Currently available Legacy Planners & Journals

My Family Story planner

Strengthen your family ties as you share points in this planner. It will also help you connect the links from each member by becoming inspired as one, as you look forward to achieving common goals. Going through this journal may in itself give you the chance to express unsung musings and affections in a detailed and creative fashion!

A little more organized planning for upcoming activities wouldn’t hurt. If you need more ideas on how to record family traditions and how to write about them, check this article.

Tell Your Own Story Journal

It is time to get your pen down and pour out a worthwhile journey as you reminisce and take your personal insights, experiences, and new aspirations into clear writings with the help of Tell Your Own Story – A Small Part of a Life well-lived planner

Get up to your sleeves and work your way on things you’ve long been planning to do, pick up goals where you’ve left them and propel these written plans into the actual things they should be. Give yourself the luxury of pairing dreams with a sharp eye heading in that direction and give meaning to every step you take in the form of a practical guide to discovering YOU.

tell your own story book cover

Hospice Planner

This Planner is intended to help you capture stories when working with someone who is in hospice. Everyone’s experience is different so I’m not going to give you specific directions or advice on what to do. What I am going to share is that keeping your storyteller’s needs front and center will be the best guide. This planner and activity kit is designed to facilitate storytelling and honoring the storyteller’s history, present, and beyond. You don't need to use every page in this planner. Use what works for you and skip the rest.

Holiday Planner

This Planner is intended to help you capture stories during the holidays and connect with family and friends. I know that sometimes the only time you see these humans, is during the holidays and that makes it extra special. I know what it means to have seen someone last holiday and now they aren't there.  This planner and activity kit is designed to facilitate storytelling and connecting while you enjoy each other's company. Think of this planner as a guide. Use what works for you and skip the rest.

Get Her Story Workbook

And now is the time to hear what SHE has in mind through this Get Her Story Workbook. It is another form of rediscovering womanhood in a very fine texture and for every aspect she deems note-worthy. Her story matters. Don't let her voice go unheard. Give her the gift of remembering what matters most to her. Use this workbook to begin capturing her memories. The full challenge can be found here.

Memory Care Storytelling Activity Kit

The Memory Care Storytelling Activity Kit serves as your gold lane to show someone that you care for them. It means considering even the little things that add value to their daily activities. Simple, thoughtful words we exchange with our elders could boost the meaning they put in their timeline.  This activity kit will help you bring storytelling into your life and work so that you can create storytelling moments with the people you love and care for naturally and gracefully.

52 Ways to Write Your Story in a Year

Ever too afraid to create your very own stories out of a clean slate? Good news! There’s a bunch of useful techniques that can get that narrative off your head and breathe life in every element. This guide outlines your storyboard as you advance year-long. 

52 Ways to Write Your Story in a Year - book cover