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Apr 26, 2011

Are you a planner or a "bounce-arounder"?


Friends, do you like to plan things out way ahead of time or do you prefer to be more spontaneous, to bounce around and go with the flow, as it were?

I am not a planner.  In fact, I resist planning.  That's just the way I am (and always have been). 

For example, it pains me to have to make reservations for a vacation half a year ahead of time; I'd much rather decide a few weeks before when I'm feeling like I need a vacation, and then choose from among whatever options remain available.  I don't think about what might have been available if I'd planned ahead.  Whatever it was wouldn't have been worth the effort of scheduling so far in advance.  (This was challenging when I worked in an office and had to select my summer vacation time many months in advance, as you can imagine.)

I'm the same with my sewing.  I decide what I want to create with very little forethought.  I don't decide that in July I'm going to make such-and-such, in August this, and in September this.  How do I know whether or not I will still want to make such-and-such in July?  You can see why scheduling things like Sew-Alongs can be hard for someone like me. 

Of course, my life is set up to accommodate a spontaneous lifestyle more than many people's are.  I don't have a set schedule week-to-week right now; I don't have children.  And with regard to sewing, I have the Garment District just blocks away so if I need lace trim or silk thread or a new treadle belt all of a sudden, I can get it.  If I want to make a cocktail dress tomorrow, I can buy the taffeta today.

I'm the same way with this blog.  I prefer to write about what I want to write about when I want to write about it.  I've met well-known bloggers (I won't name names but you know them) who schedule their blogs out weeks in advance, and will have completed next Thursday's post seven Sundays before.  So not me.  I'm still finishing today's entry while you're reading this.  (OK, I exaggerate.)

Planning (or the lack thereof) is not to be confused with discipline and organization, of course.  You can be disciplined and organized but still not like to plan, right?

The downside to all this, if there is one, is that things here can get a little shapeless: today a "Yea or Nay" entry, tomorrow decluttering, suddenly a new sewing machine, Cathy reappears, etc.  I wonder if you ever find it confusing.

Speaking of Cathy, after reviewing the results of our last photoshoot, I've begun thinking it might be time for a minor makeover, don't you?  Maybe a new hairstyle, a beauty mark, or a wider lip line.  I'd hate to have my cousin stuck in a style rut.  Blonde for summer?



But back to planning -- or not planning.

I sometimes wonder if it would be better to invest some time in a plan, whatever plan that might be.  Otherwise one risks always reacting to the situation at hand rather than setting out with a clear road map.  Or is that a good thing since things inevitably change anyway?

I'm interested to know what you think.

If you have a sewing (or some other) blog, do you map out what you'll be blogging about days (or weeks) in advance, and then stick to it?  What are the benefits and the downsides to this? 

In general, do you like to plan or are you more of a spontaneous type?   Do you map out life and/or sewing goals (married by 30, two kids by 35, sewing your own jeans by 40) -- or do you just do as you please when you want to do it?  Do you think women plan more than men do (biological clock and all that)?

Enquiring minds want to know!

68 comments:

  1. I tend to have a sewing plan - according to what I need to make my 5yo dd for her wardrobe and what pieces I would like to add to mine (after thinning it out).

    I always have a list of other key pieces that my other children need (they don't like me to sew all their clothes like my 5 year old).

    I also have 1-2 ongoing heirloom pieces (my 5yo daughter's birthday dress, which is to be smocked, and my soon-to-be new niece's blessing gown). And I always have a new piece going that I am learning/improving my skills on.

    This OCD behavior keeps my able to sit and sew at any time...

    As for my life, I tend to plan things out. And while my plans may not always work out (I was planning on being a CEO by now - and instead I am the rockin' mom of 7, with a BS in Health Information Management), having a plan allows me to have goals to pursue.

    I find this works well.

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  2. Do you map out what you'll be blogging about in advance? Sometimes.

    stick to it? Sometimes.

    What are the benefits and the downsides to this? The benefit is that I can keep up my momentum with posting. The downside is that sometimes, life happens. I DO have kids and they are such a game-changer.

    In general, do you like to plan or are you more of a spontaneous type? I have ADHD and was only recently diagnosed, so prior to diagnosis, I would have said "spontaneous". The reality is I LOVE to plan. It just rarely happens the way I plan because my brain is wired differently.

    I like themes. I also like to organize my posts into categories. So on Friday, I might do "Fortune Cookie Friday". Those I can schedule out for a while because they are graphic & time intensive to do. Likewise, "Housecleaning Haiku". Other things might be more organic depending on how I'm feeling.

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  3. I couldn't be more disorganised. The downside? I haven't written in my blog for months, I don't always remember what I've written before, I worry that I might get boring... The upside: it's always up to date (urr, when I'm writing anyway) and it's always fresh, and that's important I reckon.
    There'll always be different strokes for different folks :)
    I certainly don't have a problem at all with your topics being spontaneous - spit 'em out as they come :)

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  4. Ummm... I'm biased, like I'm in most aspects of my life. For example - I'd plan a vacation months ahead, and have my plans set and suitcases packed in advance.
    However, I hate making reservations for daily, common things, like going to hairdresser's, or to a depilation, and sewing :-). Yup, it's hard for me too to participate in a sewalong (for example, I'm "participating" in April sewalong that's going on the Sherry's blog, but I haven't even started working on my garment!).

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  5. At work, I plan everything in great detail - as a computer programmer, I must do this.

    But outside of work? Forget it. The logical side of my brain shuts off when I walk out of the office.

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  6. Dear Heavens! If I ever planned blog posts more than a day or 2 in advance, the earth would shake, LOL!

    When I am developing and testing a new interfacing or packing/shipping orders I am much more focused as the responsibility to my customers deserves.

    But my ShirtMaking/Tutorial blog? Planning? ...ummm...no. And let's not even get into my house cleaning "non-schedule". Please call at least 15 minutes in advance before you visit, K? :)

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  7. I've just started plotting out blog posts and sewing projects - only a week in advance, though. I'm trying to keep to a post-a-day during the work week AND since my job involves sewing I was finding that I would focus on fun stuff, not get it finished, not have anything to blog about AND not get the sample finished for the new class I'm supposed to teach!

    As with all planning, the benefit for me is more in the time I spend thinking about what I want to get done and coming to terms with time limitations (no, I really can't get that entire dress sewn tomorrow afternoon. And yes, the circle skirt really NEEDS to hang for at least a few days!) Once the plan is committed to paper, all the real work has been done and I am a big fan of planning meticulously, but living spontaneously. There seem to be quite a few war metaphors in this vein, right?

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  8. I'm very disciplined and organized but don't always plan much in advance. For instance, when we decided to go camping out west --I looked over at my husband and said, "Let's go camping out west." I then got a map, planned about where we wanted to go, put stuff in the car and left. I guess I'm in the middle.

    I know I need to sew some tops for summer, but that doesn't mean I will. I sew what I want when I want.

    As for blogging, I have vintage pattern Mondays, but otherwise write whatever I'm in the mood for --usually the day before I post it. When I do plan out a schedule for blogging I get uninterested in it.

    One of the attractive things about your blog is that you discuss so much and so randomly. It's refreshing.

    I get the idea that you're not so enthusiastic for a jeans sew along right now. I have no solution for that except that you'll probably get more excited once you start it. I have no interest in jeans right now and will follow on the sidelines --not sewing. It's your mention of a fantasy sew along that has all my attention. My head is full of useless fantasy clothing!

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  9. I'm not a planner when it comes to sewing, and the quickest way for me to lose interest in a project is to join a sew-a-long. I don't know why I have this mental block because I really want to join them but once I do it's a death sentence for that project. btw, I made the jeans for your jean sew-a-long right after you announced it, they came out great, love them!

    In other areas of my life I would do better without a plan because once I plan something then I start stressing over the details.

    I'm not even going to discuss my blog!

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  10. I'm a so so planner. I will decide I need new work pants and will then purchase the fabric and usually sew them up. But all of them may not get completed. In other words, I may plan something but it may not all be completed. And I'm alright with that.

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  11. My husband describes me as Polly Prince from "Along came Polly". Yep, I just float through and figure it out as I go. I don't plan sewing projects either. I don't have a lot of time to sew when I want (2 small kids don't care that a bodice needs fitting) so I just finish when I finish. I have been working on a 1960s green polka dot dress for an upcoming wedding but since I decided it needs to be finished I of course haven't touched it in a month. The new apron, pillow covers and floaty curtains for my mom have all popped up. I'll finish the dress by July I promise... As for the blog, I started one last year and couldn't keep it up; 2 weeks ago I redid it and have only posted once. yep, not working out so much.

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  12. I do both. I plan ahead for somethings and spontaneous for others. I plan the big pieces of a season's wardrobe and then play with all the other pieces.

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  13. I tend to plan things to death. When my dd was young, I decided to give her a "Make It - Take It" Christmas party rather than a birthday party. I started planning the projects in July. I plan my blog posts about a week in advance, mostly because they need so much revising and editing. I plan my sewing projects, also. I assign patterns to fabrics as soon as I bring the fabric home and I rarely stray from this plan. With this level of obsessive planning, one would think I'd be able to complete a SWAP. But that was pure torture for me. Go figure.

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  14. 'Took a (What Kind of a) Procrastinator Test (are you) in a workshop at University recently... The psychologist rolled his eyes and said, "Rhonda, you do EVERYTHING only when you want to"... I grinned ;)

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  15. I'm definitely a spontaneous one. I blog as inspiration hits, which is also the way I sew. I never plan things in advance, I'll just wake up and desperately "need" a white eyelet blouse and I'll immediately start working on it.

    It's annoying to plan a trip months in advance, or buy concert tickets and wait months for the show. I want it NOW!

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  16. Planning is hard for me; but absolutely neccessary or I don't do the basic things I need to do (all the dishes I need for dinner will still be unwashed--yes, I am *that* bad). So I am happier when I plan because that allows me to have a more pleasant life. Most of it is mental planning, working something out on paper is not my style.

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  17. I make the motions of being a planner with my excessive lists and over thinking but when it comes down to it I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal. Both in life and in sewing.

    I was attempting a big planned out wedding with the dress and the cake but ended up getting hitched by Elvis during a weekend in Vegas.

    As for sewing, I try to plan out what I want to make during the week. I make lists of all the items I am missing but once I get to the fabric store it all kind of goes out the window and I usually leave with a different fabric and a different sewing project in hand.

    Personally, I think I am accomplishing more in life by not having a plan of attack and just going for it.

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  18. I'll plan a vacation (as for me that's half the fun) but I don't tend to plan day to day stuff unless I have to in order to get it all crammed in there. Sewing is a hobby I don't *need* to do so I tend to just do what I can, when I can and let the chips fall where they may. Same with blogging.

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  19. I have NEVER planned day-to-day stuff on a vacation in advance. It's a miracle if I know where I'm staying...

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  20. Not too much of a planner here, sewing, blogging or vacations. Our vacations tend to be planned like yours, around what's available. Blogging, well, no, I write and publish without a lot (ok, any) saving for later. Sewing, well, I'd love to have a plan, like maybe a seasonal palette, but that just seems way too organized for me.

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  21. I'm a planner for some things. I like to plan vacations well in advance so I have something to look forward to. I have an elaborate spreadsheet with my plans for my current kitchen remodel.

    But when it comes to sewing, I'm mood based and don't really plan. My stash is robust enough that I can just grab what I need to sew whatever I'm in the mood for. It's great because I'm almost always in love with whatever I'm working on, but the down side is that my wardrobe is kind of random and not very cohesive.

    I've just started blogging, and I don't feel compelled to plan for it. It seems best to just blog about whatever I'm doing at the time.

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  22. I'm more of a bounce-arounder than a planner. I generally have an idea of what I'll blog about during the week, but unless I'm going to be gone, I don't usually have them written and waiting.

    As for sewing, I do so many things, garments, quilts, and some crafting, that I pick up what ever I feel like working on that day.

    And since you're a big fan of vintage patterns, I just did a post on a Vintage Vogue pattern (re-released) that I wore on Easter Sunday.
    rachel-thelifeofriley.blogspot.com

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  23. I was about to say (haughtily) that I'm a planner. And then I thought about it for 5 seconds. I'm not a bounce-arounder (takes to much energy). But I'm not a macro planner. I have no idea what I'll be doing in 5 years. I mean, I just took up knitting yesterday! But I am very set to go for the jeans project. BTW, start posting more about the jeans - I'm getting psyched! I have all the bits and pieces and I don't start any project with out being sure I have what I need to get through it.

    I don't plan my blog posts. My blog is something I do entirely for myself. I write about what I want on the spur of the moment - so that's one area where I don't plan. Unless I have an idea percolating. Or a series I decide to do.

    Really, I have no idea of how to answer this question.

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  24. 2 other things: I always plan vacations WELL in advance - cuz that's fun!

    And, in my job I'm a serious planner. So it's not like I don't like planning or like I can't do it competently. It's just not fun to overthink everything.

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  25. I am a "somewhat planner" by nature. Definite plans are difficult because they tend to be less flexible than is practical. I prefer to have a sense of direction and commit to it. The journey there is then shaped by various factors.

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  26. I plan some things carefully, other things I can be spontaneous about. But to get down to the important question, I'm not sure I'm feeling Cathy as a blond. Now a MadMen redhead, that's a whole other kettle of fish!

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  27. Maybe it's the engineering, but I like to plan a framework that allows some spontaneity. For vacations, I'll pick the place, the day-- and have a notebook with several choices of what to do that day. Same with sewing (unless there's a deadline.)

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  28. I love the thought of planning, it just isn't my best thing. LOL
    Instead, I give myself a due date. I find that I accomplish more if I have accountability. Sew-a-longs work for me because they are a block of time set aside with a beginning and an end and they are pretty much free-form in the middle. Kind of the best of both worlds.

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  29. I plan at the extremes, very long-term, and very NOW!

    The idea of a vacation with an itinerary down to the minute seems as painful as prescribed. My life is NOT prescribed.

    There is a kindred understanding with the way this blog happens.

    I bounce around, observe, suddenly I'm doing something, and then I'm bouncing around again.

    Testosterone

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  30. OH!

    Cathy needs to venture into "up-doo" territory this summer - whatever the color she chooses. Though aren't strawberry blondes overdue a turn in the lime light?

    Testosterone

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  31. I'll act like I plan, then ignore the plans and do what I feel like at the moment.

    While I was living in Germany, the guy at our local train station was also a travel agent.
    He would have all these amazing last minute hotel/train ticked deals. So when ever I had a 3 or 4 day weekend I would see what he had on special and hop a train.
    I had some of the most amazing adventures this way :)

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  32. In my professional life? Very focused, very structered. Project management is a specialty.

    But I have a hard time setting completion dates for my sewing projects since doing that turns them into work assignments for me. I'm usually pretty spontaneous about what I choose to start and I like getting wrapped up in the details to make each item special.

    I don't know, ask this question in 6 months and I'll probably have my act together...

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  33. I am an excellent planner. I'm just a poor follower-througher! Though my lack of sewing lately is more a measure of tiredness and illness than anything. And I rarely truly sit down and plan things I write because I don't write well from outlines. That goes for most creative things for me. I plan well enough to obtain materials that I need for such-and-such a pattern, but not well enough to have things planned out months in advance.

    On a different note--are you doing the PR vintage contest this year, Peter?

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  34. I like calm and hate chaos, so I am definitely a planner. I don't like to just get up and go on a vacation. I like something to look forward to, and I like everything done so there are no problems or hassles.

    I went on vacation with a friend who doesn't plan anything, and to be honest, it was just too erratic.
    She forgot so many things, was completely disorganized, and I ended up fixing the mistakes, so it wasn't such a great holiday for me.

    I really don't plan sewing, if I want to make something, I will buy the fabric. However, I am now seeing a disadvantage to that because I have acquired quite a few childrens' vintage patterns that I am excited about, and because I don't have a fabric stash, I can't work on anything when I want.

    I saw a guy on youtube, who had a double wardrobe full of fabric hanging off hangers. I could just go wild with my imagination, but right now I have only 4 yards of a particular fabric. Very sad.

    Oh, about Cathy, I think she does need a softer hair style, and does Cathy have any other friends, or do you have any other relatives that we might get to meet later on?

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  35. I'm a spontaneous type myself. And I can absolutely relate to the vacation thing. With kids you are supposed to have all their summer camp plans mapped out six months in advance (at least). I would like to ship them off when I get sick of them and keep then around when I need someone to play board games with. So I'm forced to write plans on ink on the calendar and then it seems like the whole summer is chopped up instead of a long, lazy escape from Winter. I guess that's my approach to sewing too. I have a ton of ideas, but I basically make what I feeling like at that moment.

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  36. Long-time reader, first-time commenter! Bec. this topic is dear to my heart. I am super-mega planny pants! I find it fun. Planning strings out the best parts, esp. (as others noted) for vacations. I *love* researching a trip, virtually exploring different options, learning the history of an exotic locale, not to mention hunting down the best airfares, in the months (& yes, up to a year) before going. The vacation itself may only be a few weeks, but the research & planning can last for ages, so I have more to enjoy.

    Same goes w/a sewing project. Since I do a lot of historical costuming, I will research the era, get all Method Acting about it & try to understand why X was worn that way, why this material was used that way, blah blah blah. All the while, I'm searching for the perfect fabrics & trims (which, for me, is harder bec. I don't have the NY or LA garment districts nearby; have to do a lot of online shopping, which takes longer). And then, the sewing, & I'm naturally slow at that.

    Of course, every now & then I get a wild hair to make a whole new outfit in one week. But that kinda kills me to do!

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  37. Oy!

    Right now, my husband is planning (and planning and planning) his father's 90th birthday. It's driving me nuts, the obsessive attention to detail, but I know that, in this case, it's absolutely essential.

    Overall, I think I do best with a general plan that allows for flexibility and last-minute changes. And that applies to work, sewing, cooking, gardening, travel, etc....

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  38. I'm a planner AND a bounce-arounder! Planner for long term concepts like travel (so I can look forward to it, always part of the fun) but on a day-to-day basis, I prefer to bounce around.

    As far as sewing, I do better if I wait for the pattern and fabric to "speak" to me. Trying to force a project before its time or before I'm properly inspired almost always results in failure. Buying fabric for particular projects rarely works either unless it's something very specific -- like denim for jeans!

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  39. Hmmm, I don't know. I have goals and I work toward them, but I never like to lock myself into too rigid a schedule or plan. It limits the possibilities of what could be.

    Since I generally post what I am sewing/baking/thinking about/etc, there is little advance planning other than the planning that would go into thinking about those project.

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  40. You all sound so balanced...it's annoying! LOL

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  41. Peter I like the organic way that you blog and I don't think it confuses anyone. With my own blog my only goal was to blog once a week and keep it sewing related. At the moment I can't do that so I try to blog when I can.
    I once told a long time friend that I would drive up the coast to see him, thinking I would take it easy and get there when I got there.(I had an open invitation to visit.) NO, he wanted to know every detail of when I would come, where I was stopping, what time I would arrive...to cut a long story short I didn't go. I found he was so controlling our friendship ended soon after.

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  42. a lil planning without sticking to it is ok:) a lil spontaneous nature to replace just the things you were planning to do is the perfect recipe for me! My greatest vacation- a tour through at least 10 countries in Europe- I planned 2 weeks before it happened and it was unforgettable! Designing my clothes is something I couldn't plan if I tried!

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  43. I love the random nature of your blog too - don't plan on doing anything different!

    I have decided I am not a sewing-with-a-plan person. Probably because it is too much like work! I think planning takes a lot of the enjoyment out of it for me, I like to think of an idea and execute it soon, before I tire of it!

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  44. Interesting question, and some interesting answers! I guess I'm a bit of both, though more planner than spontaneous. I like having a rough plan for my life (like, when I'd like to have children and what kind of doctor I'd like to be) and some things require planning (I had apply for a traineeship in NZ about a year before I went there, and started saving money for it at about the same time, too). I also have some garments on my to-sew-list at any given time, but which one I chose next, and even if it's one from the list or something else? Spontaneous decision. I blog spontaneously, too. :)

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  45. A friend once told me about her five year plan and I couldn't believe what I was hearing - I hadn't ever considered planning ahead in my whole life. I felt like I was missing out, but then I thought about it and realised that if I planned ahead, I would always be under pressure to achieve that plan and I hate being under pressure to the point where I cannot achieve anything, if that makes sense. I suppose you have already guessed that I detest planning ahead and just go with the flow. It works for me anyway. Each to their own. x :)

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  46. I plan within reason. Not to the day, but to the week seems doable. I also make sure I commit. Like when I did my Man Month on my blog. Worked real hard on that content even though my readership fell way off (thanks google analytics). I could have stopped, but it was more of making a promise to myself to finish it than to anyone else.

    I feel setting and staying by plans/commitments I set for myself trump others expectations of what I do in all aspects of life.

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  47. I am totally spontaneous. I plan nothing. I have a millinery blog (hand sewing but on hats). I never plan in advance. As a matter of fact I'm more creative under pressure. I've always believed that there are certain things that should be taken care of--food, lodging, retirement, etc., and I take the attitude of "JUST DO IT." No stress, just live. It worked for me, but I must admit that this is not for everyone; thank goodness!.

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  48. Wow, posts planned weeks in advance? That's crazy! I used to be impressed with people who blogged every single morning at 7am...and then I realized there's such a thing as scheduling posts.

    I'm not a planner; the past 10 years have pretty much been on the fly and it's been a great decade. I never know what I'm going to want to do in 6 months and that's okay with me. The closest thing I have to a sewing schedule is participating in the Colette Patterns spring challenge (oh, and I'm *still* not done even though the end date was end of March!). I get distracted by other projects here and there. I'm trying to use my fairly new blog to keep me on track with projects I start, but at this point I don't blog so often that I have any kind of blogging schedule.

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  49. I just want to answer the question about Cathy's look. On the blog it looks as if her hair is black. I like the dark look- How about brunette w/ highlights?

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  50. I never plan ahead. If I already spent time planning it all out, why bother doing it? There won't be any surprises. How dull.

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  51. Definitely a planner about most things. It gives me structure, which I crave. For sewing, not so much, but for life stuff like vacations I definitely plan.

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  52. I put myself more in the "disciplined and organized" category more than planning. It's necessary or I end up wasting vast amounts of time. I do decide projects in advance, but I don't marry myself to them and I'm not afraid to change it all. Maybe I'm a disciplined, flexible planner.

    When it comes to traveling, I like to pack a few things, get on a plane or a train and disappear for a while. No plans, little money. That's the way to invite serendipity into your life.

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  53. I don't plan what I will blog - I just let it happen, but it is easy to find inspiration when you sew quickly or just like to lust after new patterns.


    I sometimes plan my sewing, but just as often I make whatever seems like fun or I just want to make. In life, though, I do a lot of planning as a teacher and mom of four. My husband and I do a lot of schedule juggling. I'm tight with Google Calendar...

    As for traveling, planning a trip is my favorite part. I've always been like that, but traveling with kids is NOT a spontaneous affair, so If I want it to work and minimize my stress, I must plan.

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  54. Great post Peter...I'm more on the spontaneous side too w/ and idea of what I want to blog about and when. But if I do plan out something I don't like to go overboard, over thinking about what's next as that takes the fun right out of things for me. I do, however like that I have the option to post ahead which came in handy for me when I was relocating back home here to the US...but other than that I like to enjoy my life and planning too deeply for me is just no fun...apropos, you are so fortunate to live a few blocks away from the garment district :D

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  55. I love your blog just the way it is.
    And belated happy birthday!

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  56. Lol, I'm mostly "fly by the seat of my pants" but it makes life interesting and the advantage is you learn to assess and make decisions quickly because if you make the wrong one you're buggered! I do like my work areas tidy though and items in the storage place alloted to them.

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  57. I try for the 'Zen middle path' a little bit of organizing- (lists help) and a little come what may.
    As far as posts go I try for once a week. I write them, let them 'brew' for a few hours and then post.
    For sewing it's just grab some fabric and cut...planning after.(!)

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  58. No plannin' goin' on here...

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  59. I love planning and making lists and organizing etc! However, I have a 1.5 yr old and a 3 yr old so most of my plans are in vain. I do enjoy going with the flow most days, as long as there is some structure within reason: Mon & Wed are storytime at the library, but the rest of the days are undecided. Tues/Thurs I like to get some sewing done at some point in the day.

    My sewing projects are def planned out, partly because I like planning, but partially because I don't buy a pattern or fabric unless there is a reason due to our budget. But I do have a list of about 30 projects to do, that I need to get started on! :)

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  60. I'm a chaotic planner that bounces around for no good reason. I plan all the time, but I can't seem to actually get things done in a planned fashion. I guess I'm a hybrid.

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  61. Hmmmm, this is interesting because I always sort of thought of myself as a planner, but I realize I don't (usually) put deadlines on my plans.

    My blog is relatively new (not even a month old yet...) so I have a lot of post ideas, which I have written down in a list of stuff I think would be cool to post about, but a lot of it is old projects that I want to put up or sewing book reviews or things of that nature. I schedule when my posts go up, so I can change/add things after I write them, but usually I only write something 1-3 days in advance at most (because I don't want 5 posts in one day!), and usually I write on the day of with posting time delayed a few hours. I think once my collection of finished projects gets reviewed and posted, my posts will be a lot more spontaneous and up-to-date. Also, I am going to vote for keeping the randomness of whatever is happening for MPB - I never know what I am going to get and I like it that way. It makes me do strange things like digging out The Sound of Music and pondering the wonders of stretch taffeta.

    With my sewing projects - I guess I am a bit of a planner, but not like a scheduled one. I have a list of stuff that I want to make, but I move stuff around on the list as the fancy strikes me. I mean, don't you all have visions dancing in your head of the fabulous things you want to make? I get so many visions of projects I want do do, so I keep a list, even though I know I won't make most of these things for quite some time. Writing stuff down helps me remember why I was excited about a fabric or pattern in the first place. It also keeps me from obsessing over it in my brain. But I don't really have deadlines for my actual sewing. Until, you know, I need a dress for an event in a month and a half and I *have* to get it done.

    I suppose the exception to everything is with sewing roller skating costumes. I don't want to admit how large of a stash of stretch fabric I have, but let's just say I have enough to make quite a few costumes for quite a few years to come (in my defense - we used to have 2 skaters in the family, so I inherited a lot of fabric that wasn't originally mine). Since we have competitions in summer, I start in January making a few practice dresses (practice sewing the styles I want and then I use them for actual skating practice). After I feel confident, I make 2 competition dresses, which hopefully get sewn by the end of March so I can spend the next several months adding sequins and rhinestones and all the fun bits of sparkle. And, well, to be honest I have a lot of dress ideas sketched and planned with notations on rhinestone colors and sizes to go with the fabric I have stashed away. But in my defense I don't usually pick which fabric/dress I want to make until January. So, you know, I sort of keep it spontaneous that way. And sometimes I find new fabric that simply *must* be used right now because it is the most fabulous thing I ever saw. But yeah, since these dresses get worn multiple times for various competitions and events, I plan them out well in advance. However, I have, on occasion, done some marvelous stashbusting to produce a dress made entirely out of leftover fabric and rhinestones. Might be one of my proudest creations. So there is something to be said for spontaneity.

    As for vacations - well, mine are all centered around skating events, so they get pretty well planned out for me. Event times, practice times, etc, etc. all make it onto my calendar. I do try to find time to do spontaneous things like eating, sleeping, and fabric shopping in marvelous, exotic, and fabulous cities of Fresno, Peoria, Omaha, Lincoln, Pensacola, and maybe hopefully Fort Wayne.

    So, overall, I dunno. Since most of my planning is related to day-dreamy type stuff like skating costumes and possible sewing projects and not so much scheduling my life, I suppose I am more of an "abstract planner"?

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  62. Boioioioioioioing!

    I am a bounce-arounder!

    What is a V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N? When I find out, I must tell my husband about it.

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  63. When I'm planning a holiday, I decide on a destination and then buy my plane ticket and travel insurance. I book my hotel just before I leave- like the day before! and get the best possible rate. My activities on holiday are entirely serindipitous. That's how it's spelled in my neighbourhood, in case you were wondering. I mean, I have a pretty good idea what I'll be doing day by day when I'm *not* on holiday, so it seems to me that the whole point of holidays is to have days filled with surprises and unimagined opportunities.
    As for jeans sewalongs and the like- well, I'm sure everyone already has jeans, so what's the rush? Probably most people are still trying to find the perfect denim, anyway. If Cathy's need for cocktail dresses is more pressing, who would deny her, after what she's been through?

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  64. For me, planning is also known as day-dreaming. I plan all sorts of outfits, match fabric to patterns, track down bits I need, and then go an do something completely else with the fabric or get carried away with a new project. It's the journey that counts, right?

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  65. Please don't start planning out this blog weeks or months in advance! It'd get hideously boring and lose all its charm. People who're confused by the dis/appearances of machines or Cathy can just go read a well-planned-out blog and leave us alone.

    My life's totally unplanned. That is, I can pick a couple things that I'd like and work at them in a general sort of way. But that's not entirely planning, if you see what I mean. And apart from that, I loathe planning fun stuff. Daydreaming about vacations isn't buying a ticket 6 months ahead of time. Wishing for a grand wardrobe isn't signing up for one of those oppressive 27-items SWAP.

    I had a bit of self-flogging last week about buying too much fabric (=not enough time to sew, usually) and inappropriate fabric. I think that's kind of down to living in a place where I don't have access to good stuff easily. When I lived in SF, I could pretty much get my hands on anything I wanted whenever I wanted, so I didn't stress about it. Now I feel like I have to grab stuff whenever it comes by, and that leads to disorganization, and stash. Well, I'm over that mood, I'll just purge once in a while and get over it, it makes friends happy to get a little present. It's better than feeling like I can't buy fabric ever again because I have a duty to sew everything I have been foolish enough to buy. At least I don't usually spend serious money :-).

    Anyway, my conclusion: spontaneity is the spice of life.

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  66. Oh, I'm a bounce-arounder (isn't it obvious?! - how else would I have found this blog...?). It's certainly important to have some direction and focus, but you also need to be able to leap on that unusual, unanticipated opportunity when it arises. As my dear old ma used to say 'luck favours the prepared mind'. And to paraphrase the wonderful Erin McKean (whose blog, A Dress A Day, should also be compulsory reading for all MPB fans) serendipity is when you find great stuff cos it's so damn hard finding what you're actually looking for. I rest my case!

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  67. "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon in "Dear Boy"
    Children and pets need structure to feel secure and I think grown people do also. For instance, a relationship with absolutely no structure just make me pissed off all the time.
    So my point of view is that basic structure is supportive and allows me to go with the flow with other things. Your blog is a very structured way of communicating which gives you a choice of planning ahead or writing to your adoring fans off the cuff. The operant word here is choice. If you have a fabric stash you are a planner - maybe a part time planner.
    Cathy, our much loved fashion plate, doesn't need an actual makeover as much as the "seasonal update.' A little blond streak here and there would be so chic and I can hardly wait to see her summer fashion. Let's hope she doesn't have any sudden departures to far off places - she gives us girls some inspiration ...
    That's all from the left coast.

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  68. Oh Peter, we are kindred spirits. I am so not a planner. Sometimes I have no idea what I'll be blogging about till after I take a picture. I have no idea what I'll be sewing until it catches my eye and even then I'm known to chance my mind at the first glimmer of anything sparkly - or not.

    The downside is I have about 20+ unfinished projects and a sewing room that is in total chaos. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

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