I know it’s Thursday, but let’s just pretend, okay?
According to the internet, there are 1,024,109.8 words in the English language. I have no idea what .8 of a word might be, but still.
As a writer and an avid reader, I’d like to think I know a good chunk of those words—but I always get a little giddy when I discover a new word or phrase I haven’t heard before.
In the past week, I’ve heard the same new word not once, but twice. And just in case I’m not the last one to come across it, I figured I would make it this week’s #WordCrushWednesday.
What exactly is this phrase you might be wondering?
The way I’ve heard it used is, “he is pantsy” or “they are pantsers.”
Urban Dictionary defines pantsy as being over dominant in a situation, like a relationship, where someone “wears the pants.”
But the people I’ve heard using this phrase have had a different definition in mind. (Sorry, Urban Dictionary.) To them, a person being pantsy or a pantser refers to their attitude of flying by the seat of their pants.
I can see how the term relates to writing—not everyone has a detailed outline of the plot or an extensive idea of what the internal struggle might be for each of their characters before they sit down to write.
It also relates to advertising—there are people who literally write out everything they are going to say in a creative presentation, rehearsing until it’s almost memorized. And there are others who totally wing it.
Personally, I do my best when I’m part pantsy and part planned. With writing, I always start with an outline but try to go with the flow after that, seeing where the characters and their story takes me. And in advertising, I find that a similar balance works best—I usually write a few notes about points I want to make or things I want to say, and let the rest happen naturally.
I even have an element of pantsyness in my social life. Much to the chagrin of my planning friends, I like to play things a bit by ear. Do I want to go see an awesome band that’s playing in three weeks? Absolutely. Do I want to have dinner before? Maybe. I am a pantser after all…
Are you a pantser?