I’ve always been a pretty hardcore pantser. In fact, I used to boast about it quite a bit. But when you take a year off from writing, your writing muscles atrophy. You have to relearn a lot of what was already automatic.
I think for me, it was less that I didn’t plan, but that the process I used was so automatic that I could hold it in my head. When I came back to writing, I found that I couldn’t do that with any kind of success anymore. So I spent a good couple weeks rereading writing books I’d read before, and picked up a couple new ones recommended by other authors to me.
So maybe my process has changed a little. I realized this may be the case as I was prepping for NaNoWriMo, and figuring out the story I wanted to tell in November. I don’t know how much yet, just know that it’s different.
But different isn’t bad. It’s different. It doesn’t mean that I won’t love the process any less. But maybe I might love it more? I don’t know yet. Let’s see how it goes.