The question says it all – are you a big picture person or a detail person? Which one comes more naturally to you?
I don’t know about you, but for me, it depends on where I am in the process. When I’m starting a project, I’m totally a big picture person. Planning a trip? I’m all about where we can go and when, comparing how much it will cost to drive or fly, thinking through all the options from the top down.
But once I’ve started a course of action, I love getting immersed in the details. I love spreadsheets and numbers and formulas. I love balancing my checkbook! LOL! If I find a discrepancy, I find it hard to stop until I’ve cleared it up. I can’t sleep if I’m in the middle of a Sudoku puzzle at bedtime.
I hate to admit it, but I’ve not been the best employee at times when I had to be able to go back and forth between the big picture and the details. I get so focused on details that I find it hard to pull back if there isn’t a lot of time.
On the other hand, I also hate to admit that I find it difficult to delegate to people unless I know they are detail-oriented. I tend to have high standards when it comes to details and I get cranky if people don’t follow through in the same way I would.
Okay, so there are some of the areas I’m weak in, but what am I good at? Which area am I best at? I’ve not read about the psychology of this topic, and I haven’t taken a test that I remember tested me in this area, but in my opinion I’m good at both. I think that’s what helps me to be a good writer. I start at the top with the big picture and work my way down to the details of writing and editing the book, even focusing in the end on punctuation.
What about you? Are you better at one than the other? How do you think that helps or hurts your writing? Let me know. I’m really curious about how other people think.