I used to be a pantser. I admit it. It worked for me, kept the creative juices flowing, and really...well, this is a little tougher to admit, but...I didn't know better. I started writing my first story when I was thirteen. You know, just to prove I could actually create an entire story from beginning to end. Back then I had no idea there was any such thing as outlining and developing characters and all that.
That way of writing took me all the way into my late twenties, and the birth of my second child. And slowly, as my lifestyle changed, so did my approach to writing. I got more organized around the house, and all the sudden I needed to give my characters a goal, some motivation. I started making grocery lists and organizing my pantry, and all the sudden I had to have plot points. And then, bam! I had my third child, starting making chore lists and doing my laundry on the same day every week, and I had to have everything plotted and my stories planned as much as possible.
I might have been a pantser by nature, but being a plotter became a habit - like so many other things in my life. I think it suits me because that's the kind of person I am. I like to have a plan, a goal, a path. And sure, spontaneity is fun, too, and I don't like to squelch my creativity, but plotting is the way I like to do it now.
Have you always written the way you do now or has your style changed over the years? Do you think plotting or writing by the seat of your pants comes naturally or develops because of your personality?