I’ve had to learn this the hard way. Lil Kim said, “ Money, power and respect is the key to life.” I say an outline is the key to successful writing.
Sitting down to create your first piece of work, whether it is a novel, short story, or even a children's book, can be an overwhelming task. Thankfully, there is a way for you to stay coordinated as you write, provide a sense of direction for your story, and even help you write faster. Starting with an outline for your story can be the difference between an award-winning piece of work and a disorganized mess.
When you begin your story with an outline, you are likely setting yourself up to write faster. This is because you don't have to play the guessing game of, "What comes next?" You'll have a clear idea of which thoughts are to follow what ideas and it will flow much more easily. An outline can also help you save time on editing since you'll be writing with a plan as opposed to allowing whatever pops into your head, onto the paper. With that being said, writing with an outline doesn't mean you can't be spontaneous. You can still allow your creativity to flow, and you can still change your mind whenever you'd like.
One of the best aspects of writing with an outline is that you'll allow yourself to catch any accidental foreshadowing. This is a common error made among new writers (and veteran writers as well), however, the difference between the two is that veteran writers typically use outlines to plan ahead! Finally, using an outline means you'll have less of a chance to develop writer's block since you're allowing your creativity to flow freely.