Working on novel # 3, the first being an absolute bust, the second getting very close to publication (Speaking positive here) I'm learning that I don't always learn my lessons the first time through.
Not that I'm thick headed, more like stubborn. I want to believe I can be like all those writers whose plot lines, character development, sub plots and nifty twists at the end of the story get spun out of thin air like Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold. My straw doesn't turn into gold, it's still straw. Dang.
So with the realization that I'm not like all those fancy pants writers, I went back to the drawing board, took my bare bones outline for book #3 and spent a few days fleshing out the background, jotting down ideas and just generally brainstorming. Then I re-wrote the outline, giving it more detail and depth, not just leaving it up to guesswork on how to get from scene 1 to scene 2.
Amazing, but true, I then went on to writing the thing and miracle of miracles, no brain freeze, writers block or freaking straw. I started to spin out some gold. Maybe not 24k, but gold nonetheless. So that's what I learned about outlining, you have to do it, it will help, it will make the writing go easier. And this is only the second time I had to learn this lesson. Not bad, not bad at all.