Or you could revel in your beginner’s mind and see what new techniques you discover before getting…

It depends! I have one manuscript in progress (my first) that’s been extensively outlined to the point where I know exactly what’s going to happen and when (if not quite exactly how — the characters make that stuff happen as they develop). Then I have a second, entirely unexpected manuscript in progress that’s just writing itself and I don’t really know where it’s coming from — I have a loose idea of what kind of actual narrative-with-plot it can eventually be shaped into, but no intention of putting it into that box for a while yet.

I know a lot of writers feel first efforts especially can benefit from a more structured approach lest they feel really overwhelmed.