It's pretty clear that before sitting down and writing an article, essay, or story, we have a roughly defined map of what we want to do; sometimes we visualize a clear structure divided by the points we want to discuss, but most of the time we just have a vague idea that takes shape on its own as we start writing, a process that is far more creative but sometimes too chaotic, for words sometimes have a life of their own and we, inevitably, end up going off-topic.
My question is, what is your approach to make sure your writing process is structured, organized, and to the point? Do you make a list of the items you want to discuss? Or perhaps you're the type that relies on drafts? I'm a bit of a messy writer, the kind that lets words guide the way, so I'm really open to advise on how to be neater during my work. Thank you!