Back when I was in school, professors would periodically assign long papers, complete with outlines. My classmates and I had to turn in our outlines first. Unfortunately, my brain doesn't think in outlines.
I handled it the only way I could: backwards. I'd write the entire paper first, then go back and create the outline. On the bright side, I always finished those papers early. No outline due? Cool. I wrote those papers the night before they were due. My brain does think in deadlines.*
Over the years, I've learned to embrace the concept of structure. The trick is finding a structure that resonates. For example, when I wrote Creative Chai, the structure of the 18 ideas kept me focused. Numbers, whether they're clock deadlines or chapter headlines, work for me.
What structure works for you? If you have a 2013 resolution, did you build a structure into the plan?
If you're not sure where to start, consider a pre-existing structure. For example, Kate is taking and posting a photo every day, as part of a Project 365 adventure.
Let structure be the bones of your creative endeavor. Now build!
*Note to Mary: If you are reading this, do not consider your mother a good example. I was a slacker. You can do better.