Writing is hard for me. I'm a pantser, but not in a good way. While I like to write and see where things go, I really do need to know where I'm going. There are all kinds of great tools out there to help with plotting, like this, this, and this.
Which I'm mostly putting here so I can find them later when I need them :)
So far the most successful strategy I've found for myself is having a list of things I want to accomplish in the chapter and then writing with those ends in mind. It's not quite plotting (though having a plot structure in mind does help) but it's not so much freedom that what I end up with in the end is a pile of wretchedness wrapped in metaphor.