April 13, 2011

Lists of Lists

What would I do without lists?

I love lists.

Not only do they keep me organized and make sure I don't forget things, they also give me a sense of accomplishment.  There's nothing like checking things off your list to make you feel like you're being productive.  Sometimes I put things on my list like get up or brush teeth just so I can check them off right away and feel like I'm off to a good start :)

The thing is, I have so much to do in so many different areas that I really need several lists.  Which leads to needing a list of my lists.  I am pretty organized (assuming I haven't imbibed too much caffeine...)

but I am not tidy.  Seriously, look at my desk

When it comes to writing, though, the lists are of limited use.  It's all well and good to have a list that says:
1. Write an early reader about a boy.
2. Write a chapter of current novel-in-progress (I guess that's a N.I.P.?)
3. Write a picture book about baseball

It's quite another thing to be able to accomplish that list.  It requires:
1. Coming up with viable ideas (not just anything, but something that will actually work and that people will want to read)
2. Actually doing the writing, which seems easy, but so isn't!
3. Ending up with work that will make it past:
     1. my agent
     2. an editor

in the midst of the housework list
1. scrub bathrooms
2. dust (yeah, right)
3. vacuum everything

and the schedule list
1. take dog to vet
2. pick up dry cleaning
3. go to child #2's game
4. take child #3 to the orthodontist
5. revisit colleges with child #1
oh, and I'm supposed to fit exercise in somewhere...

and the miscellaneous list
1. get car inspected
2. turn over flower beds
3. birthday present for Dad
4. fill out ENDLESS forms for kids' schools, camps, etc.
5. costume for child #3's play???!!!

and this is the short version.... :)

Here's the list I would like to check off this week:
1. Sell one of my currently circulating picture book mss (just one - I'm not greedy!)
2. Finish my N.I.P.
3. Write a new board book, picture book, or early reader that is a definite winner!

No one said the list had to be realistic.  And there's always that other list that starts out with
1. Keep dreaming!


  1. Lists are very important to me, too. They get me through my day even if they aren't written on paper, they're in my head! Great post!


  2. I'm not tidy either. I'm quite the opposite ;) Sometimes I wish I was just a little bit more fanatical about housework. LOL.

  3. This post made me smile. I used to do things-to-do lists before, but now I've given up and just make grocery lists :)

  4. Oh, yes, I completely relate!

    I am currently taking a course in Project Management and have been amused that so much of it is just writing good lists and then a good list of those lists! Thanks for the laugh. :)

  5. You are a woman after my own heart! I have lists upon lists upon lists. I also write things like "make list" on my list so I can mark it off. And I'm also drowning in things "to do"! We need some kind of committee to get stuff done for us so we can do the fun stuff!

  6. Love the final list. :) I'm far too disorganized to even have a shopping list. haha

  7. Hooray for lists! I need a list of my lists, too. :)

  8. I notice you say you 'check off' your lists. Does that mean a nice little neat tick at the end? I find a cross through the entire item on the list much more satisfying... :D

  9. Sometimes I do both - a neat tick AND a satisfying cross out - just feels that much more like progress :)


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