The Order of Listing

The rigid idea of following an outline for my stories welllll gives me comfort. I may not follow an outline completely, but it's the order that I need in my writing and my life, but more about that later. An outline is a list and this makes sense for me considering I am not spontaneous in any way.

I could never be a pantster (not to insult the pantster writers out there because I love you), but I am a plotter and must (as much as possible) follow a list.

This concept is a part of my everyday life, making lists. When company is a comin', I make a detailed list of things to do, days and times I need to do them, a menu and a shopping list. During my summer break, I get a yellow legal pad (because I love legal pads with all my heart) and fill it with pages of to-do tasks. My huge lists taunt me, prevent me from relaxing and would challenge Superwoman, let alone an average person like me. (Wow, now that I see that written, I need to talk to my daughter the shrink.)

However, list making also helps my rainbow/butterfly chasing mind to be more organized. And don’t get me started on sticky notes either. I've had to have some serious inner dialogue, and mirror scolding, regarding my abuse of sticky notes. When you can't see yourself in the bathroom mirror because of a sea of yellow squares, a discussion is warranted.

This article from The Guardian says that we make lists to help reduce anxiety in planning our activities, and when the day is complete, we can feel accomplished as we mark something off the list.  

Warning! Warning! Don't let creating your lists become a way to procrastinate. Don't fall into that trap. It's lonely down there.


Additional Reading:


  1. Hi Teresa - yes that I can see re lists ... I make lists ... and used to be good at getting through them ... still not bad, but the memory holds me in good stead. I'd never write days and times to be done next to them ... that would be too much! But yes great post - to get us thinking ... cheers Hilary

  2. I don't make a lot of lists but I do outline and plan extensively.

  3. I am a list maker. And sometimes use them to whip myself. I have learned that I need to put at least one thing on the list that I KNOW I can cross off.


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