Lists

I am a compulsive list-maker. I write lists EVERY DAY. Things I need to do. Things I need to remember for later. Magic decks I want to make. Brilliant writing ideas I need to get to after the WIP is done. Cookie and gift lists (specifically at Christmas time). Things I need to take with me when I go on vacation. Things I need to talk about with the call center manager.

Some of this is borne of necessity; if I write it down, I will remember. If I don’t, forget it. I’ll admit that some of this lack of memory is self-imposed. My focus is quixotic yet when it kicks in, it is a hell-bent force; my sense of the time required to finish a task is unrealistic, and I prefer distraction to completion sometimes. The problem with all these lists is that I get such a sense of accomplishment from writing the damn list (especially because I’ll often include the things I’ve already done just to cross them off) that I don’t always accomplish everything on it. The list itself feels like an accomplishment, bringing order to the chaos in my head. Either that, or the list is so long, it’s overwhelming, which is where I am right now. I’m staring at my current to-do list and as much as I want to see it full of eliminated tasks, I really don’t want to do any of them. (Well, with the exception of one or two pleasurable “work” items, like writing this blog post, working on the WIP, and finishing a couple of books.) There are a great many things I need to do while I’m at home and it’s quiet (except for the blaring Billy Joel in the background), but I seem to lack the desire. I know I’ll regret it later if I plop myself down on the couch with one of the books on my list, or if I just zone out and start writing to kill a few hours.

But then again, maybe not. Maybe I’ll just get the laundry in and set the timer on the dishwasher so they’ll run back to back without needing my attention and just spend some time with my WIP. That’s accomplishing three things I can cross off all at once, right?

Here’s to another line through a bullet-pointed item. I’ll see you on the other side of a completed short…and maybe a finished chapter in one of the books on my list.

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