True confession: I used to laugh at my mother for her constant list-making. She loved those long, narrow “list-size” tablets.
There was always a grocery list in our kitchen, of course. But she’d keep lists of all sorts of things right there on the counter, too. It was a place to jot down things to do. People to call. Random thoughts and musings.
As a kid, I confess, I used to snicker. But as I grew older, I became a total list convert. Now I’m a world-class fan. Because lists are powerful.
Yeah, I know it’s that time of year. But I don’t mean your average “New Year’s Resolution”-type list. Yeah, scratch that. Average life-expectancy of a typical Resolution list: precisely 2.3 seconds. File those lists under “wishes,” “dreams,” and “when I win the lottery.”
But in practical life, and especially when it comes to writing, a list is King-Kong powerful. Here’s why:
- A list forces you to concentrate.
- It makes you clearly identify ideas and options.
- It allows you to prioritize among those options.
- It helps you identify specific “actionables.”
- It encourages you to target your future activity to those actionable goals.
(And ahem. Did you catch what I just did there? A list is quick, succinct way to share ideas, too!)
When I say King-Kong powerful, I mean it. I’ve written dozens of books, now. Without lists, I’m positive I wouldn’t have finished a single one.
Lists are my secret weapon. And they can be your secret weapon for finishing your memoir, too!
Three Tips for Putting Lists to Work For You:
(1) Make a list of three family stories you really want to include in your memoir. Then put a star by the one that’s calling you the most to write it first.
(2) Make a list of the two or three biggest excuses you find for not writing. Then after each one, identify a solution. Maybe you’ll have time to write on Tuesday of next week. (Put it on the calendar!) Maybe you’re slow at typing, but can dictate and get the recording transcribed. You get the idea.
(3) Make a list of “road-block” hurdles. What’s totally stumping you? Have you hit a genealogical brick wall? Clueless on how to turn your manuscript into book form? Identify the specific challenge, and then list two or three steps that might get you past it. Maybe you can hire a professional genealogist. Maybe there’s a class that can help you learn self-publishing. What would a solution look like, and most important of all, what are three steps you can take now that will lead you there?
Hope you make lists your Best-Friend-Forever, too!