Time To Get Serious

I’m an obsessive list maker. It’s something that I just cannot help doing. My brain functions better when I have a list of tasks to complete.

  • A list keeps me focused (most of the time).
  • Lists help me to remember things I need to do or things I need to buy. I’m over 40 and my memory, along with my eyesight, just isn’t the same as it was twenty years ago.
  • Lists keep me on track with my goals.
  • I make lists on a daily basis.

Today, I made a list of current writing projects that I have in the works. I’ve known for a long time that I want to earn a living, or at least supplement my income with my writing. My current occupation should (if it’s not already) be on a list of the top shittiest jobs in America, and the pay scale keeps going in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, what I thought was going to be a career that would sustain me until retirement has turned out to be a dead-end job.

It’s time for a change. It’s time to get serious about writing.

Here is my list of current projects:

  • Short story: Romance  – around 800 words. Currently working on the first draft. Goal: Submit for publication
  • Short story: Romance – around 800 words. I haven’t started this one yet but know what it’s about. Goal: Submit for publication.
  • Short story: Horror – around 4000 words. Haven’t started but have the basic idea down. Goal: This will be entered in the Writer’s Digest Horror competition (deadline October 15th)
  • Novel: Romance (85,000 to 100,000 words). Reworking a novel I started a couple of months ago. It’s just in the beginning stages, so I haven’t gotten far with it yet. Goal: To complete and submit for publication.

This is a doable list that’s not overwhelming. For each completed story I cross off the list, I will add a new project. The idea is to be constantly writing, getting better at it, completing projects and start submitting them for publication. I know my stuff may never get published, but I have to try, don’t I?

So, what about you? Do you keep lists? Or do you find you’re more productive doing things on the fly?

5 thoughts on “Time To Get Serious

  1. Sometimes my lists become an end to themselves, and finished writing happens more spontaneously, but there’s certainly something pleasurable about making lists. Plus you never know when a listed project might come to life.


    1. I wish I could be more spontaneous – in life and in my writing. I may not always do what’s on my list, but I do get a certain satisfaction from the sense of direction and purpose a list can provide.


  2. Not to be clever, but it might be fun to start by making a spontaneous list.

    You know, I found this post compelling because I happened to write a spontaneous piece of flash fiction just before visiting here. The kind of thing that came to me, and I had to set it down even though it meant pulling over and writing in my car. It was kind of a thrill to see it through. Then I saw your timely questions, and they kind of gave a narrative to my day.


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