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. J. Spinazzola says:

    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.


    • Jennifer says:

      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. Jeff says:

    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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