Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why I've been making lists

There’s more to my life than my mom and two ex-boyfriends.

Those were the first essays I wrote. Now I'm at a loss for ideas, essay-wise.

I came across a statement: “Having ideas doesn’t make you a writer.” There have been so many times I’ve had ideas — especially while walking Papa — only to never put them to paper. "Ideas" can feel promising or intimidating, depending on the kind of mood I'm in.

What does it mean to say, “I have no idea”?

To avoid lingering too long at my pity party, I cracked open my Listography journal, a gift my friend Linda gave me. She always encourages me to write. I'm not exaggerating: I have a post-it from her on my fridge that says, "Keep traveling. Keep writing."

I started with the easy lists: cars I’ve owned (only two), places I’ve lived (many), favorite movies and games (surprisingly, not a long list).

As soon as I got stumped, I moved on. Bucket list, regrets, personality flaws — those I'll save for another time.

I recognize that the lists themselves are a form of procrastination. But as long as I keep the pen moving, I feel like I'm doing something tangible. If only the writing part of writing wasn't so hard.

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