Writing Lists

At a meeting recently, the person beside me pulled out a handwritten list and flipped it over a few times, reading. Because I’m me, I naturally tried to read that list. In between crossed out items, I read fold laundry.

A serious list-writer myself, that particular chore has appeared numerous times on my lists, along with buy cooking oil and go to dump. Isn’t a list a written map, in some ways, of who we are? Years ago, in between buy toilet paper and teach Molly to read, I had  find publisher for novel. I’ve now crossed that item off my list, and now, simply, on every list I begin is write every day. While lists are inherently interesting, what may be more interesting is what doesn’t make lists. For years, while my marriage was disintegrating, I likely should have written either fix this or file divorce papers.

At this point, in my forties, I’d far prefer my lists to read write and fold laundry. I would have scoffed at that simple normalcy in my twenties, but now – a little more steady everydayness goes a very long way. That’s one more reason to savor homemade pickles – although here I am, writing, among veritable mounds of unfolded laundry…..

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.

– Alice Walker


Woodbury, Vermont

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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4 Responses to Writing Lists

  1. Kristin Plante says:

    Recently I’ve begun writing lists of daily accomplishments, no matter how mundane, which seems to create much greater satisfaction than crossing things off my chore list, and offers super opportunty for reflection at the end of the day. I do love handwritten lists and notes.

  2. Me, too! It’s all part of that hand-made world that really trumps the plastic one. 🙂

  3. Ben Hewitt says:

    I like to make lists of things I’ve already done, just so I can cross them off. It’s really satisfying.

    PS: I’m sure this is indicative of a deep character flaw.

  4. I’m sharing that character flaw….

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