I'm a list-maker. I think it's in my genes, and my sister's, too. My calendar has an 8 1/2 x 11" page for every three days, and they are FILLED! I list the phone calls I have to make each day, the stops in the car, the correspondence, etc.
The only thing I don't put in there is the grocery list. I have a separate sheet for that. I guess you can tell I don't bother with a Blackberry - it would take me way too long to enter the items and I couldn't read three days all at once.
A long time ago I began to keep an open notebook for lists of things that pop into my head. Sometimes I write down a great-sounding phrase, or a page reference for a really unique idea that I just read. Sometimes I jump up in the middle of the night and creep into the kitchen to jot things down. I don't turn on any lights till I get there, so I won't wake Charley. When we're on trips, I record the restaurants where we had a great meal, or where we should return to a hotel, or even where we might go on our next trip!
My list-making turned into journal-keeping. That's how my first book got published, MINOR LEAGUE MOM. I kept journals of everything that happened to our two sons while they were playing pro ball with the Red Sox farm teams, as well as to Charley and me. Now that MINOR LEAGUE MOM is in print, I'll begin writing my next one about my elderly parents: all the funny, idiosyncratic things they did and the great relationship we had until I became their caregiver (and our roles reversed). All of those stories are in journals waiting to be put into a framework.
I have also started a journal about the tennis team I am on in South Florida. We play interclub matches from late September till middle of May. If I ever produce a book on that subject, it could be a soap opera! Some of my teammates are now feeding me material.
Here's the point: it's easier for me to write from notes than to begin with a blank slate. And I like to write what I know about, since the reader will discern that the details are true. It makes the writing fun, not work, while I recollect the experience.
Here's another point, and it is a problem: I become obsessed with checking off the items on the list! That means I must see these tasks through to conclusion, whether it's phone calls, grocery-shopping, or emails. Now in the case of writing, self-discipline is a good thing. To a point. I write till I get too hungry or too tired. Sometimes a month goes by and I haven't relaxed by the pool with a book or sat at the ocean (right outside our window!). That's when Charley says, "It's time to go to a movie!"
In addition to writing the second book, I'm still marketing the first. Check out MINOR LEAGUE MOM's website for an idea of things I've been up to: www.minorleaguemom.net. Plus I've got other stuff I still want to accomplish. But that's another list I've started in my head!
- Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
- Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.