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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why Writers Need Lists

Writers....they're free spirits that blow where the winds of creativity take them. Right?


You can be as free a spirit as you like when you're writing. [Didn't the Muffin just run a post about outlining a novel vs. writing by the seat of your pants?]But for most of us being a writer involves another job. Selling.

Sadly, free spirits aren't that great at selling. People with lists sell. I write. But I also sell my writing. I have many lists:

  1. The Daily To-Do List
  2. The Weekly To-Do List
  3. The Things-That-Are-Coming-Up List
  4. People to Interview for a Local Blog I Write
  5. Children's Agents to Contact for a Picture Book I Wrote
  6. New Markets I Want to Query
  7. Old Markets I Want to Query
  8. Ideas for Articles
  9. Ideas for Fiction
  10. Invoices I Need to Send
  11. Jobs I Haven't Been Paid for Yet
  12. Ideas for My Blog
All my lists are contained in a huge three ring binder. They're also online but I like to have them somewhere I can carry with bed, to the playground, on vacation. I think of it as "guilt to go". A small plastic boss that keeps saying, everytime I look at it, "What did you do today? Have you forgotten anything?" He's an annoying boss but effective.

I recommend lists for many reasons but mainly because it's too easy to forget things and MUCH easier to prioritize when you see everything written down(or listed on your computer). That and the satisfaction of crossing something off the list! Oh, the joy! Of course, you're always adding something new to the list but when you look at the lists at the end of the day and see the lines through some items it reminds you that in between running the kids to play dates, making supper, and answering emails you actually accomplished something.

Excuse me while I go cross "Muffin post for June 16" off my list.

Jodi Webb has a multitude of lists to help her accomplish her many jobs: organizing WOW Blog Tours, writing Schuylkill Matters and Words by Webb blogs, writing magazine articles, teaching writing workshops, writing books(sadly unpublished so far), and more. If you're interested in a WOW Blog Tour contact her at and she'll put you on the list!


  1. I fully believe in lists. I use them for writing, ideas, literary stuff. Also around the house stuff. If I don't write it down, I'll forget it! :)

  2. Yeah, I may be guilty of adding something I've already done to a list just so I can cross it off. What? It counts, right?

  3. I have lists--but they aren't all in one place. After reading this post I started a mental list of all the lists I should create. I hope I can find a binder large enough!!

  4. Anonymous8:42 PM

    I make lists so I can forget about everything I need to do EXCEPT check my to-do list.


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