by mark neely
If you keep a “things to do” list, you know there is no magic moment when everything is checked off and you no longer have “things to do.”
If you ever have achieved this magic moment you are 1) unemployed, 2) childless, and 3) have a live-in chef/housekeeper. Or maybe you are just incredibly efficient and organized. If so, I don’t like you.
“Things to do” can get in the way of the things you want to do. These things are always an excellent excuse. Answering email or going to the grocery store are both easier and require less thought than writing chapter three. I have a friend who calls this (substituting one task for a harder task) “virtuous procrastination.”
Usually “things to do” come first–they are pressing, urgent, affect the lives of family and colleagues.
But if I let my to-do list stop me from writing for very long I become listless, angry, despairing, impossible, or some combination of the four.
Although it isn’t always possible, there are times when I put writing first, and the to-do list second, knowing I will pay for it later.
Here is a different kind of list. Things I do when I want to get my writing blood cells moving towards the brain. Read the rest of this entry »