Listicles

Today is a day for listing.

Not the sort of listing that leaves you lying sideways in a body of water or indeed charging down a muddy track on the back of a horse with a lance clutched in your armpit (though if this is what you’re into of a frosty Monday morning, have at it), but the sort that requires concentration and focus and organisation and lots of tickable boxes.

Photo Credit: Rob Warde via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Rob Warde via Compfight cc

Sometimes, Monday does this to me. My brain can’t settle and my thoughts zip about and anything I try to do founders on the Rocks of Concentration. So, when you’re trying to do important things like write books and judge flash fiction competitions (keep an eye on Flash Friday for more on this later today!) and just generally live your life in a healthy and productive manner, foundering on the Rocks of Concentration isn’t really something you should be encouraging.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with mind-flit. Mine is to make lists. To-do lists, primarily, but not necessarily things that can or should be done on that day. Just things that need doing at some point in the future, like cleaning jobs or tidying up of one’s online persona or phoning one’s long-neglected best friend or finally getting to the recycling or rejigging one’s life goals, and things of that ilk. Making lists of things doesn’t necessarily mean that all this stuff gets done; in fact, some things have been on my lists for years, now. (I promise I will, eventually, get to the recycling. Honest). It simply helps my mind to know that these things, here, controlled and tidy and sensible, written in plain style in a list, ready to be ticked off or crossed out at some stage in the future, constitute the contents of my brain. These are the things that are on my mind. Writing them out means that they take a break from buzzing around inside my skull bashing noisily off my eyeballs and fluttering down my ear-holes and settle on the page, just long enough for me to have a look and decide that they’re doable.

Controllable.

Within my power to achieve.

Even if I know, and they know, that they’re not.

Today is going to be a major list day, which is strange as I had a great weekend, spent at home with family and friends, largely relaxing and fun. Nevertheless, for some reason I woke up this morning with serious brain-flit. Things are starting to feel out of control, and slightly overwhelming. Paperwork looms. Officialdom and authority will soon have to be engaged with (this always makes me nervous). I can bet that if I re-read my WiP this morning, it would read like so much sawdust – and that would be very off-putting indeed.

So instead I shall make lists, and I will do what I can to tick off my to-do items, and I will wait for my equilibrium to come back, and then – as I always do – I will get on with my work.

And if anyone has a largish paper bag I could breathe into while I’m waiting, that would be awesome.

 

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