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L is for Lists #AtoZChallenge

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

L is for Lists #AtoZChallenge I'm doing the A to Z Challenge in April using the theme "What to Pack on Your Creative Journey." Today, let's put some lists in our metaphorical suitcase.

Lists are how I parse and manage the world. ~Adam Savage, Wired, October 10, 2012

Even before your journey begins with a first step, it will probably require one or more lists to make sure that you're well-supplied and heading in the right direction.

Many projects will benefit from a to-do list and a shopping list, but there are plenty of other ways that lists generate ideas and energy for creative projects.

Here's a list (!) of lists to consider making as you set out on your creative journey:

  • Pros and cons
  • Skills I have
  • Skills I want to develop
  • Potential obstacles to plan around
  • Advantages to taking this creative journey (especially helpful when you get bogged down in details)
  • Past accomplishments (especially helpful when confidence lags)
  • Current emotions (especially helpful when it's complicated)
  • Resources to consult - people, books, websites
  • What's working, what isn't, and what's next

My favorite way to start a project is with a 100 list. This comes from a classic creativity exercise - list 100 ways to use a paperclip. For me, this 100 list activity is much more interesting when I use it to generate possibilities for one of my creative projects.

At first, the challenge to come up with 100 things seems daunting, but it usually comes together more quickly than expected. A hundred potential ways to get what I want provides a sense of abundance to my endeavor.

Here are some 100 lists that I've made in the last few years:

  • 100 ideas to go into a presentation
  • 100 ways to recruit and work with a cohort
  • 100 scenes for a novel
  • 10 characters, with 10 traits each, for a novel
  • 104 ideas for this A to Z blogging project (four ideas for each letter)

How has list-making contributed to your creative journeys?

L is for Lists #AtoZChallenge

About Joy Weese Moll

a librarian writing about books

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