Letters to My Editor: What My Writing Partners Think of To Do Lists

August 24, 2015

Welcome back to Letters to My Editor, a series of blog posts hashing out the relationship between an author and editor. In this case, my editor, Kate Homan, is my pen pal, and you can catch her latest letter to me at her blog, Long Story Short.

Dear Kate,

Letters to My EditorYou’ve laid out some incredibly helpful points in your latest letter.  I hadn’t considered comparing how I spend my time now to how I wish to spend my time.  It occurs to me that perhaps I’m spending too much doing things I think are helping.  Like my sincere belief that playing games on my iPad helps me to clear my mind.  I think I’m just avoiding the inevitable.  That being my dreaded…

To Do List

Allow me to show you what my writing partners thought of a recent to do list.

My To Do ListI’m not kidding.  It appears Lady Barks-a-lot has the same feelings about the dreaded to do list as I do.

But I think you’re right.  When I stick to my thousands of calendars, my hundreds of to do lists, my daily goals, I get things done.

But then I must ask this question: is time spent on making the to do list a waste of time?

I often hear writers say they’ve forgone the to do list, because the time they take making it is the time they could have used writing their daily word quota.

I’m stuck on this because as you pointed out, having structure in a seemingly structure-less world (we are dealing with make believe after all!), keeps the sense of momentum moving forward.  Without it, time is squandered.

But what about the time taken to make the list?  Does the benefits of the list itself outweigh those of the time spent on it?



Be sure to subscribe to Kate’s blog to get her response next week!

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