For one hundred days, I’m going to post a writing tip each day. I have a whole bookshelf full of writing books and I want to do some reading and increased studying of this valuable resource. This will help me keep track of anything I’ve learned, and help motivate me to keep going. If anyone has a favorite tip of their own to add, contact me. I’d love to put it up here.
Today’s tip – Listing the Stories
I like to make lists. Once it amused me to keep a journal with a formal title – “The Book of Lists: A Writer’s Journal.” The lists became a catalogue of ways in which I could approach my life, ways to remember experiences by categorizing them. In that book, I kept lists like the following: stories about my body; synchronicities and miracles; visions; childhood friends; mentors;recurrent dream images; stories about my children; gifts received.
Recently I added a catergory: lists of lists to be made. Here I included: losses; death stories; memories of nature; stories that help me survive; teaching stories; bird stories; wolf stories. Needless to say, the lists overlap. But when the same story possibility appears on several lists, the story itself is altered by the different perspective of each list.
I once heard someone say that the mind is one part of the brain telling a story to the other part. Perhaps the self is the composite of all those stories told.
I like the idea of keeping lists; I like the idea of lists of lists more; I like the idea of a journal of lists the best. I think I’ll start it tonight.
Some lists right off the top of my head: Things I didn’t do that I wish I had; Seductive lies; Books never written that I’d want to read; Secrets I still don’t know; Stuff I don’t have the courage to write down.