The Idea Series – Week 7

#NaNoWriMo is wreaking havoc on my life. For three days in a row I wrote nearly four thousands words every day. When I close my eyes I see my keyboard and an empty page. All I smell anymore is Starbucks.

So doing these lists has now turned, perversely, into some kind of respite from the madness. A daily meditation. A thought exercise that is somehow less work than everything else I’ve been doing.

Let’s see what that looks like.


10 things I am grateful for today

Starting things off this week with a string of days where I just talk about what I’m grateful for. These were the heavy hitter days where I had little mental capacity to deal with lists or my pen or any more words than was absolutely necessary. So all of the next three days are just things I’m grateful for.

  1. Coffee
  2. Vacation
  3. My laptop
  4. My novel outline
  5. Starbucks
  6. My sweater
  7. Comfortable shoes
  8. My neighborhood
  9. Susie
  10. Twitter


10 more things I am grateful for

  1. My car
  2. My job
  3. Iced tea
  4. Therapy
  5. Sleep
  6. Scrivener
  7. Sugar-free sweetener
  8. Bagels
  9. Bacon
  10. Bookworm (local bookstore)


10 MORE things I’m grateful for

  1. My grandma
  2. My home
  3. My dad
  4. Caffeine
  5. NaNoWriMo
  6. My dog
  7. My backyard
  8. Youtube
  9. Wikipedia
  10. Video games


10 things that make talent happen

People are rarely born with super-skills. Even child prodigies. We take for granted or don’t even consider the countless spare hours youth has to accumulate skill and knowledge. And we take for granted the countless spare hours we have as adults where we can hone our own skills, interspersed throughout the days and weeks, which we instead spend on mindless fun. Nothing wrong with fun. But there’s no substitute for putting in the hours. I know someone who, at fifty, picked up a guitar for the first time, and then one year later was playing live shows. You are not born with talent. You make it happen.

  1. Passion
  2. Persistence
  3. Time
  4. Failure
  5. Success
  6. Education
  7. Friendship
  8. Practice
  9. Insight / instinct
  10. Stubbornness


Stores I’d like to see

These most likely exist in some form in various places. But they don’t exist here.

  1. Secondhand pet shop
  2. Used book store / cafe / diner hybrid
  3. Build-your-own tea shop
  4. Restaurant where you can watch the kitchen
  5. Restaurant where the entire menu is shown behind glass
  6. A store that’s just cool vending machines
  7. A micro-restaurant open to the street (not a food truck)
  8. A 100% locally-sourced grocery store
  9. A mystery restaurant with no menu
  10. Taco Bell from Demolition Man


10 ways to hold myself accountable for writing

Sometimes I need a kick in the butt to get going or to keep going. These are some of the tools I use to do that.

  1. Tell everyone my plans
  2. Blog about it
  3. No dessert until I’ve written
  4. No video games until written
  5. No movies until written
  6. Stay at Starbucks or other coffee shop until done
  7. Race the battery drainage
  8. Have someone check on me regularly
  9. Procrastinate only in “helpful” ways like walking or reading
  10. Make a monetary promise to keep writing


10 features cars should have

These are all legitimately things I wish my car had at one point or another. Specifically #1 and #6. I want them very much.

  1. A “polite” honk
  2. A small LED message sign
  3. Cell signal blocker (inside, switch-activated)
  4. Inside-bike-holder with special butterfly door
  5. Special dog or cat seat
  6. Built-in ice chest for road trips
  7. Build-in trash can
  8. Seat massagers
  9. Bumper sticker notch
  10. Cell phone tray

Well. These were my ideas. If you’ll excuse me, I have no more mental energy left. See you next week.

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