Start with a list

My brain right now feels like the inside of my Vitamix when I’m trying to process cashews into something vegan. It’s churning, and the result is not as smooth as I’d like. There’s a persistent annoying hum of concern. I don’t quite know if I’m doing this whole pandemic thing right, and I’m slightly worried I’m going to break my expensive blender, or my brain, for that matter. So I’m making lists today.

Whenever my writing feels rusty from lack of practice, lack of sleep, or lack of inspiration, I start with a list. Lists come easily. No need for grammar, spelling, narrative arc, or descriptive language. A list you can come back to, and add to as the mood strikes. You can get all fancy with your bullet journal if you want. Or you can just scribble on the back of an envelope. Here’s a list of lists to use to get your writing started.

Choose one and make a list of…

  • Events you are sorry got canceled
  • Events you are glad got canceled
  • People you are worried about
  • Places you plan to go when this is over
  • Things you can do for self-care today
  • Words to describe how you feel today
  • Meals you can cook from your pantry
  • What you wish you had in your pantry
  • Movies to watch
  • New skills to learn while at home
  • New skills NOT to learn while at home
  • What you can see outside that is giving you life
  • Questions you’d like to ask God
  • What you are grateful for today
  • Lists you can make another day
  • Make your own list….

Then, if you like, pick one item from one list and write more about it.

Be well,


4 thoughts on “Start with a list”

  1. Great blog post, Julie! I’m So glad you’ve started a blog. I’m very much a list person, too. Sadly, I’m much better at making lists than on following through to carry out any of the tasks on my lists.

    I hope your blog will grow and grow. I’ve taken special comfort during this pandemic from blogger friends I have in Australia, Malaysia, Spain, New York, Arizona, Vermont, Pennsylvania, England, Scotland, and Canada. The one in Canada is originally from Iran. She shares stories from Iran quite often. Most of them take the form of parables. She has given me a new perspective. I think you might enjoy her blog. She’s Laleh Chini. Her blog is “A voice from Iran.” I included a link to it in my blog this morning. These blogger connections have really brought to light the fact that we’re all in this together.

    Stay safe and keep writing!

  2. Great prompt question! The List. Asking God a Question.
    Apologies: This is way too long [and not sure if this is where we participate], but here goes:
    >> The question to God:
    Just like the psalmist
    we, too, are in want.
    We want things to return to normal,
    however we define normal.
    We want to love our neighbor,
    Not to see our neighbor as a “vector of disease.”
    We show up with our wants at the grocery store
    And often turned away, empty-handed, empty-hearted.

    What happens when what we really want
    Becomes You.
    You as Shepherd, guiding us.
    You as Abundance, preparing a table-feast
    to fill our hearts.
    You, who through these dark-valley times
    Surround us
    with goodness and mercy.

    What happens when what we really want,
    is to vacate our empty grocery-stores fears.
    To dwell in your House:
    filled with your Forevers
    of comfort, compassion, mercy and peace.
    *inspired by Psalm 23

    1. Lovely. I especially like “filled with your Forevers
      of comfort, compassion, mercy and peace” Indeed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: