WRITING: To Do Lists

One of my favourite tools is the simple, basic To Do List. There’s something very psychologically satisfying about being able to mark landmarks on a task, even if it’s something as simple as crossing it off a list.

At the moment, my writing life is determined by a large to do list, divided into three stages: Primary, for my very pressing tasks, Secondary, for time-sensitive but not-pressing tasks, and Tertiary, for tasks I want to complete but don’t have a ticking clock on them.

I’ve also found that dividing a larger task into manageable chunks is very helpful for defeating writer’s block. For example, the hundred-page screenplay I’m working on was easily divided up into twenty 5-page segments on my list, giving me an easy way to feel successful at different levels of progress. On another, I’ve divided the list into scenes, with every scene a point on the list. And once all the subpoints are crossed off, I get to cross off the task entirely.

Do you find this kind of tool is useful in your writing life?

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