I consider myself a writer even though my good authorial habits fell off the wagon several years ago, and now I’m stumbling behind the wheels trying to pick up all the fragments. I admitted to someone today that while I am a writer at heart, I’ve not been a very good writer in practice. They shrugged their shoulders, looked up over their coffee, and said, “That’s just an excuse,” and they were right – if I’m not writing, I’m not writing. I said that all too often, I simply didn’t have the words to put down, my brain’s not primed, I don’t have the time, there are other things to do, on and on and on. So they said again, “Yeah, all those are excuses. Just write a list. Lists help everybody get started. Lists are great.”
“What kind of list,” I asked.
“Maybe a list of things about yourself that you usually forget. It’s good to have reminders.”
Smart idea. We all love talking abut us.
A List of Things About Myself That I Usually Forget
- I’m really good at playing drums on a desk or on my knees with my hands and fingers. A regular Neil Peart. My wife says I should have been a drummer;
- I can throw a hatchet with surprising accuracy – and stick it into wood, to boot;
- When I don’t have to think much about it, or if I’m looking off a document, I can type about 150 WPM. Carpal tunnel, here I come;
- I really enjoy cleaning. I mean, really enjoy it, and sometimes it’s a great way for me to unwind from a stressful day or express some kind of control over my surroundings;
- Animals are awesome, and I usually can’t kill off even the smallest bug without at least feeling a strong flare of remorse;
- I eat all the popcorn kernels;
- Making a fool out of myself in front of others – as long as they laugh – makes my day;
- I’m abysmal at math, I’m entirely unskilled in any area of science, but man, I think space is just the coolest thing.
And would you look at that – I did a little writing! It won’t win a Pulitzer, but it’s a start. The beauty of it? Even if you aren’t a writer, you can still compile a list of some of your favorite personal attributes just to get your brain working. So remind yourself: what makes you you?