Do I need lists in my life?

I’ve been struggling on the blog lately. Not so much with the writing itself, but rather on the question what to write about. I picked up daily posts again, and I have no intention of quitting it anytime soon. I just love the act of posting something everyday. The warm glow of satisfaction when you sent another one out into the digital black hole, to be sucked up and end up in an ever expanding digital universe.

The reason why I struggle is a bit unclear to me. One reason is that I worry more about what people think of my writing since the little hiccup last fall, although I am getting over that, and am reaching that decent level of ‘fuck it’ that is needed to keep posting regularly.

Another reason for the struggle is something that bothers me more, to be honest. I used to be pretty good in keeping track of my ideas for posts, most of which just randomly popped up in my head during the day. I’d remember. That no longer seems to be the case. I’m increasingly forgetful. Maybe I have too many things going on at the moment. I don’t know, but I’m not happy with it.

Today I read a blog post by Stuart Danker, a fellow blogger that always has good stuff to say about writing, and is generally a nice blogger to follow and interact with on this platform. Go pay him a visit. I’d put a link, but I’m writing on my phone and finding the link sucks. Sorry Stuart. Sorry readers. Go Google him. It’s worth it.

Anyway. In this particular post, he talked about all the kinds of lists he uses in his daily life. A list of lists, if you will.

I found it interesting to read this, because it immediately highlightes to me how prolific writers can have very different approaches. I also immediately thought to myself: “How can you ever be efficient if you need to keep track of this many lists?” The answer is that I probably couldn’t. I’m terrible with lists. My mind freaks out about things I need to do, especially if the list grows longer. I rarely make lists, unless my head is filled up. Then I make a list of all things I need to do, I take a big fat marker and cross everything off as I go. In such cases crossing shit off the list works like a drain for mental nonsense. But I rarely need it.

The list of lists post stuck in my head today. I’m happy about that, because at least it shows that some stuff I can still remember.

Anyway . I was thinking that maybe I should start a list. Like an ideas list. Just so that I can put ideas on so that I won’t forget.

Alternatively, I’ll take requests. What would you like me to write about more? Requests from readers are far far better than the daily WordPress prompts – which I’ve answered s couple of times when I forgot my ideas again. They tend to be answerable with one sentence. They bore me. Today’s prompt was “what bores you?” Well, boring prompts, for starters…

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

8 thoughts on “Do I need lists in my life?

    1. I suppose I’m worried that I’ll make lists the next challenge, and the lists become an extra goal. I’m a bit obsessed like that… Hiccup. Yeah, well. I wrote a couple of posts about it over the past weeks. I took a forced break. I wrote some stuff, not even all that bad, and people threatened to sue me for it. And I don’t mean via DMs, but to my face. It was awkward, unpleasant, and set some things in motion to end that situation and make life better. Things are good now 🙂.


      1. I’m not sure if it was scary, but the threats were substantial enough for me to close the blog for a while, and to now er on the safe side when it comes to writing about actual people – even if they’re not named. Although I’m generally honest and open – here as well as in the real world – there are certain disadvantages of writing under your own name. I think my blog would be different under an alias. Perhaps not a prettier place, but I think I would include some of the more exciting stories that I now sometimes hold back on… I’m really struggling with that, too. It’s a constant juggle with what is nice to share, what is nice enough to read, and what doesn’t offend people. I hope I get it right most of the time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A wise decision. I initially chose my website under my own name, more for career purposesbas an ecologist/scientist. I’ve always blogged, previously on blogger, but when I started my own page, it felt natural to blog with it, despite my blogs rarely talking ecology. This would probably make a good series of posts in its own right. Haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Aww, I’m so honoured to be mentioned! Definitely give the ideas list a go. You’d be surprised at how much they can compost over time, and returning to them a month later gives you weird connections you’d never have thought about in the first place.

    As for the suggestions on posts, I’ve always enjoyed WordPress as a way to get to know actual people. So seeing the problems in their lives and how they’re solving it—even what may seem ordinary to you like your dinner arriving before your children go to bed—make for nice reads.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I used to follow a blogger that always brought a waiter’s pad with him for ideas. I loved that. I even did for a while. The pads ended up scruffy and empty in my coat pockets. I’d find them back months later, and it would make me smile, just for the memory. I have done some list style journaling as part of a therapy session, more than a decade ago. When I moved recently, I found those old lists and thoughts. It was kind of ironic that my thoughts had also moved quite a bit. They did give me ideas though.

      Personal stories are now most of what I write. However, I am one of those people that doesn’t think their life is very interesting to others. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. I will continue them regularly anyway, as they always make for material. For practice, it doesn’t matter what I write anyway. A thought just occurred toe that I rarely talk much in depth about the things I’m (supposedly) an expert on. I might explore the reasons for this in a post later.


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