My Honey-Do List

It was a big joke when I was little- the “Honey Do List.” Supposedly it was a list that a housewife made for her “honey” of a husband to DO.  I loved the play on words even though I really didn’t care for honey dew melon.

I have always been a list-maker, having been born into a long matriarchal line of female list-makers (thank you Mom and Gram).

However, I never understood the value of making lists when it came to my writing projects. Never, that is, until I participated in Jennifer Louden’s “Get Your Scary Sh*t Done” online course a few years ago. Key to success of getting any scary project done is, among a few other things, breaking the monumental (seemingly un-doable) task into tiny, tiny steps.  The “scary thing” I was working on in that class was completing Dragonflies at Night. I was about 3/4 of the way through and I was completely stuck.  There were many directions I could go and I just. Couldn’t. Get. My. Mind. Around. Any. Of. It.


I started making lists of what needed to be done. There was research to be done on dragonflies and their life spans and so on. There was the very, very first step which was to re-read what I’d already written! There were dialogues to be written between characters that didn’t ordinarily interact. There were “interviews” to be imagined and written with each character so I could see where they were headed and what they wanted and why they were stuck.  I created a two-page check list and hung it on the wall in my writing room, and just did 1-2 things every day (well, almost every day) until the list were done.

And so. I completed the novel!

Was it done in a week? No way. It actually took me a few more years to complete the story. Keep in mind, I have a full-time job at KaleidoSoul, so that timeline was realistic!

This week I’ve been working on my “big mama” of a honey-do list for the promotion of my 9/22 release of Dragonflies at Night: More Than a Love Story (women’s fiction).  Mind you, I’ve been creating this list in bits and pieces over the last several months as I’ve been researching book marketing and promotion. It turned into a six-page list this week, and this morning I divvied that longer list up into more do-able lists by months.

So… phew! Now I have something concrete that lets me know what to do next, without being overwhelmed by how much there is still to do!

Tell me, are you a List Maker too?


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2 thoughts on “My Honey-Do List”

  1. Dear Anne Marie,
    Queen of all List-makers, thank you for this excellent reminder to manage a project by “chunking it down” into bite-size pieces. Tomorrow, I begin my Honey-Do list for taking Walking the Beauty Way Circle online!
    Loved all your wordplay! BTW, my grandparents enjoyed salt on their honeydew melon!
    Love and gratitude,

  2. I am just seeing this now, dear Marti! Still a little slow on the author blog updates I guess. Your own Honey-Do list evidently worked wonders because it’s up and running and people are signing up! Way to go. 🙂

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