Ah, freshly sharpened pencil: is there anything more satisfying than lifting you to a clean new page in my notebook and beginning another list? I'm not a to-do list-er (very often), nor a carrier of shopping lists or a creator of a list "to pack". I like to tell stories with my lists.
Sometimes a scrapbooker will say to me But you always write on your pages and I never know what to say. I have one answer: make a list. Because sometimes I don't know what to say either. I find a photo I like and I get into a paper cutting frenzy and get all excited about making a new page an' all, and at the end of it I think...but...story...
When this happens, I go back to the picture, I forget about the pretty stuff I've stuck round it, and I try to write down the first five things I think about when I look at that photo. I don't try to tell the whole story - because maybe there is no big story there - and I don't aim for an essay with a beginning, a middle and an end. No: it's more of a word association game: that was the holiday we met the nice lady who made the miniatures; and we swam in the hotel pool and the lifeguard offered to take our photo; and....you can see what's happening: I start remembering little details which aren't directly related to that photo, but which help make up the bigger story of two weeks of my life. And that gives me choices! Suddenly, out of no words at all, I now have more than enough. And I can add that list - just the way it is, a stream of consciousness about summer 1992 - to my layout; or I can think about whether I want to make new pages. I can ask myself if I want o go back to my pictures of that holiday and find more. Should I flesh out the details? See? More than enough.
It's easy to use the same method for "just now" pages.In fact I've always thought that a nice way of doing a Life Pages album would be to sit quietly for a couple of minutes every day - not even at the same time or in the same place - and list five thoughts which come as I look at what's around me. Like this:
I'm glad I bought him that jigsaw for Valentines Day, though it's taking up quite a bit of the carpet...but he hooked that green rug himself so I guess he can jigsaw on it whenever he likes...especially if he shares the rest of that box of holiday liquorice he's been saving since the holidays...oh, wait: I'm off sugar...so who's going to eat the hot cross buns I've just brought back from the shops?
A little ramble of a list like that, every day, all year, would build up quite the revealing story. And all it will have come from is a list. Nothing complicated.
I've been writing about lists over on the Gossamer Blue blog too, and with a slightly different slant. You can find it here if you'd like to see my list of journaling list prompts. Don't forget your pencil!