My Oughtobiography

18 Mar

A Bucket List. I had a writer friend told me yesterday that I need a Bucket List. All I could think about after she made that suggestion was, why, so I can torture myself with an actual list of crap I don’t have time to do? Her logic was that we aren’t getting any younger and it would suck to die not having done the things that I really wanted to do. I, of course, just sat there wondering why my demise was so important to anyone else besides those who stand the chance of inheriting my marble collection. The truth is we, as a society, are obsessed with what we “ought” to do.

I set aside a little time every day that I call my “Crap…I didn’t do that” period. This is a period of time where I get to sit and commiserate over the fact that I still haven’t reached some of the goals I have set for myself. Sounds a bit like a pity party but it really isn’t. It’s actually a chance to see just how affected I am for not having completed certain tasks. If I find that I am feeling overwhelmingly guilty about such a task I forward it to the next day so I can take yet another stab at it. If I discover that I don’t care that I didn’t complete the task at all I drop it…forever.

We spend a lot of time in our lives worried about stuff we need to do and often we do this without actually asking ourselves if we really “ought” to do that stuff in the first place. The romantic notion of a Bucket List is appealing but for me personally I don’t see a need to torture myself with yet another list of oughts. Are there things I want to do before I take the dirt nap, well sure there is, I wouldn’t be human if there weren’t, but should I torture myself with taking the time to write out a list etching into history my possible failures…nope. I should spend that time doing stuff now.

We writers are notorious for making ourselves suffer. We seem to feel like we need to in order to be writers, but take it from me, this is one area you can let it go. Our to-do list is already huge because with the bevy of characters trapped inside our heads we already have a full plate. So don’t create a Bucket List, instead just do it. After all you really never know when the dude with the sickle will visit anyway…why waste any of that time making yet another list.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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Posted by on March 18, 2023 in Writing


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