The To-Do List, Part II

The To-Do List, Part II

I’m not going to lie, when I read this piece of ephemera, I wanted a Digby of my own.


The idea of having a child-doll instead of a child, or even in addition to, does not strike me as odd or strange. This is the Auntie Mame in me1. I cannot deny that I am the kind of person who occasionally gives in to eccentricity. The kind of person who has birthday parties for her dog. Of course, there’s always the understanding that the birthday party for the dog is really just an excuse for a party, but I still go through and beyond the motions (party dress, doggie cake, other puppy guests and all).

So I’m committed when I want to be. The theme of these posts is to-do listing and, in someways, even my eccentricity needs streamlining. I have notebooks full of ideas. Thousands of bookmarked pages with little pieces of ephemera that warrant comment. Like Digby.

2- Write About Digby

This one is good. I’ve had this one on my running to-do list since March (when the story of Digby first broke). By virtue of placing it here, it’s done. So it’s really more like:

2- Write About Digby

But in many ways, “write about Digby” is also “write more.” So much of what little I’ve written is about how I’m going to increment my writing2. But the truth of it, outside of furtive edits on my book3, I’m not putting time aside to write.

A good friend of mine once told me about a cross-country road-trip that she made with another writer. More than anything, she was astounded that her fellow road-warrior did not put anything down on the page. Nothing at all. No laptop, notebook, scribble. How, my friend asked, could a writer not write? For her it is compulsion. For her friend, maybe something else entirely. Or maybe it manifests differently (an epic write-down months from now, perhaps?), and yet there’s a part of me that agrees: how can a writer not be writing all the time? Especially nonfiction writers. We, on a basic level, report.

I’m not consistent at editing my thoughts, but I am a Moleskine person4. I have a whole row of thin, black notebooks on a shelf in my office wherein I chronicle conversations, outfits, calories consumed, ideas for stories, slam poetry scores, books to buy, notes from meetings and seminars, conference doodles and phone numbers, as well as email addresses for people whose names I’ll never remember.

But I’m terrible at sitting down and getting it done. Once it’s down, though, I don’t think it’s ever too bad.

I used to be like this with freelance work. But I’ve learned over time to streamline that process. Other people don’t have time like I do. So I get contracts signed, ask for specific deadlines, and work efficiently. I’m just not when the client is me.

Maybe Digby will hire me to fix my own life. Or maybe my dog should get prepared for the matching outfits I’ll force upon her when I get a little older, a little richer, and little more consistent.

In the meantime, I’ve written down the idea. So I can look back and find it later.

  1. That may be unfair to Auntie Mame []
  2. Diagram that sentence! []
  3. That To-Do List Item is coming soon []
  4. Isn’t it a little gross/problematic that I keep saying “I’m a [such-and-such] kind of person,” as if definition is all that matters? []