How Fun Lists Help Your Writing

Every Monday on this website, starting June 18, 2018 and ending when the cows come home, I am sharing a list topic. A Fun List topic! A list that just about anyone can write. Lists with topics such as Five Things in My Closet, or Six Things I Love.  I’m even starting up a #FunListMonday Twitter hashtag so people far and wide can enjoy list writing once a week. Why am I doing this? What benefit can lists possibly have to any kind of writer? I’m so glad you asked.

Five Simple Reasons To Write Lists as a Writing Activity:
(Like how my answer is a list? You’re welcome.)

  1. They’re fun! It’s fun to write them, and fun to see what others include on theirs.
  2. They make you think. Because of the short nature of a list, each item that goes on it makes its own statement.
  3. They’re great for new writers. Lists are short and easy to write, which is perfect for small hands and attention spans. Maybe little Rylan can’t write a whole paragraph yet, but a list? That’s doable.
  4. They’re great for advanced writers. Writing a list as a warm-up exercise gets the ideas flowing. Sometime the list may turn into a short story or even a novel! Also, clever writers can cram their lists full of creativity and humor, which makes the activity fun for everyone.
  5. They help writing style. Lists create a natural word limit. As a result, the overly verbose (super wordy) writer is forced to think more carefully about what ends up on the page. This is especially helpful for that overzealous sixth grader that thinks writing ten pages of a story when everyone else wrote two (and then being asked by the teacher to read said story aloud to the class) makes her a good writer. That person sounds strangely familiar. Ah hem. Does anyone else smell essence of locker room?

I realize not everyone shares a natural love for list writing. Just because I frantically grab a piece of paper to write a list when I’m having a hard day doesn’t mean everyone else has to. Nevertheless, as a writing activity, a fun list can offer quite a few benefits… to you, your spouse, your child, your child’s friend, your parent, your neighbor, your granny, your granny’s neighbor, your second-cousin three times removed, and even your great aunt’s eco-friendly pest control technician’s twin daughter. So give it a try!