Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Listicle of Listicles by Carolyn

My writing sisters and I have each committed to write a listicle for this round of blog posts. As you might suspect, a listicle is an article in the form of a list. I encounter listicles most often in magazines ("The Top Ten Things to Do When You Visit Cape Cod"), but they certainly live elsewhere, made famous (at least to me) on late-night television talk/variety shows ("The Top Ten Reasons We Love/Hate So-and-So").

Last weekend I discussed this writing assignment with my younger son. He is an excellent collaborator when I need to generate ideas, so I seized the opportunity to talk through this with him while I had him captive on a road trip.  Between the starting point and the ending point of our journey, we brainstormed quite a hefty list of possible listicles! Now the problem becomes not, "What can I possibly write about?", but "How do I choose what to write about?"

So, taking the coward's way out, I present my listicle of possible listicles (in no particular order except that this is how they fell out of my head onto the paper):

The top ten . . . 

  • things I've learned since turning 50
  • things I've learned as the parent of grown children
  • things I wish I had done
  • things I wish I could still do
  • reasons I miss my mother
  • reasons I miss my grandmother
  • careers I might have enjoyed
  • jobs that should exist but don't
  • jobs of the future
  • things I would spend money on if I had any
  • moments that make my heart beat faster (in a good way)
  • types of women I would like to be but am not
  • reasons I should have been a cowgirl
  • reasons I love my job
  • parenting mistakes I made
  • qualities I am looking for in a soulmate
  • reasons I'm glad I live in Texas
  • reasons I love Ireland
  • holidays that should exist but don't
  • things I used to do but am too cautious to do now
  • best bumper stickers I've ever seen
  • physical traits I wish I had
  • physical traits I am very glad I don't have
  • most significant moments of my life
  • best ranch names
  • talents I wish I had
  • streets I don't want to live on because they have stupid names
  • dissertations I could write based on life experiences
  • words that should be in the dictionary but aren't
  • most beautiful words in the English language
  • stores that should exist
  • restaurants that should exist
  • theme parks that should exist
  • childhood pastimes that have pretty much disappeared
  • championships that should exist
  • names I'm glad my parents didn't choose for me
  • life lessons I have learned from obsessively reading/watching/listening to Pride and Prejudice

If you have read this far, you probably have the potential to create a list of possible listicles for yourself! In fact, I challenge you to do just that. You may find it strangely addictive. Post your ideas in a comment here on our blog. Or, if you don't particularly relish the idea of writing a listicle, but you have a deep desire for me to actually write a real listicle about one of the topics above, please feel free to indicate that as well.

Now, my writing sisters might feel that this is not a "real" piece of writing, but I beg their indulgence just this one time - I cannot pick just one!  :)

Thanks, Kyle, for being my sounding board.

1 comment:

  1. Great listicle of listicle topics! Listicles are my fall back option for publishing so I cannot begrudge you. All writing is "real" writing, right?