This Is Not a List

Numbered lists have become very popular on social media. I see loadsĀ of lists about writing every day. 7 Writing Mistakes Only Amateurs Make. 15 Ways NOT to Start Your Book. 1 Bazillion Ways to Say What You Would Say a Different Way. Do you know what the numbered list reminds me of?

A fence.

Why stop at the edge of the pasture if your heart has designs for the entire field? (photo courtesy Andreas Krappweis)

Why stop at the edge of the pasture if your heart has designs for the entire field?
(photo courtesy Andreas Krappweis)

The numbers or bullets are posts driven deeply into the squishy, fertile ground of our talent and well-meaning (your ever-lovin’ soul, man!). The skinny strings of text that lead from 1, then 2, then 3, are the wires that keep us in. Sometimes those wires hum with electricity. Sometimes they’re merely barbed. Sometimes the wires are even broken, but we refuse to pass them anyway. Continue reading

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