Bad Advice Wednesday: Become a Planning, List-Making Freak

categories: Cocktail Hour

















  1. David Roberts writes:

    Sometimes I feel like all I do are make lists, plans, calendars. Like all my time working is preparing the times I actually, you know, work. I’ve had to take a step back and ask myself, “Is this really worth all of the effort?” If I can’t say yes within a split second, I ditch it and find something else to better occupy my time. Like, actually writing.

  2. Tommy writes:

    Um, what this site needs is more Bill Roorbach interviews – hint, hint. And Dave, if you think stripes look so good, you wear’em, though I’ll admit, they ad color to the strip!

  3. Robert Root writes:

    At the beginning of every semester and/or season I write a list of what I should be doing each week for the next several months as well as when I have to be somewhere, if, rarely, I have to be somewhere. Then each weekend I update a list of things that need to be done each day of the coming week and then update a check list of tasks taken from the Things to Do list (with space for additions). One or twice a month I keep a computer file of Notes, schmoozing about what I should be doing next. I also carry a daybook with me in case I’m stranded somewhere and have time to write about what I should writing. I write once a moment in a very nice journal about why I’m not getting enough done and whether I should stop planning on doing anything. One or twice a week I check Facebook and Like a few things, but never work up the nerve to post anything. Then I do the New Yorker Jigsaw Puzzle online, always at Level 1. I marvel that I ever had or still have a career.

  4. Bill writes:

    Front page 36 point type, New York Times this morning: “Beloved Blogging Duo Packing It In!” Well, they’ve been wrong before. About almost everything. This is how rumors get started…

  5. Tommy writes:

    Didn’t see that coming as a logical conclusion to all that was drawn above it.

    Well…., it’s been a good run, and no doubt a Herculean task. Well done, boys, well done.

  6. M. Graham writes:

    Pack it in?!?! I think not. You obviously have forgotten–at least, momentarily– the legions of fans who scan these pages in silence on a daily (or perhaps every-other-daily) basis and often find the sustenance and company they seek. What in the world would the world be without Bill and Dave’s? Sad, is what. Where else can a lone, writerly soul go for straight talk about serious writing, minus the pretentious blah-blah of the writerly? Nowhere, is where. No, I think not.

  7. Pat Shipley writes:

    No quitting.

    I too make lists. Mine are very bad lists written in my google calendar. The hospital changed it’s email and deleted my life, so I’m betting that Google won’t be bought out before the hospital is.

    My lists contain everything I can’t forget regardless of the category. Buy green sand for peonies may be followed by check paraneoplastic panel on Ms X. Often there are reminders to change my bad habits, “Please no not wear the same dress more than three times this week” or a frantic “Pay malpractice insurance”. I am not a big underliner or punctuator and I am against all caps.

    I get a surge of pride when I can put an “x” for done, although most items float onto the next list.

    Mail Bill the portrait of the (long deceased) governor of Maine you promised.


  8. Bill writes:

    The mates often fantasize that the ship is sinking and they are in charge. Steady as she goes, boys! Quit yer lazin’ about!

    • Dave writes:

      You been copying and pastin’ that line all over the internet. There might be a court martial in the offing, Mr. Budd.

      • Billy Budd writes:

        Using me name in vain? And stripes ain’t so flatterin’

        • dave writes:

          I thought the stripes looked good. Really. But when I told Nina that I thought I had hurt your feelings, she said: “I wondered about that.”

          Then I said, defensively, “But he said my post was lame.”

          She nudged me back toward reality: “Um, his cartoon self said that. And you drew the cartoon.”

          Sorry Bill. As I’ve often said, I’m a bad man.

          • Bill writes:

            It’s true. You are bad, in a seventies, Superfly kind of way. But I don’t mind when you put your self-doubt into my mouth! And you have never heard me say Let’s pack it in. Also, I just don’t look good in stripes… Plus, I love the cartoon. Hail to Cap’n Nina!

  9. George de Gramont writes:

    Say it is not so! I make a list every day. It has become imperative! But no pictures.

  10. Mary Collins writes:

    No, no!
    Besides, packing it in wasn’t on your To Do list.

  11. Elizabeth Hilts writes: