To Be Written

Lots of us have TBR Lists - To Be Read, but I’ve never kept a TBW List - To Be Written.

Until now.

This morning I read a fun post about To Be Written Lists from a wonderful website called Two Writing Teachers.

Between making breakfast and getting my kid to her last day of school (cue ALL. THE. PRAISE. HANDS!), I made my first official To Be Written List for the Summer of 2019. I divided it into three sections.

  1. Writing I’m doing for SumoWriMo

  2. Personal Writing

  3. Writing I’m doing for my book, Backyard Birds and Words


Scroll down to get the printable template from Literacy Together.

Commentary About Making My TBW List

  • Don’t worry if you have no idea what you want to write this summer. If you’re doing SumoWriMo with me, you could write Dayku 1, Dayku 2 etc. etc. The real titles can come later. I already had a lot of this list in my head since two of my categories (SumoWriMo and Backyard Birds and Words) are projects I’ve been working on for months. You can see that my personal list is smaller and will be filled in as I make my way through summer.

  • I think it takes overwhelm out of list-making if I put a time frame around it - like the three months of summer. I can just move unwritten titles to a new list called TBW List - Fall 2019. Or, I can chuck them and never write them. This list isn’t the boss of me.

  • I put a green star next to the two pieces that interest me the most right now. When I think of The Sky Will Never Be the Same and The Waving Man I feel energy rising in my gut. It doesn’t make me feel tired or overwhelmed to think about writing these pieces which will become picture book manuscripts.

  • I like having blank spaces in my list because I know I’ll be inspired to write yet unknown pieces this summer.

  • Don’t get too precious about thinking of fabulous titles. As you can see, I’ve made some pretty dull working titles like Micro-Memoir 1, 2, and 3. They are placeholder titles I can change later.


I’ll reflect on my TBW list-making experience and post an update blog in the fall. Here’s my prediction about how it will go down.

  1. I will write a lot, but it will be wildly different than what I put on this list. I never know when inspiration will put a new idea right in front of my face. This is what happens with my TBR List. I never know when a new book will get on my high priority reading radar. However, as long as I’m reading or writing, who cares if I’m not adhering to my list? It’s the DOING that’s important. And I think I’m more apt to DO if I’ve taken the intention-setting step of writing a list.

  2. I will write some of the titles on this list, but many will get moved to a TBW List for the fall. For example, I know I’ll do all the SumoWriMo pieces because I’m leading the writing challenge. Leader’s gotta do what she’s telling everyone else to do. Accountability is built into those pieces. I will probably lag on the Backyard Birds and Words pieces because, frankly, I’m tired and I’ve been working on that book for a year. I love it so much, but it needs a little resting time like a good bottle of wine.

  3. I will write more with a list than without a list. This is because I took a step to make mental writing intentions concrete and visible on a piece of paper.

When fall arrives, we’ll see how good I am at predicting my writing future. Happy listing. Happy writing.

Always writing,


P.S. Here’s a post I wrote about making lists! I love lists!

P.S.S. There is still time to join SumoWriMo! First class is June 10. Make this the summer of writing more!