Lists, UFOs, WISPs and keeping track

When I first thought about lists, I thought "I am a list based person" but I am less sure about that these days. It is true I cannot go into a store for anything – food, clothes, hardware – without a list. If I attempt list-less shopping it generally involves things I didn't need combined with signal failure to acquire things I do need. But the lists I've found while returning to my work room are not so important. I should know, I keep finding them.

I have found dozens of small notebooks (apparently I love notebooks almost as much as I love boxes) with lists in the first two or three pages and blank pages beyond. The lists remind me of what I was thinking at the time, but I find I am not terribly compelled by my old ideas of things to make. I can remember that I was inspired to write down series of things, sets of projects that are all clearly related and grow from each other, except the list is all there is. Apparently for making stuff, once I get it onto a list, the impetus to make it starts to be dissipated. If I don't put it (a concept, an idea for a piece, whatever IT is) on a list it rattles around in my head and gains intensity and urgency each time around until I HAVE to make it NOW. So I stopped making the lists of things to make a couple years ago, when I started a postcard a day. I have a long list of themes, things that I thought might be inspiring for a month, but beyond that I haven't got much written down.

I am much more interested in the parts or progress on pieces I have partly done. More than the lists, they represent things I started, materials collected, cut, some sewn together… These are much more interesting to me. Many are lovely enough, or meaningful enough, or expensive enough, or have enough work done on them that I can't simply throw them out or give them away. In a much realer fashion than the lists, these tell me what I was thinking about, who I was fond of, and how much free time I had to work on things. I have had to separate them into categories; those likely to be finished, and those to be re-purposed to other projects.