by Joana Pastro

In my 2020 StoryStorm post, I talked about always having my senses on, and my brain ready to make the necessary connections to generate ideas.

But then the pandemic turned our lives upside-down, and somewhere along the way, I lost the habit of searching for ideas. It was like my senses were turned off and I was going about my day on autopilot. Not making connections. Not allowing my mind to wander, or my heart to wonder at the beauty and emotions each day brings. Yes, dear Storystormer, I forgot to follow my own advice.

But fear not! Storystorm is here to make it all better, and I’m happy to report that I’ve been having at least one idea per day. I hope you are too!

Today, I propose we set out to find an idea for a story only you can tell. After all, that’s one of the top pieces of advice that writers get. To do so, you’ll have to dig into your memories and find an idea near and dear to your heart. How?

The first idea spark for my upcoming book BISA’S CARNAVAL (illustrated by Carolina Coroa, coming November 2021 from Scholastic), happened when I fell in love with the picture book FESTIVAL OF COLORS by Kabir Sehgal and Surishta Sehgal. I knew I HAD to write a book as bright and vibrant as that one. But what would MY story be about? What was the ACTUAL idea? I found out by doing the following exercises.

Make Lists!

I love making lists. They keep me organized, on task, and, because of their visual aspect, I can literally see the ideas that are already floating in my head!

So, keeping in mind your heritage and/or your childhood, create the following lists:

  • Festivals/celebrations
  • Music, dances
  • Clothing, accessories
  • Food, dishes
  • Places
  • People
  • Sports, entertainment
  • Nature – plants
  • Nature – animals

Feel free to add other categories. Take ownership of this activity! I suggest saving and adding to these lists for future idea hunts!

Now, take a closer look, and select the words that are begging for your attention. When I make these lists there’s always something that will almost immediately hook me, even if it’s only a faint spark of an idea.

Take those words and:

  • Let them simmer.
  • Do a quick research about them. New? Wikipedia? Fun facts? Wacky news?

In addition to the lists, I recommend taking your chosen word(s) and. . .

Go on a journey!

Well, not exactly, but I like to think of this as embarking on a train that you’ll keep riding from one memory to another, until you reach one that you feel strongly enough to explore. The goal is to dig deeper on a more personal level. Ready?

Make yourself comfortable, close your eyes, and think about what memories those words prompt! What do you remember? Allow your memories to roam free, and see where else it takes you.

Make connections, catch those ideas and write them down!

Here’s to a healthier and happier 2021 filled with an abundance of ideas!

Joana Pastro always wanted to be an artist of some sort. So, she became an architect. But once her first child was born, all the visits to the library, and the countless story times made Joana start dreaming of becoming a children’s book author. After a lot of reading, writing and revising, her dream came true. Her debut picture book, LILLYBELLE, A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS, illustrated by Jhon Ortiz, was published by Boyds Mills Press in 2020. Her second book, BISA’S CARNAVAL, illustrated by Carolina Coroa will be published by Scholastic in Fall/2021. Originally from Brazil, Joana now lives in Florida with her husband, her three extremely creative children, a rambunctious Morkie, and a needy Maltipoo. Visit her on Twitter @jopastro, Instagram @jppastro, or at

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I’ve always been a list maker but more to cross off ‘to-do’s’ so now I will start thinking differently. A memory list! May even call my little brother to share memories and see what we can come up with. Thank you for the good ideas

I’ve always been a list maker but more to cross off ‘to-do’s’ so now I will start thinking differently. A memory list! May even call my little brother to share memories and see what we can come up with. Thanks. I’ll enjoy it and maybe get a story or two

I had three new ideas just while reading your post! THANK YOU.

I love making lists! Thank you for the idea!

Likewise, I’m a list maker, so I look forward to getting stuck into this idea today. Thanks, Joana!

I got an idea reading your post too. What story can I tell? Only me. It was kind of a flood actually. Thank you.

Hooray for lists! I can’t wait to figure out what my story will be. Thanks for sharing.

I make lists for everything but never tried it for story ideas. Brilliant advice!

When in doubt or stuck…make a list! Thanks for the reminder. I’m digging deep into memories for a course I’m taking now, so this post really fits.

Making a list. Checking it twice. Wait a minute. Then again, why not? List making is a great idea generator.

Oh wow-this speaks to my list maker soul. If you haven’t heard of the Reminder Binder (a daily agenda), check it out! It’s one of my new favorite things.

Thank you for sharing how you marinate your ideas.

I love making lists too! Thank you for the exercise idea. It appeals to my list-making nature, and I’m looking forward to going on a journey with my memories.

I love the idea of thinking about childhood memories and tapping into those! Looking forward to my trip down Memory Lane to find some writing ideas. Thanks, Joana!

Adding these ideas to my lists~~!! Thanks!

Uh… do Brussel sprouts trigger anything for you? Ugh! They do for me. 🙂

    LOL They do! Brussel sprouts were frequently part of lunch at school when I lived in England and I couldn’t stand it.

Very helpful! I love lists too.

💘💘💘 it! And I will make my lists on the back of Tara’s “500 THINGS KIDS LOVE” I printed out!!!

Making lists is such a great way to spark ideas! Jumping about the idea train this morning with 2 ideas already! Thanks for the inspiration.

Thank you so much for this blog post! I love making lists!

Thanks Joanna! I’m making lists of lists! Congrats on your new book!

My favourite list to make is my list of things I accomplished today (which has really taken some creativity during this pandemic season). I’m looking forward to trying this new list of “I remember when”. Thanks Joana.

    That’s one list I should add to my routine. So many times I get to the end of the day with the feeling I did nothing. That list can be a good reminder to give myself a little pat on the back. Thank you!

Thank you. Such a fun post! Love making lists. ( if I could only remember where I put them:)

    lol I used to have that problem too. But now I make sure to always have a little notebook at hands reach at all times!

Yes…lists! Love this brainstorming idea to kickstart my 2021 brain!

Thanks for the tip about lists, Joana! It’s also nice to be reminded to write the stories only we can tell. Congratulations on your books!

This post has all the memories jumping forward, a story full of riotous color is what I need in this dreary winter atmosphere! Thank you for the inspiration!

I’m digging into the memory vault to see what presents itself today. Thanks for sharing your method, Joana!

Thank you, Joana! Enjoyed this!

Today I will write down some memories. Thanks!

Great suggestions for unique-to-me idea generation, Joana! Thank you!

Great advice!
I have lists all over my house!

This was such a great exercise to do when I first woke up this morning by Joana!

I too love lists. Thank you for the list-prompting post today!

Thank you Joanna for prompting me to remember listing things I don’t want to forget!

These are great list ideas and as a list maker, I’m definitely going to use them! Thank you!

What a great walk through of how to use lists to spark ideas, Joana! Congrats on LILLYBELLE: A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS and the fall debut for BISA’S CARNAVAL. I grew up going to a county fair every year in September so fall seems the perfect season for a festival book full of bold color! Looking forward to reading it! Thank you for sharing your process with all of us.
Thank you, Tara, for creating a spot to stop and smell the roses through the thorns. We Storystormtroopers pick you to lead the way!

Great to hear from you, my friend! And YAY! to all your successes. Hugs. S.

Thank you, I love having a target and to have making a list as one is a total bonus! I like the ideas on your list and am looking forward to spending time simmering with my senses.

Thank you! These are great ideas.

As a pathological list maker, I’m always happy when someone advises–rather than pokes fun at–my lists. I’ll consider this an excuse to let my list-making self free today! Congrats on your new book!

I like to remind myself that while there’s no new ideas under the sun, the way we approach it with out unique voices and perspectives is what will make it seem fresh.

So fun to see your post on Storystorm, dear friend! Your list technique is something we can all do and it has definitely worked well for you and your wonderful books!

Thanks for this great post! I’m a list maker too, and I felt that Donald Duck gif in my bones 🤣

Going searching in my memories today–thanks!

Oooooh, your post got me excited about making a list and going on a journey with words. And that’s what I’m going to do today.
Thank you!

Excellent advice, Joana – I love lists too : ) Thanks for sharing!

I can do this! Thanks for these great tips and congratulations on your books!!!
Gail Hartman

Sounds a bit like my own process. Gotta love lists! Thank you .

Thank you! I had stopped making lists… guess I should get back to that!! ✔️

Lists are great! Journeys, too! Will try the combination!

Love the title of your first picture book child. Thanks for sharing.

I make lists all the time…I have to start really mining them for some nuggets! Thanks…

Making lists is a great suggestion – they can lead to actual story ideas!

I love this post! I’m a big list maker too. Making lists calms me when I get overwhelmed. While reading this post, I had some thoughts drifting through my head, which will hopefully form into fuller ideas. Thank you so much!

I love the idea of making a list of words/things that remind one of their childhood. Very helpful!

I do love a list, but I’ve not really done one in this way to generate ideas, so thank you for sharing!

Great exercise! Can’t wait to actually give it a try when I’m finished with my teaching for the day.

I love lists, and I forgot about them! Great post, thanks!

I love lists, too! Thanks for sharing these insights!

Jumping on the idea train now.

Thanks for sharing! I love making lists!

Great advice! Thanks for the inspiration!

I love making lists too! An idea jumped into my head while reading through your post – thank you for the inspiration.

Lists are a great idea!

I also am a list maker but I haven’t used the list method for story ideas. I’ll be certain, however, to list my childhood experiences as well as other categories in the future. Hopefully the lists will generate some winning story ideas.

I just made all of these lists! So fun to journey back into my childhood. One memory I discovered was the time my cousins and I tried to make perfume from the petals off my mom’s roses in the back yard–we thought we had invented the best perfume ever.

Great post! I love a good list too!! 🙂

Lists – aaah – love lists.

Lists and post-its helped keep me sane during our big lockdown. Now, at least I can fish around in those lists to see what I can cook up! Thanks and Congrats!

I love lists — thanks for making them part of the process!

Thanks for a great post Joana! I’m hoping to spend the day “catching” a few ideas!!

Great post! I love when we’re given a challenge! I’m off now to start listing. Thanks!!

Yes, lists are a terrific way to move past the obvious ideas and discover specific moments.

Lists really help me come up with ideas. Sometimes I find an idea on multiple lists that I forgot about!

Thanks for the inspiration. Lists are my jam. And Storystorm is perfect for that, isn’t it? I would love a copy of your book, that would be awesome. 🙂

What fun! Thanks for sharing the magic of list making and congrats on your success!

Love the ideas of keeping your senses open for ideas and of making lists. I’m a structural engineer, so I’ve also found it helpful to read other people’s lists of the coolest new innovations in engineering and most accomplished women in the field. Every once in a while something sparks with my own experiences.

Often, I make a grocery list and then leave it at home or in the car :-/ But the process of making the list helps me remember anyway. I’m excited to make these lists and think about them creatively for lots of great story ideas! Thanks, Joana! Congrats on your success and here’s to more lists and more amazing stories!

Thanks Joana, so many great ideas. I like the idea of focusing on individual words from our memories and going on a journey with them.

I love lists! I organized my various lists yesterday and felt both more productive and freer to create. I’m going to make this work.

2020 ruined my good habits too. Except list-making. I make lists on lists!

Such a great way to conjure up our own story, thank you for the wonderful idea!

Thank you for your inspiring post!

Wonderful, Joana! I’ve started my list-making and already have an idea that’s grabbing me!

I love lists too! Sometimes I write things down I’ve already done for the mere satisfaction of crossing them off my list (shame). But just having a list (of whatever your listing) to look at does help me a lot. Thank you Joana! Congrats and I can’t wait to read your book.

Yes! I love lists too! Thank you for this, I am headed to my writers notebook right now!

What a fun post! Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to see Bisa. And yes, I’m all about the lists, too …

So many, so fast, had to pause twice when commenting! Delighted to let the ideas roam this morning. I followed your social media and suggested my local libraries purchase LILLYBELLE, A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS, when I couldn’t reserve it 🤨. Thank you 🙏🏻

Love lists–they are freeing. Thank you and I’m looking forward to LILLYBELLE!

I love list making!

Lists are my favorite! I’m starting the new one now! Thanks for the suggestion.

Thanks for the jumpstart on your list! I also like making lists:>

Thank you Joana, congratulations on your new book.

It’s amazing how much you can remember if you sit down and try!

Lists are my favorite too! Thanks for the post.

I like the list idea! Congratulations on your new book.

I am a list maker too but never thought of making lists just for fun. Thanks for the tip!

Great post! Ideas hit me at the most inopportune times. Thank goodness I carry my iPhone everywhere. My lists, words, ideas are all stored in the “Notes” app.

I love lists too. I start my day with one and get excited when I can check things off. Your list idea immediately jogged my brain and I had to stop to write done an idea, one that I’m actually excited about. 🙂 Thank you for the inspiration. T

I was the same—walking around like a zombie. Great idea for lists. Thank you.

Thanks Joana, I’m making lists!

I love everything about this! Lists, questions, exploring your memory. These are all such great bits of advice. Thank you for sharing.

Lists are my favorite! Thanks for a great tip, Joanna!
-Maryna Doughty

YES!!! I’m a list person so this made my day. Thanks for sharing….

I’ve found the best time to come up with ideas is not when sitting at a computer trying to come up with ideas! The idea of making lists of random thoughts just might be the spark I need. Thanks.

I think we can all agree that during the pandemic, our brains are working differently. For 2 weeks…I forgot Wednesday existed between Tuesday and Thursday! Lol… I love this post. I am a pretty organized person and I can see how a list might evoke an idea for me as long as I let it!!

I love lists and crossing them off. Thanks for this new take on lists!

I love lists, too. Joanna, I am ready to brainstorm w/the ideas and process you provided. TY and cheers to your newest book! Ty.

I love your list-such a great springboard for ideas! Thank you.

A fabulous post and a fabulous prize! Thanks for sharing! So happy to be part of Lily Belle’s journey (and Bisa too) Lynne Marie

Although I don’t feel like I have (or remember) a lot of experiences from which to cull, I definitely will try to see what I can find.Thank you!

Thanks for sharing your story, Joana. It’s nice to know we all get off track sometimes and strategies to jump back in! Congrats on your newest book!

Joana, thanks for sharing how you have persevered through 2020. I could relate…

Making lists is a good way for me to brainstorm ideas. Thanks for the reminder. I love your encouragement to get comfy and allow your memories to run free.

Also, congratulations on your success as a picture book author and mom. Have an amazing year of discovery.

Great post! I have a page in my journal to keep childhood memory seeds. Congrats on your books!!

I LOVE YOUR LIST IDEA!!! As a fellow list-maker, this post really resonated with me! Can’t wait to try it out this morning!

Thank you for your process of lists. It is fun to remember the good past experiences, especially today when the world is in such turmoil. For some of us whose memories aren’t as good as they used to be, it is fun to sit with a photo album. Thanks again!

I too am a big old list-maker! I’m going to do this RIGHT NOW.

i have a notebook full of lists! I make lists of lists to make. I love lists!!

Thank you so much for the suggestions and the fun gifs!! 🙂

Woohoo! Yet another reason to make lists. Thanks for the creative idea, Joana.

Thank you for such great advice and the wonderful suggestions of how to dig into our memories!

I love, love, LOVE lists!
Oh, it looks like I’m in great company here – hello fellow list lovers!

A list making kindred spirit! Just one more thing to like about you! Congratulations on all of your success, Joana and thanks for another great post.

Thank you Joana 😊

Thanks, Joana, for sharing this post. I make lists all the time, but not for writing. Your suggestion is a great one, and I will start my list today.

Thanks, Joana! I struggle with lists, but I love the inspiration-oriented angle here:) I mentioned this book in yesterday’s comments too – maybe I got my posts mixed up, but you (and any other list-lovers here) may like Suzanne Buffam’s A Pillow Book. Not kidlit, but excellent!

Thank you for your list of lists…because I love lists too!

Thank you for your lovely ideas!

Joana, thanks for this post. I love your idea process because I too, love lists. I will try this today! And I too, have experienced a creative screeching halt where ideas are concerned, for various reasons. I need a way back.

Thank you, Joana, for opening the morning with a list of ideas to jumpstart today’s writing. What a wonderful list to start our writing.

I love making lists. In fact, I have an Archer & Olive dot grid notebook that is almost entirely for random lists. It helps so much. Love this list exercise!

Fun post! Mom is not typically a written list maker – except for StoryStorm time. She feels that if something is important she cannot possibly forget it. Then she forgets it. Except the lists she makes for me – don’t lick your feet, stop following me, put down the remote, get away from the garbage….. Those she remembers! Ugh.

Love and licks,

My to-do list just got longer:
– Create a creative list

I would have loved to see an example of something that popped from Joana’s list and then share a bit of its journey into something more story-worthy. Yet, overall, I do love a good list!

I got 2 ideas just from reading your post!

I love that your inspiration came from another book! That happens to me often. The list idea is a great idea!


I love your list-making idea and Lillybelle, which is such a great twist on the damsel in distress story.

Going to make lists today!

Great post! I am a list maker too. What a fun exercise Joana!

I, too, am a list-maker! Great exercise–thank you.

Lovin’ a good list these days – but especially a creative one. Looking forward to you new book! Thanks for the great post.

I’m a list maker as well. 🙂 Thanks for your suggestions.

Thank you for great new tips to help re-ignite our senses and spark ideas in this year’s post!

I love the lists idea! Thanks for sharing!

Thank you for this post, Joana. I love the idea of creating a list of story ideas that only YOU can tell.

Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Thank you. I too am a lost maker so I better get to it! Have a great day!

I appreciate your practical tips and especially like the idea of choosing words with spark and journeying with them.

Yes, lists! I have lists for everything. A delightful read! Thank you!

I love lists too. They unwind my spinning brain by giving me a place to lay things out create a sense of order. Whether developing ideas, working through steps of a project, or creating balance in a day with too much to do, they are there for me to add to, cross off, or just ruminate upon.

I am also a list maker. Thanks for your post!

A list is a great idea! Thank you for sharing! 😀

I love lists too!

Thanks for planting a seed to grow in the midst of winter. I have lists on post-it-notes everywhere and I am now trying to organize my lists into something I can understand better.

Oh I do love a concrete assignment. Off to find MY only-me story!

This has given me a whole new outlook on list making. I have looked into my past before, but now I think I need to expand on my list. Thank you.

Great suggestions for coming up with a story only I can tell! Thank you!


What a happy post.

I love lists – and it’s been a long time since I’ve indulged… Can’t wait to see Bisa’s Carnaval

Embarking on a train…I love that!

Thank you for the great ideas. I also love lists and checking things off my lists.

what an amazing post, Joana! LOVE LOVE LOVE the list idea.

Joana, I loved your post! I’m going to put your list to use in finding my next idea. I used to make lists too, but somewhere I stopped, so I’m going back to list making again. Like you this whole virus and lock down has left me in a tizzy, but using your list I hope to get straightened out. I am looking forward to reading about the damsel not in distress. I’m still in distress, but only some of the time.

I embarked on that memory train and uncovered memories I’d long forgotten. My mother & I moved to Miami Beach when I was 4 years old, but returned to Atlantic City every summer, until I was 12. My mother was afraid to fly…so we took the TRAIN. Thank you for your awesome post.

Great post for gathering more ideas! — I thought I commented on this from my phone – but now I’m afraid a few of those posts didn’t make it.

Thank you Joana Pastro! I’ve seen your Lillybelle book and would love a copy to share! I really connected with your post and pictures today, thank you! 2 ideas ‘write off the bat’! Gotta go and make some lists. 🙂 Take care!

I love making lists! Brainstorming is such fun!

Thanks so much, Joana! Such a helpful perspective on list making. Your suggestion to draw from childhood memories of festivals and celebrations gave me a new PB idea!

Thanks for the idea generator!

Love making lists, and I loved this post. Thank you, Joana! I’m looking forward to reading BISA’S CARNIVAL.

Great advice! I love lists too. Thanks for the inspiration.

Love lists, Joana! Thank you!

List makers rule! Congrats on your books. Looking forward to reading them.

1. Read Joana’s books.
2. Request local library to purchase Joana’s books.
3. Buy Joana’s books for gift-giving.
4. Thank Joana for her inspiring post on Storystorm!
5. Go sit in a chair and make lists!

Ahh…let your mind wander. YES! Thanks, Joana.

This post gave me two new story ideas. My list of ideas is growing. Thank you Joana.

I am known as the family list maker. Is there a story in there?

True… between the disruptions due to COVID, and now the disruptions in our government… it’s a trial to have that special mental space open to ideas… feelings… but, reading your description was comforting and
YES! notebook now open for
well… NOTES!!!
many thanks

Lists are always helpful with the writing process. Thanks for the tip!

Your list idea transported me back to my Pepaw’s small farm house (with a real outhouse) in Kentucky and then to watch the trains at my other Grandpa’s house in Tennessee. Thank you so much! Peace, Alicia

Thanks for the great tips! Very helpful.

Thanks Joana! I love your Lucy meme. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Lists are helpful, but thanks for taking it one step further…after the list is made.

I love lists! This is perfect! I copied your directions after my calendar. I do trivia quizzes so I’ll put this on simmer, just in case a question/answer trigger an idea THANK YOU!

Lists! They really do help! Thank you for the post, I have things to go and write now.

I love lists and was planning to more deliberately write down memories, so thank you for the timely post!

I love lists as well. And I will take this journey to build on those lists. Thanks for great advice.

Time to make my lists 😊

So many great suggestions here–I’m thinking of what I can tell, revisiting a book I adore, and making lists!

For some reason, this really clicked with me today and I just jotted down 6 different ideas. Thanks!

What I like most about the list idea is you can create a bunch of things that may not be very good, but later….sometimes years….you look back over it and WHAM! it hits you! That lame idea is now a stellar story!

Thank you, Joana. I didn’t think I had any notable traditions…just reading the post and taking a minute to breathe…came up with one and maybe more. Thank you!

What a great way to stimulate ideas – thanks for this inspiration!

Thank you, Joana. I’ll try to make a list.

Thank you, Joana! Those lists beget more lists: the people, places, and events can stir up more lists of details, surroundings, and sights, sounds, tastes, sensations, and smells. Taking one of the trigger words and making subsequent lists using the five senses may be of help too. And – okay, I had to stop to make a few notes…and I have an idea I couldn’t stop developing! Thank you!

I love lists! They’re little nuggets of potential ideas -thanks for sharing and congrats!

I, too, love making lists–especially my daily to-do one! I will now try this to generate ideas. Thank you for this idea-generating post, Joana!

Ooh I love lists too! This sparked several ideas already. Thanks for your post.

Brilliant post! Thank you for sharing your list technique. While reading and taking notes, and thinking about your lists, I discovered a couple of ideas to explore.

Yes! A green light to tumble down the mental research rabbit-hole!

I am a list maker too, so this is the perfect activity for me!

Lists to make a list. Makes perfect sense to me (as I tick something else off my list).

Thank you for the important reminder that outside influences can take us off track (and even cause us to stop using our own advice to others!) The pandemic has definitely required me to recommit to my former routines on several occasions. I’m a list-maker too, and your post helps remind me to start using them as a writing tool more often.

Thanks for the lists Idea – I love making lists too, so this is a great way to put them to use! 🙂

I’m a list maker too… and get many of my ideas that way. Thanks for your advice.

I love the ongoing list idea! Thanks for sharing!

Thank you for the reminder to revisit childhood. I will follow your good advice 🙂.

Great advice, and I love lists, so this will be easy, right! But at the very least, it will be fun!

Yes! I love the list categories you suggested and will be adding a few 😊

I love this strategy. I’m already bursting with ideas! Gotta go write them down before I forget them. Thanks for the great post!!

I am definitely going to make a list of stuff and see what words pop out at me! Thank you!

I love the list idea. Thanks for sharing and congrats!

I took a deep dive down the well of memories and have several gems on my list. Thank you for prompting us to do it, Joana!

Great inspiration! The lists really got me going this morning. Thank you for such a simple and effective tool.

The only thing better than closing my eyes and dreaming of the past using word associations, is pretending to close them with my four year old grandson and watching his face explode with emotions as he dreams in real time! Thank you for inspiration.

I too am an inveterate list maker! And I love the idea of Damsel NOT in distress.

I too am an inveterate list maker! And I love the idea of Damsel NOT in distress. Thanks also for sharing your pandemic struggles.

Joanna, Great article and ideas. I’m a list maker too! There is nothing like seeing things in front of you to make it concrete. Congratulations and wishing you continued success. 🙂

I am an obsessive list maker. I like your idea of turning to memories to make lists.
Can’t wait to read Damsel Not in Distress.

Write the story only you can tell! Genius! Everyone has at least one unique experience, person, or place tucked away in his memory! Pull it out, wipe away the dust to reveal the its vibrant colors, and begin your word portrait! Beautiful!

OOO List girl here! This is a great idea spark. I looked at my notebook and realized that I was almost doing a list with each of my ideas. Those with longer lists are ones that I actually can see the book. Thank you so much for this today.

Thank you for the wonderful list of topics to generate story ideas.

I’m naturally a list person. I love this idea for generating memories and ideas! Thank you for your post! I’m ready to go make lists!

Great tip for making lists of childhood memories. I’ve written several books based on my heritage & this morning I woke up with the words “a new old Jewish story” in my head!

I love this! I feel the same where the pandemic just sucked all my creativity and now I feel like my mind is ready to get pumped again. Thank you for sharing this!

My idea-generating habit has been suffering during the pandemic, too. Thanks for these great ideas for drawing upon memories and writing lists. I love lists, too!

Thanks for your lists ideas for today. I always have a list of things to remember to do. And I think I can build off that. Memories of things we did as children always brings happiness to me but is not done today.

Such a great post! Thank you!

I love lists too! I appreciate a new use for them. Thank you!

Thanks, Joana. What you wrote about the pandemic is exactly how I felt this past year. Thanks for your honesty!

Thanks so much for this post! You’re wonderful!

Thanks for the inspiration. I love lists!

I’m also a list maker! Thanks for reminding us. It seems so simple, yet it works.

So glad to hear other people who felt as shut down as I did at the beginning of this pandemic! (I also have three young kids.) Touring memories is a great vehicle for brainstorming. Will definitely try this.

I’m a list maker too. I like the idea of making a list of ideas to spark ideas.

FESTIVAL OF COLORS is inspiring for many reasons. The message, the art, even the fonts are beautiful! Can’t wait to see BISA’S CARNAVAL.

Your list helped me to pull out a few things I had forgotten. Great post.

Lists keep me from being listless!

Thank you for this strategy!

Thanks for the wonderful tips and inspo ✨

Ah, a good reminder to make connections (something that’s been difficult to do, in general, the last 9 months!).

Lists are good! Thanks for being part of Story Storm.

Got it. Thanks, Joana!

Off to make some lists! I love lists too! Thanks for sharing.

Love your list suggestion, Joana! Starting one right now!

Thanks for the suggestions to help identify more ideas. I’ll try your exercise today!

Thank you Joanna! Lists are the best! I love the idea of tapping into your memory bank for ideas! Your books sound wonderful – congratulations!

I love it when the ideas pop up right in the middle of reading the post. Thanks, Joana!

Great ideas and luv the presentation!

Forgetting to take your own advice! Something I know nothing about, LOL. I LOVE lists, too. That’s how most of my StoryStorm ideas come out, in lists. Great post!

I have four grown up Not damsels in distress and am requesting your book pronto from the library. Thanks for the post. I liked your line at the beginning about not allowing the wander and wonder.

Thank you for this post! I love lists too and have started this process before but haven’t sat and dug deeper into those words that are leaping off the list. This was an inspiring post to lean in to my lists. Thank you for that. -Robin

Great suggestion, much prefer your memory list to my To Do and Grocery ones! Any tricks to handling happy kid memories involving near death?

Thank you for the excellent post! I’m going to reread it and brainstorm.

Thank you for this post. I start every day with a ‘to do’ list, so I can really appreciate your suggestion for incorporating lists into brainstorming ideas.

Thanks for the idea of pulling from our childhood. I’ve heard it before, but nothing popped up that I wanted to share. This time an idea swirled in that I’d like to write about. Thanks Joana and Tara!

I, too, love making lists and word banks, too.

Thank you, Joana.

Suzy Leopold

Thanks for the writing exercise!

list maker here too, thanks for the encouragement

Ooh, great post! This one will keep me busy for a while! Thanks, Joana! 🙂

I have left every single post with a new idea and this one was no different. Thank you for the encouragement to find a story from within.

Love that you were inspired by another story!

Thanks Joana, I loved this post. You inspired me with an idea for one of my middle grade stories. Now I just need the time to work on it!

Thank you, Joana! I’m going to do my writing assignment right now! Can’t wait to see what pops off the page at me. 🙂 I love your bio, too. It’s so interesting how our creative lives lead us to our most authentic form of expression eventually.

I’m a big fan of lists, too. Thank you, Joana for getting us started on one and the encouragement to dig deeper into our experiences.

I’m building on a previous idea, before I even finished reading, thank you!

Making a grocery list is what I’m good at but you never know, all kinds of lists count and ideas come up even when you’re thinking of every little item that you don’t want to miss. Keep listing…

Thanks, Joana. Good luck with your writing.

Your list definitely spurred memories from my childhood. Thank you for the tip!

I have a Yorkie. But what’s a Morkie?
Thanks for encouraging us to go deeper.

Great post! I got 4 ideas today! Thanks!

Reasons I love this Storystorm post:
– Laid out a good idea-generating technique
– Gave me inspiration
– Got to know a fellow list-maker

Thanks, Joana!

I love making lists. Thank you for sharing your insights!

This article made me immediately think of two new ideas. Thank you Joana, for the inspiration!

Love this Joana! I have not been very successful this year so this advice is excellent!

I love lists too! It’s a shame mine are on little pieces of paper all over my desk. I must organize! I thought of a story idea from your post and actually wrote it down in my StoryStorm notebook instead of a little piece of paper – thank you!

I actually love to make lists!! Thanks for a fun idea!

What a wonderful post, my friend! xo

These are great ways to tap into our inner resources, Joana. Thank you!

What a fun list! Thank you!

Thank you for helping me start a list now I’m ready to dig deep in my memory which might be difficult because I have a hard time remembering things. I’ll do my best!

Thank you for the inspiration, Joana!

Thanks! Just gained 5 new ideas from this exercise!

Wonderful post. It has given me a great set of ideas for new stories. Your list helped! 🙂

I, too, love lists! Making one right now! 🙂

I didn’t even get your list written down before I had an idea. Lists must really work! Lovely to meet you Joana. Congratulations on your books.

You know how much I love Bisa’s Carnaval, Joana!!! xx

Joana, I love lists, too. They’re so useful! I look forward to doing this exercise. I know I’ll find more than one idea that only I can write. Great point!

Thanks for the reminder to list!

Excellent stimulation of my little gray cells today! Thanks a bunch 🙂

Man, I love lists, too! Thanks for giving me more food for thought. (Man, I love food!) and I got a lovely “”list” notebook from my husband yesterday, too…perfect timing!!! Thanks

Thanks for the reminder of lists, Joana. Lists never get old. When I am stuck, I like to make a circle with a word inside, noun, adjective, verb, an emotion, whatever, and then I like to do spokes off the word and see what I add at the end of each spoke. I use this method for a character, too. Like the word car in the center then draw a spoke. You might put rusty on the end of a spoke, or old bucket of bolts on the end of another, crashed, fancy, journey, trip…who knows…it could lead to many ideas.

Thanks for this post!

Great ideas, I love lists also. Now I will make a new list with random thoughts that I have and see where it leads.

Hi Joana,
This is perfect for me because I’m a perpetual list-maker of gigantic proportions. Congratulations on your recently published and you soon-to-be-published book. May the years ahead include much publishing success.

That piece of advice about writing what you know put me off writing for years, as I don’t have the confidence to believe I have anything unique to say. But I’m going to try your tasks and see what happens. Wish me luck!

Thanks for a great post, Joana! I love lists and I am writing down lots of sparks. I’m excited to read your new book!

Thank you for these fantastic brainstorming tips, Joana. Making more lists is now a goal for 2021!

Terrific post, thank you! I needed to read this today. I LOVE lists as well:) Happy 2021!

As someone who forgets things I don’t write down, this feels like sound advice! 🙂 Thank you.

Thank you for this wonderful post! Making my lists. Later I’ll check them twice!

Thanks ever so much for this post. I love lists too. May 2021 be everything you hope it to be & then some! Thank you! ❤️

Thanks, Joana. It looks like most of us responding to your post are avid list makers too. So this is the perfect post to add more lists to our idea books. I’ve also used lists to brainstorm character names and traits or plot points for works-in-progress. Congratulations on LILLYBELLE and BISA’S CARNIVAL!

Lists are a perfect way to keep yourself organized. They’re all over my desk. Now I need to organize my desk! Thanks for a great post, Joana!

I am a mega list lover so this really spoke to me. Thank you!

Thank you for sharing this wonderful process Joana. All the best for a better 2021 for you as well.

Yes to making lists! I have one with hundreds of entries, then found the categories they covered, and I use those categories with students to help them make their own lists. Good grief. I need to use that idea with adults more often! Writers, not just teachers. Why are aha moments so obvious that you can’t figure out why you didn’t think of it sooner? If you’re interested, you can find my Idea Bank (first created a few decades ago) under the teacher tab on my website. Joana, you are a gem! Thanks for making my day. Off to work on my list…

Such a great post! You already have me looking at my world differently. Thanks for sharing with us.

I am no typical this or that. So I appreciate all methods shared on how to mine those story nuggets out of us. Creating a list as you suggest is another method I will be happy to try this month! Thanks for sharing!

Thank you Joana. I have always been a list maker. IMO there is no better way to pin down the thought pandemonium swirling around my brain than with a list (plus there’s nothing better than using a big black sharpie to cross out items on a to-do list). This is a perfect reminder of how useful all my lists can be.

I love lists, so this will be fun. Thanks for the prompts.

I need to simmer a little longer, then research!


This was great! Thank you for providing examples of how to get our creativity going. I wish you the best with your upcoming book BISA’S CARNAVAL.


So lovely! Thank you so much for your inspirational words and for waking up my mind to go on that journey! Very best wishes x

I love this exercise! This will get the creative juices flowing. Thanks for sharing this post. I’m making a point of doing at least one creative exercise a day like this, so thank you for adding to the toolbox.

Thanks Joana! I had an idea come immediately just by reading your list. I’m a great writer of lists. I just forget to look at them after I write them…less effective!

I, too, am a list maker. Nice to meet you! 🙂
Thanks for this. I remember a very specific animal I liked to play with as a child. I am having fun thinking about what kind of story I could tell using that animal!
Thanks and congrats on your book success!

Thank you for the specific guidance in mining our own memories. I used your list to write down several ideas. Now on to digging deep and creating a story only I can write.

Thank you for sharing.

I love lists! And thanks for the great categories to consider. This will be fun to think back to my childhood and become a kid again.

Lists. I live by lists. Daily, weekly, monthly. Lists of ongoing projects, “wanna
write projects”, projects in the drawer, over there, over here…thank you- need to think deeper about MY own list.

I love the idea for a structured brainstorming session. I rely on lists for keeping the rest of my life from falling apart and I love the idea of using them in my writing too. Thanks!!

Joana, thanks for offering another way to find/mine for ideas. I make lists – to do, shopping, xmas gift ideas, etc. But I’ve never made one to tease out ideas. I’m excites to try! Thanks again.

Yes! Especially, here’s to a healthier and happier 2021 with an abundance of ideas! ❤️ this!

Oh yes! I love lists! I already have a list of delectable words and future projects. I like your offer of this new list to try. (Not to mention sub-list possibilities galore! 😀 ) Thanks for your post today. I have also been suffering from the creative shutdown that Covid brought. I am so grateful that I came across Storystorm and have started to soften than block, one idea at a time.

Oh, goodie, a fellow list maker, a writer after my own heart!!

Thanks for the post. As noted the pandemic has disrupted so much, I miss going to the library to read books, generate ideas and to write. But now I have to pick up the books and find another space. Here’s to adaptation.

Thank you Joana for the reminder about how great lists are. There’s something about making a list that frees up the mind – making room for creativity.

Definitely need to turn your senses on to be ready to catch ideas. Thanks for the inspiration and good luck with your titles.

Wonderful reminders that taking to my writing desk tonight.

Thank you for sharing your story generating ideas. I’m sure these will stir up a lot of my memories which hopefully become stories! Congrats on your books!

Love your post Joana! The ideas on a journey into our memories is inspiration. Thank you 🙂

Enjoyed your post. As soon as I read “food” and idea popped into my memory. Time to close my eyes and think about it. Thank you.

I’m a list person too. I think your post was: 1. fantastic, 2. creative, 3. linear, and 4. fun. Thank you and congrats on your two new books!

Thanks for the ideas! Hopefully yours will be flowing all year for 2021.

It makes me feel better when I hear about other people’s brains being out of whack from 2020 et al. Lists are good, simple and effective. Took me a while to figure it out, but so glad I finally did. Thank you for your post.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees the value in making lists! Thanks, Joana!

Thanks Joana, I’m a list person too.

Thank you for sharing, Joana!

I came up with a pretty solid idea just from your intro and some “leads” as I was reading. Thanks!

Doing the exercise as we speak, and wow! I’m stunned by the amount of ideas and memories that are already flowing. Thank you, Joana, for the suggestions!

Love the lists! Thanks Joana.

Thanks for this idea! I love lists! Lynn Street

Thank you! I love the idea of lists!

Exploration of childhood is a good way to generate ideas. Haven’t used this idea starter for awhile. Thank you. I love to make lists.

I love making lists too! Thanks for these super helpful exercises, Joanna!! 🙂 Jill Dana

Thanks for sharing

Making a list is such a great idea!

To be honest, my first thought was that my childhood wasn’t exciting enough to produce ideas for stories. But when I started to dig, a few quirky memories popped up after all. Thank you.

Liking the ideas here! Thanks for touching on new ways to look st story mining.

I do like making lists. It always helps me generate ideas. Thanks for the post and the kick in the pants.

Great suggestion to keeping an idea list going!

Thanks for the inspiration! Making lists sounds like a great way to discover stories, and I haven’t used that technique in a while. Getting ready to start some lists now 🙂 Thanks so much!

I love lists, too! Sometimes I make them just so I can cross things off. Via your list encouragement I’ve already jotted down some ideas I want to explore. Thank you!

As a fellow list-maker, I love this idea! Thank you for sharing your process : )

I’m a habitual list-maker, so your ideas are perfect for me.

I love lists, and you never know where one will take you. Thanks for connecting list-making with story idea creation.

Love lists and love this idea. Helpful advice and congratulations on your new book!

I love this idea, thank you so much. Lists and memories….something great is about to happen (at least I hope it will 🙂 )

I love making lists and doing memory prompts! Thanks for the ideas, Joana.

Thanks, Joana looking forward to reading your books! Love lists!

I already have a great story idea from reading your list. It is exciting when one suddenly pops into your mind. Thank you for this great activity. I know it will help me create more exciting ideas.

Making lists is on my list of things to catch up on, hee hee. Thanks, Joana!

Thank you for your insights about making lists to produce ideas! Great idea!!

Lists are a must! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for the super helpful ideas, Joana! I will definitely be using them to spark my own!

I’m a big fan of lists, and of Moira! Love the meme

Thanks for this post! Lists are my thing. I’ve already started digging into my memories to find ideas that only I can write.

Wow, just look at this list of comments! Not only do I love lists, I also love stories that turn fairy tales on their ear. 🙂 Good luck on everything!

Very helpful suggestions, Joana. I’m a list kind of gal as well but I think your suggestion of thoroughly tapping into our childhood memories might just generate some viable ideas for me! Thanks.

Thank you for these helps! I am a list person so ideas generated this way comes naturally! 😊

❤️lists. We have a lily bug❤️❤️

This is right up my alley. I’m a chronic list maker! Your book sounds adorable. I can’t wait to read it

A list maker am I! You’ve stirred up some intriguing thoughts. Thanks

JOANA: Like you, I think a lot of us have also gotten caught up–SWALLOWED UP!!!–by the pandemic, allowing fear and uncertainty to invade our minds, hearts, and homes. But I have found–just like you did!–that StoryStorm has ONCE AGAIN COME TO THE RESCUE!!! Every year it really helps me tap into my imagination and to come alive to the ENDLESS possibilities of stories–EVERYWHERE. I TRULY APPRECIATE the exercise you included to help get those creative juices flowing, TOO!!! I CAN’T WAIT to give it a try!!! THANK YOU for the inspiration!!!

First of all congratulations ! Looking forward to reading “Bisa’s Carnival”!

Lists are your friends! 🙂

I’m making a list and checking it twice, gonna find a story that will come out all nice. Story storm is all about ideas. Thanks, Joana.

I love lists, too. I also really like the idea of writing a story unique to you…one only you can write. 👍🏽

Searching what’s dear to my heart, and not necessarily what seems like a good idea, might just give me the energy and passion to create.

Lists!! Yay! Great thoughts. Thanks!

From list making to memory shaking — your idea tips are great. Congrats on your wonderful books, too!

I love lists too! Thanks for your post!

Thank you!

Thank you for all of the ideas for finding inspiration!

It’s all about the lists. Gonna go make one now–thanks!

I love lists! Thanks for sharing!

I try to do list, but I am never consistent. I keep thinking I will remember, but I never do. Lol. I am going to do better. This is my dream.

Thank you.

I love making lists too, but I never thought about using them to spark an idea to write about. Great advice!

I love this exercise. I, too, am a fan of lists. Thanks for the prompt. Looking forward to seeing what I’ll come up with. (Also excited about clomping down Memory Lane.)

Little lists, loving lists, leaping lists, lean lists, learning lists, lengthy lists, life lists, limited lists, literary lists, lustrous lists, luxuriant lists, lyrical lists….. I love lists!

This is perfect. I love making lists.

Thank you for these suggestions! I just added four ideas to my list from reading your essay!

Great motivator to get our ideas percolating!

Thank you! I agree, lists are a tremendous tool, and I often use them as a stepping stone into mind-mapping for PB ideas.

Lots of list love in the comments! I am an ardent cataloguer myself, which comes in handy as a librarian. I have dozens of lists for all sorts of things, including story ideas, but I never considered turning the practice inward to create a “my life in lists” document. I look forward to trying it out!

Great idea generating concept, Joana! Thanks so much. It’ll work well with my Bullet Journaling. 🙂

Thanks, Joana. I’ll try the lists.

Sunch great ideas and inspiration! Thanks!

I love lists, too! Thank you for sharing this fun, memory-jogging activity.

It is a relief to know that I am not the only writer who struggled with being creative this year. Thank you for showing us a way out!

Making lists, and then research them is brilliant. Let’s do it!!!
Joana I’m guessing Bisa’s Carnaval is about dance, songs and parade. Best wishes on your book!

I am off to make some lists. great post! Thank you.

I feel very similar about this year. It has been so stressful and dark, that I’ve wrote down a fraction of the ideas that I normally do. So excited to be doing Storystorm again and getting back into the groove of finiding ideas.

I love lists so your style works for me!

Nice to have a list to work on that’s not a to-do list! Appreciate the advice (and any GIF of Moira Rose).

I made a list just now of sights in my neighborhood. Something stirred. Thank you for this exercise.

I love lists. I make a list of 10 ideas every day!!!

Lists for the win! Thank you for the encouragement to embrace the joy of nostalgia.

This post was incredible! I also added to my list: Catholic family rituals and experiences I have shared with my own children…..Lots to recollect and dream about….Thank you, Joana!

Funny, I always find ideas and awareness get blocked with busy life, I have found a more simplified life with Lockdown and working from home has allowed me space to flourish and take time but remember too and create a consistent focus time which I will hold onto whenever things go back out there!

Lists are my JAM! I make SO many lists all the time and they are so helpful! Especially for brainstorming! Love all your ideas for new lists to make! Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!
Rebecca Gardyn Levington

I love lists!

I’m a list-lover too!

Yes, the pandemic sapped my creativity! But your idea for creating a list of my personal experiences has already sparked ideas. Thanks!

Love lists! Thanks for the reminder of how powerful they can be!

Joana, I am a HUGE “List Lover” myself…can’t live without them! I love your list; they’re great list headings which, when you close your eyes (I’ve built worlds this way—and sometimes fall asleep lol), will spark that wonderful train ride of sub-headings and ideas! GREAT stuff 😀 ❤

I jotted down two ideas while reading this! Thanks!

We all have great stories to tell. The hard part is how to tell them

So many ideas flowing from the lists….love this!!

I LOVE making lists! For all sorts of reasons, but mostly because I think that way. Actually, all of my ideas so far (for this Storystorm and all previous ones) are in list form. And then when an idea sparks…the list explodes with details! Thanks for sharing.

I’m looking forward to a walk down memory lane! I already found one story through a childhood memory about a cake. I’m inspired to find more!

Can’t wait to read about Bisa! Thank you for those wise words, Joana.

Thank you!

I just heard some one call the tendency to be a list maker as having a “case of listeria.” I got it. I embrace it.

Love the list! Thank you for sharing ❤

Great post Joana, thank you. If a memory keeps coming back it will probably be interesting to a reader too.

This post really spoke to me, Joana! Many of my stories are from my own life, and I also am a list maker. But, you have taken this a step farther, and I am grateful for the tips. Because of this post, I am getting to work ASAP! Thank you Joana and Tara!

I love lists. One of my favorites that I did was in a writing class. Our instructor had us make a list of what we are and what we are from. I got a ton of ideas and illumination about myself from that.

Thanks Joana! I love this idea of making lists and seeing what words pop out. I make lists often and I’m looking forward to trying this.

Great post, Joana! I have been writing lists too for a while…grocery lists, to do lists and of course, Storystorm lists. Using certain words that strike you is a great idea too. Thanks!

I love making lists! Thanks for sharing, Joana!

I enjoyed your post, Joana — I love lists! Congrats on your upcoming book.

I, too, love making lists. I feel like Lucille Ball in the meme whenever I misplace my lists! 🙂

I, too, find list making lists a helpful reminder and springboard for new ideas. Thanks, Joana!

As a fanatical list maker, I approve of this post.
🙂 Thanks for the inspiration, Joana.

💛Thanks for sharing!💛

The pandemic threw us all a curve! Thank you!

Thank you, Joana. I have been thinking a lot about what stories are mine to tell. Love your suggestions on going at that question. ❤

On top of my list is to create some lists.

Just what I needed – encouragement to make more lists! For me, this is the best way to come up with new ideas.

“Pokey Meets Morkie” – your bio inspired the next tale of my superhero dog Pokey!

Ohhhh! Lists are my love language. Thanks for a new way to use them and congratulations!

Oooo…I love lists! Can’t wait to read your books!

Thanks, Joana! I, too, wasn’t connecting with ideas as much due to pandemic fatique BUT Storystorm has kept me focused and my heart and mind are opening up again.

Love making lists! And I agree wholeheartedly about letting ideas simmer. Thanks for sharing!

This is a great post. I love lists and organizing my ideas. Thank you for sharing, Lauren!

Thanks for the inspiration–I haven’t used lists in a while, but thanks to your post, I made some lists and already have a few story ideas! Thank you!

Lists! of course! lightbulb!

Thank you for sharing a way to get creative traction out of lists! As a chronic list maker, I jumped right on this train—within an hour had a long list of memories based on your suggestions. What a treasure trove of possible stories!

Thank you for the reminder that stories come from our experiences.

This will be a fun journey. Thanks for the directions.

From a fellow previous architect to a fellow future brainstorming list maker and aspiring children’s writer and illustrator, THANKS>

hmm I’m seeing pictures and images form long ago. Following paths in the forest, jumping in the waves. Thanks for this way to recall memories.


I love lists, so this post really resonated. I also appreciated the advice of looking through the lens of our childhood and culture.

Hi Joana- I just made one tonight after reading your blog post! And I love the idea of pulling things from our childhood. I hadn’t thought of that and I am definitely going to use some ideas from mine.

Making lists are fun, but crossing something off a list…especially of the ‘to-do’ variety is such a good feeling!

Congratulations on your books. Now I’m off to make some lists!

Thank you Joanna for another tool – lists! A great suggestion to get ideas of all kinds, and the creative juices going! And the idea of going back to our childhood, and remember what mattered to us, really resonates with me, thank you!

Thank you for these tips! I love the categories you shared. This will definitely take my lists up a level!

I love lists. This does take my lists to the next level. Thank you for the post.

I’m excited to sit down with these categories and let my brain run wild!

Another great exercise to get the creative juices flowing! Thank you for sharing your process. I love lists! This is wonderful.

Thank you for this. I can definitely relate to the COVID dry spell and the affinity towards lists. I often let my ideas connect and form by sitting in stillness too. Thank you for all the really important reminders!

I love lists. I can do that! Thanks!

Thank you Joana! The ideas of writing the book only I can write, and making lists are things I’ve heard before, but you combined them in a way that is completely new and inspiring to me! Thank you! I actually have an aversion to list-making (always trying to tame the paper clutter) but the way you’ve described it sounds way more fun (and better than staring at a blank page). I’m excited to dig into the questions you suggested- What was the actual idea that made me love this story? What will my story be about? Very inspirational. 🙂

I think a lot of us lost the habit of searching for ideas the past few months. Thanks for helping us get back on track!

Thanks fot the reminder about making lists. I’m starting mine now!

Joana, thanks for this tip. I look forward to making lists.

I love making lists! Thank you for a great post.

I also love lists! Thanks for the advice and congratulations on your book!

I love making lists as well! Thank you!

Lists are the best! I don’t make them for my stories, though. That will change! Thank you 🙂

Lists are the bomb!

This article really inspired me — I had to keep stopping to write down ideas. Thank you so much!

Great idea for getting ideas! thanks, Joana.

Thank you for sharing your great advice, most inspiring.

That fun trip down memory lane sparked a few fun ideas! Thank you!

Good list to get us started! Thanks!

Great idea, Joana! I’m going to start my list of words and turn them into ideas that speak to my journey. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you for a great post – making lists are totally doable as is closing my eyes and thinking ! 🙂

Great idea to mine the traditions and memories of childhood

Thank you for this idea generating technique!

I do love a list!

Thank you!

🎶I love lists, I definitely love lists 🎶

I also recently brought some of my childhood photo albums to my apartment from my parents’ attic. I think I’ll start there for inspiration!

I’ve been looking forward to reading Bisa’s Carnaval ever since I heard about the sale!

Thank you for the inspiration,.

List is on the way!!

Thanks so much for a great post! Making lists is right up my alley and this creative approach is one I can go back to again and again. You’ve reminded me about a lingering memory and now I’m going to dig into it a bit more. Thanks for helping me bring it to the surface!

I’m a list girl, too! And keeping these lists/ideas all in one place is a good idea, rather than scattered on endless stickies that will one day,lose their glue (they always do!)

Joana, I like the idea of lists. Gonna take that to heart and see where my train of thought takes me.

Thank you for this inspiring post. This is a natural way for me to look for “stories only I can tell.”

I’m a list-maker, too. Your post instantly gave me THREE new ideas!

Im a list maker! And i love letting ideas simmer- thanks for the train journey idea!

I’m a lister too! Nothing more satisfying than to cross things off!

Some days my lists are the only writing I get done.

I love a list!

This was a two-idea post (so far!) Thank you, Joana! Happy writing. 🙂

Love lists, I write multiple lists in multiple notebooks. Long live listmaking!

Thank you for your post! I myself write lots of lists.
Congratulations on your books.

This makes me curious. Was your idea for Lillybelle… also sparked by your childhood memories?

Thank you so much for sharing, Joana! Lists are ❤

I would marry lists, but it would upset my husband. 🙂 my list was way too YA… I need to go back a little further and deeper.

I love lists too – I have not applied them to writing too much yet – I will now! Thank you!

Such a list to get the creative juices going. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you for sharing.

I agree! Lists are the best! Your post just helped me add to my ideas list. Thank you!

Thanks for your post, Joana! I love making lists, too, and I appreciate your suggestion to use those lists as idea generators. Thanks, and congratulations on your upcoming book! 🙂

Thanks for your suggestions in making lists and making connections that matter.

Thank you for your suggestions Joana
Anna Levin

I love lists, too. And I came up with a word and have a start of an idea. Thanks!

Can’t wait to meet Lillybelle! 🙂

Thanks for your post. Ready to give the lists a try.

Thanks for the great ideas!

I LOVE lists!! I love the idea of using them to find ideas!!

This post sparked an idea! Thank you thank you thank you!

I’m a list maker too – will definitely look at them in a new light now. Thank you Joana :o)

Thank you, Joana! I love lists too – I’m pretty I actually have a list of lists somewhere. LOL It’s been a LONG time since I was PB age, but I’m vowing to spend some time revisiting my young self to jog some memories. I keep a couple photos of myself on my inspiration board, to help me remember what it was like to be little me. 🙂

Thank you for an inspiring post. I love lists!

Thank you, Joana! I love lists, too. Just reading your post gave me an idea. Yay!!

What a great new way to me to spark ideas! Thanks for the inspiration.

Thank you for sharing your process. Lucy made me laugh! Hmmm maybe that could be the name of a book!

Love this: Make yourself comfortable, close your eyes, and think about what memories those words prompt!

Thank you for your list idea. I jumped ou of the chair to show my husband, since I make a list for everything! I also enjoyed your idea about finding a story that only you can tell.

Thank you for this exercise; I am also a fan of lists!

I love making lists so thanks for the suggestions!

I’m a list maker too! But I hadn’t really thought of making a list of my childhood memories. Great idea!

I love making lists! The only problem I have is trying to keep track of them!

I lost momentum last year too. It was hard for all of us. I’m glad you’re able to refocus–and thank you for helping me refocus also.

Lists yes! And what a fun list you’ve created for us to start with as we mine those childhood memories — thanks, Joana.

This gave me a powerful seed of an idea for a story. Thank you!

Lists! ♥ Lists! ♥ Lists! And… categories/folders. . 🙂 I must say I didn’t think it was possible for more but you just inspired man. many more…

What great suggestions! Thank you for the information. And going on a journey with the idea to create connections. Great!

Fellow List Girl here. Love it!

I love making lists and love your twist of applying this technique to story writing!

So glad to see someone else is a list lover. Great tips and thanks for sharing.

I just put this idea to work and the results helped get me out of a slump! I made a list of words, found one I was continually drawn to, and then looked i up in Wikipedia. Then BOOM – inspiration! Thanks for the great post!

Love the idea of generating lists and then meditating on the connection to see where it goes on the story journey.

Even reading this post gave me several ideas!!! Thanks so much.

I LOVE lists. Thanks for the encouragement to take it a step further.

Thanks for the novel take on list-making.

Jogging memories is a great idea for story ideas. Thanks!

It’s so good to hear your idea generator is back. Storystorm came at just the right time for a lot of us!

My memory needs to be jogged sometimes, like all the time.

I love lists too! Thank you for sharing your story inspiration tips!

“ Today, I propose we set out to find an idea for a story only you can tell.” I love that so much! Thank you for the inspiring post.

I love lists too, thank you for your post 🙂

I also love lists, Joana, and am gathering some new ideas through your encouragement to make our own lists. Thank you!

I ❤️ lists, too. Thank you for sharing these awesome tips!!

I have one copy of Lilybelle already and it is sooo good – words and pictures! I will be making some lists today. Thank you, Joana!

I LOVE making lists (and then crossing them off when I accomplish tasks). Thank you for the post.

I love lists!! And just sitting quietly with a memory is bringing so many childhood feelings to the surface. Not sure how they connect in a story yet, but such a wonderful way to start. Thank you for the inspiration!

I’m a fellow list maker. Thank you for the ideas.

The story only I can tell? – hmmm. I think I’ll need a list to sort this out. 😉

Lists ROCK! 🙂

Brains are weird. I read your post and before I had finished I felt like I needed to write a sports book and dedicate it to my brother. Certainly NOT on my radar before this moment. Thanks for the nudge. 🙂

Thanks so much! Definitely good to see what treasures lie in our memories.

Lists – check! thanks 🙂

I love the idea of using lists to start the writing process!

I make lots of lists, too. Now I need to mine them for stories!

I love lists too! They make my mind happy to get all the ideas down!

I just love a good list! And simmering––the best thing for a good idea to emerge. Now, to combine the two! Thanks for this post, Joana!

Love lists and Lillybelle! 🙂

Good reminder to take the time to let the mind wander.

When you’re feeling listless, make lists. Yes, yes, yes!

I never thought about creating lists and translating them into ideas. Thank you for sharing this interesting brainstorming technique.

Thanks, Joana! I love lists too!

I love to make lists, too. Thanks for your idea—very helpful!

Wonderful activity! I’m looking forward to delving into this more! Also looking forward to reading your books! Thank you!

Oh Joana, so happy to hear from you! I just jotted down an idea for a concept that is so deeply personal to me. When I finish the draft, I’ll have to send you a thank you note!!!

My lists have lists. This is right up my alley! Thanks for the inspiration!

Lists, lists, lists!

Yay lists!

Thanks for the great ideas about lists!

Now I can turn list-making into idea-generating! Lol!

While Reading your post inspired new ideas already! Thank you for sharing!

Definitely a list maker too. Thank you!

Thanks! Lists rock.

I am a lover of words and language…and of lists. Your blog helped some lightbulbs to go off!

I love reading your comments and hearing your opinion.

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