Kicking the Bucket List

I was challenged by writing buddies Jody Sparks and Julie Cross to share my Author Bucket List – a set of goals and/or aspirations specific to my life as an author. As I examined fellow authors' lists, however, something occurred to me: I’ve hit several objectives that would have made such a list just a few years ago when I was querying agents, attending writing conferences, and writing a sequel to that book I still hadn’t found an agent to represent.

In my thirties, I was a SAHM of three and a non-traditional college student who intended to graduate with honors if it killed me. Believe me, there were days when I was overwhelmed by all the things. I developed a little fortitude-building trick for days like that: I began my to-do list with chores and errands I'd already completed... and then I crossed them off. Cheating? Maybe. But it left me feeling efficient and capable - the perfect mindset to tackle a list of goals, no matter how big or small they are.

So I decided to imagine what my Author Bucket List might have been on March 3, 2011 – the day I received my last rejection letter. The day I could have given up trying to advance from writer to author. The day I decided to indie publish my novel so I could move on to my next writing project. My list includes several accomplished goals that would have been lost if I’d thrown in the towel instead of thinking outside the box, and a few I still hope to achieve.

What's on your life's-work Bucket List? What might have made your list two, five, ten years ago, and which of those goals have you already achieved? Sometimes it's good to remind ourselves of those forgotten accomplishments, especially when battling feelings of inadequacy or exhaustion.

I'm challenging the smart and adorable Ava Jae to share her author bucket list. She and I joined Twitter the same month (April 2011), and we've known each other online ever since. I was thrilled to finally meet her this year at the RT 2014 in New Orleans, and I urge you to check out her fabulous writing blog.