Writing plans

Prompt: Have you set a writing plan for 2019? If not why not? Do you feel planning makes you more productive or less productive?

I haven”t made a writing plan yet but I think I will.  Generally speaking, plans help me avoid wasted time.  For instance, I might not write any more than I would have without the plan, but what I do write is more likely to be what’s on my plan than random waste-of-time writing.  Okay, I don’t normally have writing plans, I don’t think, but this is generally what happens to me with plans.

I did have a writing bucket list once.  Let’s see what was on that…

*Box* Handwrite all my poems into journals
*Boxcheck* Finish, edit and print Grand & Epic Adventures
*Box*Write a short story based on one of my ancestors
*Box* Write a short story based on my own life
*Boxcheck* Write a poem about Boxing Days
*Box* Write a poem about each of my family members
*Boxcheck* My dad
*Box* My mum
*Box* My older sister
*Boxcheck* My younger sister
*Boxcheck* My husband
*Boxcheck* My son
*Boxcheck* My daughter
*Box* My father-in-law
*Box* My mother-in-law
*Boxcheck* Complete National Poetry Writing Month
*Box* Complete National Novel Writing Month
*Box* Fill a journal with writing
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my younger sister in the UK
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my godson in Australia
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my goddaughter in Australia
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my grandmother in Australia
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my great uncle in the UK
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my uncle in Australia
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my friend Beth in the US
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my old next door neighbour
*Box* Take a poetry writing or appreciation class

Hey, I’ve actually done quite a few of the things on my list!  When I was checking the list though, I realised I hadn’t updated any of my 2018 to-do lists and made 2019 lists.  I need to do that.  This is a great prompt, because I hadn’t thought about doing this earlier!

Okay, let’s do writing, and then I’ll do the other ones after posting this entry.

Last year I set myself a goal of writing a poem and a short story every month.  I failed that pretty spectacularly.  I didn’t write any short stories at all last year *Shock* and I think I only wrote poems in about six of the 12 months.  Ugh.  So I won’t set that goal again.

Oh, I should probably mention that I also have a Writing.com list (for entering contests, etc) and a blogging list.  So I don’t count blogging as writing for the purpose of this writing list.  Sorry if that confuses you!

Okay, let’s set a goal of writing at least one short story in 2019.  That’ll be an improvement over 2018!  *Laugh*

I do wanna write some poems this year.  Maybe I should set a number instead of a timeline?  Like 10 poems in 2019?

The more I think about this, the harder it gets.  Because I was like ‘Oh, I need to do some book reviews too’, but that’s a different list as well (reading).  Clearly I have too many lists.  *Facepalm*

So I put this blog entry down, went away, spent half the day watching Youtube videos and making a rock playlist and I’m still no closer to answer.  *Laugh*

Okay, here goes.  Executive decision.  Write six poems and one short story by 30 June, and write a total of 12 poems and two short stories by the end of the year.  Done!

Now I gotta update my other lists…

Travel dreams

Prompt: Where in the world would you like to visit the most? Assume you are not worried about money in any way.

Ooh, fun. Travel with no money restrictions, yes please! Living in New Zealand, it’s so expensive to go anywhere. And some of the flights are so freaking long. It takes about 30-odd hours to get from Auckland to London. In cattle class, that sucks. You arrive so exhausted that you have to spend two days recovering before you can start exploring. So money-is-no-object travelling? I’m in.

I haven’t been to many places, although I’ve been lucky with where I have been. I’ve done most of the North Island of New Zealand. I’ve been to Melbourne, Australia and the Australian Outback. I’ve explored London, England, and Inverness, Scotland pretty well. I’ve been to Edinburgh and Aberdeen in Scotland as well, and Northampton and Keswick in England, but not explored, so only seen one or two specific places and a whole bunch of English and Scottish roadside.

When it comes to travel, I have some priorities I guess. Like everyone. Some people want to immerse themselves in a different culture. Some people want to get a sense of history. I’m a country girl at heart, and a photography enthusiast, so I tend to go for natural scenery.

I know, it’s insane that I can say that and yet I haven’t been to the South Island. People come from all over the world to see the scenery of the South Island, and I’m a Kiwi and I haven’t seen any of it!  My friend Charlie on Writing.com was talking about Norway’s fjords, but New Zealand’s South Island has fjords too. And glaciers. And mountains.

Why do we spell it fiords? That seems very American of us. *Wink*

So yeah, the South Island is high on my list. I also really want to explore the Lake District of England. I’ve been there twice, once as a child and once as an adult, but only briefly. I want to explore it.

Where else? I want to drive the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria. Again, amazing scenery. And I love road trips. My mother and older sister rave about cruises, because you do all your travelling at night while you sleep and just wake up in the morning at your next destination, but I actually like road trips, and so does my husband. You get a feel for the country, and it’s interesting and relaxing. Plus, you can pull over anywhere you like and explore. That’s how we ended up in Gretna Green. *Laugh* Oh, and Stoke-on-Trent. That was a heck of a detour for what ended up being a walk around a pottery museum. *Smirk*

I’m sure no one will be surprised to know that I have a travel bucket list. No, I thought not. Me, the queen of lists, having a travel bucket list? Kind of a given, I know. So here you go:
*Boxcheck* Fly business class
*Box* Fly first class
*Box* Apply for a UK passport
*Boxcheck* Go inside St Matthews in the City, Auckland, New Zealand
*Box* Go to New Zealand’s South Island
*Box* Go to Larnach Castle in Dunedin, New Zealand
*Boxcheck* Go to England as an adult
*Boxcheck* See Buckingham Palace in England as an adult
*Boxcheck* Go inside Westminster Abbey in England
*Boxcheck* See the Tower of London in England
*Boxcheck* Go to Hyde Park in England
*Boxcheck* Go to Scotland
*Boxcheck* Go to Gretna Green in Scotland
*Box* Go to Dunfermline Abbey in Edinburgh, Scotland
*Box* Go to the Isle of Skye in Scotland
*Box* Go to the Orkney Islands in Scotland
*Box* Go to Ireland
*Box* Go to Wales as an adult
*Box* Go to ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli
*Box* See the Northern or Southern Lights
*Box* Go to Antarctica

See? IrelandWalesthe islands of Scotland and Antarctica. That’d be fucking awesome. I’m so jealous of my friend Jody from Writing.com who is going to Antarctica. Again, so close to New Zealand (ironically, that one we’re actually close to whereas you’re all so far away from it) and yet it might as well be on the other side of the world. No, I’ve been to the other side of the world, but still haven’t been to the South Island or Antarctica. *Facepalm*

Where would you love to travel to if money was no object?

A writing bucket list

In perplexity,
we make lists
in order to not admit to ourselves
that we’re slaves to our
failing memories,
wishing to not escape convenience.
And forgetting the list
illustrates the primary principle:
we can’t be what
we can’t conceive,
and it mustn’t have been
important if we didn’t
bother writing it down.
Essentially, passing the blame
on to something
profoundly and confoundingly
pointedly pointless.

by Norb Aikin, writing as Fivesixer on Writing.com

I love lists. I have all sorts of lists. I have to-do lists, and bucket lists (yep, plural!), and project lists… Lists for home, lists for work, lists for Writing.com… Lists of things I want to write, lists of books I want to read, lists of prompts I want to answer… Truly I’m just about at that point where I need a list of all my lists! Ha ha!

So, I thought I’d share my writing bucket list with you. This was inspired by a senior moderator on Writing.com who gave some really helpful guidance on creating a writing bucket list:

  • Continue to add to your list
  • Never delete a task from your list
  • Complete tasks as life permits
  • Update completed tasks
  • Shamelessly copy ideas from others

It’s that last point that makes me want to share mine with you.  Because then you can steal what works for you, and build your own writing bucket list.

I created my writing bucket list in 2015. Quite a number of tasks relate back to Writing.com, because that’s where I do the vast majority of my writing. I’ve given links where possible, so you can go and check out what the contest or challenge is all about. Some of the links might be only visible to site members, but if you want to sign up, it’s easy and free.

Personal writing
*Box* Write a short story based on one of my ancestors
*Boxcheck* Write a short story based on my own life – Safely Forgotten (I want to do another one, based on my actual memories, rather than a story someone else told about me)
*Boxcheck* Write a poem about Boxing Days – Boxing Day
*Boxcheck* Write a poem about my dad – Play it again, Sam
*Box* Write a poem about my mum (I wrote one about a hospital visit she had, but obviously that’s not what was intended by this task)
*Box* Write a poem about my older sister
*Boxcheck* Write a poem about my younger sister – Ties of Blood and Water and Childhood Memories of a Younger Sister
*Boxcheck* Write a poem about my husband – Sweet As, Desideratum, In my sleep and From verbose to succinct
*Boxcheck* Write a poem about my son – Parental Time Warp
*Boxcheck* Write a poem about my daughter – My Chirpy, Chatty Invalid
*Box* Write a poem about my father-in-law
*Box* Write a poem about my mother-in-law

Learn
*Box* Complete the Comma Sense class at the New Horizons Academy (Everyone can use more lessons on those pesky commas!)

Step out of my comfort zone
*Box* Complete The Challenge (A list of tasks that include writing, reviewing and interacting with other Writing.com members)
*Box* Complete a project at the Merit Badge Projects (Writing to a particular theme or genre, where you choose from a limited number of possible themes or genres)
*Boxcheck* Complete a challenge at a very Wodehouse challengeBiff Belfry (Tasks specific to a particular theme or genre, where you don’t know the theme or genre until after you’ve signed up)

Endurance challenges
*Boxcheck* Complete NaPoWriMo (Writing one poem per day for 30 days in April)
*Box* Complete the October NaNoWriMo Prep Challenge (A series of challenges to lay the background work for your NaNoWriMo novel)
*Box* Complete NaNoWriMo (Writing 50,000 words of a brand new novel in 30 days in November)
*Box* Complete my children’s fantasy novel Grand and Epic Adventures
*Box* Edit my children’s fantasy novel Grand and Epic Adventures (Obviously I can’t do this until I’ve finished it!)
*Boxcheck* Complete an ‘I Write’ challenge (Writing at least one poem, short story or novel chapter and one review per week for three months)
*Boxcheck* Complete a full month of the Construct Cup (Writing a poem every day for 30 days, utilising ridiculously difficult and constraining prompts)

Newsletters
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Action/Adventure official site newsletter – Epic Journeys and Adventures
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Comedy official site newsletter – Performing on Command
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Contests/Activities official site newsletter – Read The Rules and Something For Everyone
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Drama official site newsletter – Bringing your drama to life
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Fantasy official site newsletter – Fantasy For The Uninitiated
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com For Authors official site newsletter – Stepping out of your comfort zone
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Horror/Scary official site newsletter – Darkest Verse
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Mystery official site newsletter – Life’s true mysteries
*Box* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Noticing Newbies official site newsletter
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Poetry official site newsletter – A Perpetual Poetry Pupil, Expanding My Horizons, What makes a winner? and It’s not true!
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Romance/Love official site newsletter – What is a romance novel?, Heroes and Heroines with Impairments, LGBT in Mainstream Romance, Romance in Real Life and Paranormal Romance
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Short Stories official site newsletter – Fact is stranger than fiction
*Boxcheck* Write an editorial for the Writing.com Spiritual official site newsletter – Learning about other religions and A Burden Shared
*Boxcheck* Write an article for the Writing.com Blogging Bliss unofficial blogging newsletter – July 2015 Blogging Bliss Newsletter

Reviews
*Boxcheck* Do 30 book reviews at Angel Product Reviews
*Box* Do 7 item reviews each month for three consecutive months for Writing.com’s Paper Doll Gang

Contests
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for the Short Shots: Official WDC ContestShort man on a power trip
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for the What a Character! : Official WDC ContestA Dark Art
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for the Rhythms & Writing: Official WDC ContestRise Up
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for the Journey Through Genres: Official ContestKnowing Her
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for the Try Something New ContestA Haunting Sweetness
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for The Prompt Me ContestFlower prompt
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for Picture a StoryStriking A Chord
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for Dark Dreamscapes Poetry ContestTime Is Slipping Away
*Boxcheck* Submit an entry to Shadows and Light Poetry ContestThe Scene Is Set
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for the Monthly Poetry ContestChristmas Magic
*Box* Write and submit an entry for The Weekly Quickie Contest
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for the WDC Teen Contest
My Job Is Done

*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for The LGBT Writing ContestThe Phoenix
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for Honoring our VeteransWaiting
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for Precious Gifts ContestCaitlin
*Box* Write and submit an entry for Three Prompts
*Box* Write and submit an entry for the Paradise Cove Writing Challenge
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for the Night & Day Poetic Prose ContestWaiting
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for the Verdant Poetry ContestThe Scene Is Set
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for the We Write for Kids ContestThunderstorm
*Boxcheck* Write and submit an entry for The Writer’s CrampThis Night
*Box* Write and submit an entry for the Magic Words Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry for the Rebel Poetry Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry to Distorted Minds Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry to Bite Size Poetry Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry to No Dialogue Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry to DreamTime Dragon’s Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry to Supernatural Writing Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry to Decade Dash
*Box* Write and submit an entry to Pretty Pesky Prompts
*Box* Write and submit an entry to Folklore Monthly Writing Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry to Mysteries of the Mind Contest
*Box* Submit an entry to the Support a Fellow Poet Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry for the Write From the Heart Story Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry for the Tales of Seduction
*Box* Write and submit an entry for the Zodiac Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry for the Fabulous Fantasy Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry for Elizabeth’s Poetry/Short Story Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry for A Story Poem Contest
*Box* Write and submit an entry for Open Expressions: A Poetry Contest

Blogging
*Box* Catch up on my outstanding 2013 blog entries
*Box* Catch up on my outstanding 2014 blog entries
*Box* Catch up on my outstanding 2015 blog entries
*Box* Catch up on my outstanding 2016 blog entries
*Boxcheck* Catch up on my outstanding 2017 blog entries
*Boxcheck* Write a blog entry for Blog City and submit it promptly – I’ve always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library
*Boxcheck* Write a blog entry for Blogging Circle of Friends and submit it promptly – Childlike Wonder
*Boxcheck* Complete an official month of the 30-Day Blogging Challenge
*Box* Participate in a full month of unofficial camping activities with the 30-Day Blogging Challenge
*Box* Complete a full month (20 or more entries using prompts from a single month) for Welcome To My Reality

Handwriting
*Box* Fill a journal with writing.
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my sister in England
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my godson in Australia
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my goddaughter in Australia
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my grandmother in Australia
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my great uncle in England
*Box* Send a snail mail letter to my uncle in Australia
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my my friend Beth in America
*Boxcheck* Send a snail mail letter to my old nextdoor neighbour
*Box* Write and send a snail mail letter, card or postcard to every member of The Snail Mail Group