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. ┬áBecause 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

Top ten books

Prompt: If you were creating a list of top ten books, what would you choose and why? Is there an ongoing theme?

A Restored Man by Jaime Reese
A Sorceress of His Own by Dianne Duvall
Keep Me Safe by Maya Banks
Love Comes in Darkness by Andrew Grey
Love Comes Silently by Andrew Grey
Morganna by Jackie Ivie
Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
The Harder He Falls by Lynda Aicher
The World As He Sees It by A M Arthur
Whispers in the Dark by Maya Banks

Putting together a top ten of books was crazy hard. They’re not in order of preference, by the way, that would have been even harder! I started off with all the books I’ve rated five stars on Goodreads, and then removed the ones that didn’t immediately leap out at me. Then I went with the ones that I’ve either re-read the most often or the ones where the story or characters have stayed clear in my mind over time.

It’s interesting to analyse.

  • 100% are romance. Duh.
  • 30% of my top ten are by Maya Banks and 20% are by Andrew Grey. That speaks highly for both those authors.
  • 70% are contemporary and only 30% are historical.
  • 30% are paranormal.
  • 50% are m/m and the other 50% are m/f.
  • 20% involve military or similar. Yep, those are both Maya Banks books. She does the military ones well.
  • A whopping 60% involve disabilities of some sort, whether physical or mental. And I know that some of the ones that I was humming and haaing over whether to include in my top ten did as well. Apparently I like characters with disabilities. If I break it down even further, excluding disabilities arising from the paranormal, it’s 50/50 for physical or mental disabilities. Interesting. And I haven’t included temporary disabilities arising out of injuries that will heal (which you tend to get with the military style ones).
  • I think 70% of them are based in America, which is interesting because I wouldn’t have said that’s my preference. I think there’s 20% Scottish and 10% English.

Yeah, very interesting.