Writer’s Bucket List

Writer’s Digest posted a column about five things every writer should have on his or her writing bucket list. Let’s take a look, shall we?

  1. Do something bizarre just to write about it.
  2. Self-publish something.
  3. Find a mentor.
  4. Edit your favorite novel.
  5. Live poor for a few months (or years).

I’m a lucky person. I love to write and I get to do it for a living. Being a journalist has allowed me to meet some of these bucket list items. Being an author is something totally different, and trying to become one has been an adventure. Maybe a year from now my responses will be different. For now, here’s where I stand:

  1. I’ve taken art classes, made Christmas decorations using fresh herbs, taken a helicopter tour of the city, ridden roller coasters, walked through mirror mazes and haunted houses, proposed marriage to Donnie Wahlberg (he dodged the question), and done a few other things that are probably slipping my mind, specifically to write about them. Probably the most bizarre out of those was the marriage proposal. After the interview, my editor turned to me and said, “That is the first time, and hopefully the last, that I hear a proposal in an interview.” First of all, I make no promises. Secondly, HELLO! New Kids on the Block reunited and my inner 10-year-old was never going to get that chance again. I had to!
  2. This blog counts. I’m not one of those bloggers who does it in hopes that one day it will be picked up to be a book a la “The Julie/Julia Project.” It’s too scatterbrained for that. But it does give me a chance to put myself out there in a way I haven’t done before, and that’s a nice confidence boost.
  3. I don’t have a specific mentor, but one thing I’ve done over the past year is follow a bunch of authors and agents on Twitter. And, happily, I’ve discovered that they are super supportive of writers. They come with excellent advice. Yes, it’s a business, but it’s one that they all want to see continue to succeed. That’s encouraging. Now, having said all that, any authors out there want to take me under their wing?
  4. Typos are everywhere. I’ve never intentionally sat down to edit a book I like, but now more than ever I notice mistakes in things I read. (Especially in menus and restaurant signage. Have y’all noticed this? Nobody knows how to use quotation marks correctly.) My mom was a teacher her whole career and notices these things right away, so I got in the habit of reading for mistakes pretty early on. One that I missed for a long time (that my mom noticed immediately) is on a poster that Sam gave me for my 21st birthday. It’s a black and white photo of the cast of “The Breakfast Club” that has the movie’s closing line, except it says, “… a basket case, a princess, and a crimimal.” A CRIMIMAL! Whoops. I still make my fair share of grammar mistakes, but noticing them in other places makes me feel like I’m on top of my game.
  5. Um, yeah. Got it covered.

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