I’ve never been a list maker. I’m more of a “leave it out where you can see it” person. To the untrained eye, my desk appears to be an application in chaos theory, but I know why all those papers are where they are (and heaven help me if a stray current from an open window upsets my organization).
However, since I’ve started writing, I’ve found I have lists everywhere. There’s a list of research questions that require answers. There’s a numerical accounting of pages written day-by-day and an editing progress list. I have a character inventory list of physical characteristics, quirks, and qualities – just in case I’m asked to do a series or maybe even a sequel to a book previously published. I’m told those things happen – but I suppose it helps if one has a book on the shelves . I have a list of writing goals which is important in that if I don’t meet my goals in a three-week timeframe, I have to cough up five dollars. If you realize how incredibly cheap I am, you’d understand that this is an important list indeed. Still, it’s not the most important list.
That honor belongs to my dream list. About five years ago, I typed up a list of all the things I wanted to do in my life. Many are writing related – teach a workshop at the RWA conference, give an acceptance speech for the Golden Heart (or RITA). Many are not writing related – go on a cruise, spend the night in a bona fide castle, go up in a hot air balloon, fly first class. Anyway, I listed about twenty “dreams” on that first list. I figured one had to recognize one’s dreams to accomplish them. I keep the list posted by my computer.
Every year I add a few new dreams to my list and I’m proud to say I’ve had occasion to scratch some off as having been accomplished. In this crazy industry where so many things are out of our control, a dream list is a necessity to remind one that even if the manuscript didn’t sell this year, dreams are still realized. Or if not the dream itself, progress toward the dream. Believe me when I created the list, I thought the possibility of ever scratching out a single line bordered on the impossible.
So tell me – what would be on your dream list., both writing-related and non-writing. (Perhaps if I like yours, they’ll suddenly share an appearance on my list as well) :)