In the September 2011 issue of Writers Digest, there is an article by Elizabeth Sims on "10 Things For Every Writer's Bucket List." I enjoyed this short piece because it pushed me to think of my own writing life; both past and future.
Here is the basic list:
1. Publish a short story
2. Go to a writing conference
3. Freelance for money
4. Visit City Lights Bookstore In San Francisco
5. Write + publish an essay
6. Take a writing retreat
7. Write a Novel
8. Go to BEA (Book Expo of America)
9. Read Shakespeare
10. **Your choice
I like this list because I agree with many of the items on it and it made me consider some new ones. If a writer did everything on this list, I believe he/she would be a very well-rounded and versatile writer.
I have done 5 out of the 9 (since #10 is a fill-in-the-blank) on the list:
- #2-I have gone to quite a few writers conferences and now even host my own. They are something I believe every writer should attend at least every couple of years. They help to keep current on what is happening in the industry if nothing else.
- #3-Freelancing for money is something I have done for over a decade and really enjoy it. Learning how to craft a good article is a valuable skill for all writers and getting paid for it makes it even better.
- #5-I love writing essays and am grateful that about a dozen of mine have been published.
- #6-A writing retreat is a great way to recharge your creative energy and get a lot of writing done. I host one every year, so I get to participate each year as well.
- #8-BEA, Book Expo Of America is an incredible annual event that I had the privilege to attend back in 2010 and wrote a post about it. It you ever get a chance to attend, I would highly recommend it.
As for the other 4 on the list that I have not done, the reading Shakespeare is probably at the bottom for me. I took a class on it in high school and it did not go well, so I have never been inspired to read his books again. But maybe it is time give William another try.
I have never heard of City Lights bookstore, but I am now intrigued and wonder what makes it so amazing. As for writing AND publishing a short story, that has been on my list for a few years. I have stories written, but nothing published yet, but that won't stop me from trying.
And the last one: write a novel. This is something I would like to do before I die. When will that happen? Not sure. Ideas are percolating, but that is as far as they have gotten.
My #10? I would say, publish a nonfiction book. I have many ideas in this arena and plan to make something happen soon.
Have you done any of the things on this bucket list? What is your #10?