As I mentioned in my last post, I'm currently making minor edits to my blog archives, which means I'm getting all sorts of inspiration from my past blog posts! Today, I'd like to write a post based on my short bucket list post from 2013.
Since then, my life has changed a lot, and many of those wishes are no longer feasible because of my disabilities and/or no longer fit my interests. However, my vision of what it looks like to be a successful novelist has expanded a great deal. So I thought it'd be a good idea to write an updated bucket list focusing mostly on what I want to achieve as an author!
1) Sign a contract with a literary agent. I have yet to achieve the very first step towards traditional publication despite many attempts. I look forward to making this professional connection and having another person on my team!
2) Publish a novel. This is the big one I've been looking forward to for years and years! It's only the hoped-for beginning, of course, but it's a huge step all by itself.
3) Run a book giveaway. Once I have a book to promote, I plan to run at least one giveaway on this website, if nowhere else, and since I've won many books from giveaways in the past, I'm excited to offer the same chance to others.
4) Hold a book release party. I'm not sure where I'd have one--the library is the only place in my little town that seems appropriate--but I've seen photos from the parties authors hold when they release a new book, and it looks delightful. There are cupcakes with the book cover design on them, y'all!. Even if it was very small, I'd love to have such a party.
5) See my book on a shelf in my local library. I've had this image in my head ever since I first realized I wanted to be a novelist, I love the library, and I'll be thrilled to see my book there among the others I've enjoyed! I'll also be excited to see it in "shelfies" of all kinds from all over.
6) Publish another novel. People say that the second book is the hardest, and a lot of writers do end up dropping out of the field after their first book comes out. I want to make a career of this, and that means getting past the second book hurdle.
7) Receive a fan letter. Even just a single positive letter would buoy up my soul so much. To know that I've had an impact on a stranger's life through my writing would be huge. 💜
8) Have fanart be made of one of my books. I adore fanart, and I know I'll be all over any fanart that gets made of my creations. I'll save it on my computer and maybe even buy some of it for display in my house if it's for sale!
9) Hit a bestseller list. There are a few of these, of which the New York Times version is the most reputable, I know from reading what others have said that the bestseller list is a bit of a crapshoot--it's not the most accurate as to actual sales, and there are ways to game the system. I'd like to get on one anyway. 🤷🏻♀️
10) Get a starred review. I don't know a whole lot about this, but I know that starred reviews from professional reviewers like Kirkus are a big deal! So yeah, I'd like one.
11) Have one of my books featured in a book box. I haven't ever gotten one myself, but I love looking at pictures of subscription book boxes that feature newly released YA novels along with themed merch from various fandoms. I think it would be awesome to have one of my books be in one!
12) Participate in WriteOnCon as a published author. I've been a fan of WriteOnCon, a cheap online kid lit writers conference, for years. It's done a lot to improve my query game, if nothing else. I'd love to give back by being a part of the other side of the conference, whether that's through a panel, a blog post, a video, or official forum participation. I'd also like to participate in the YA Scavenger Hunt, which is another online activity that I recently won a bunch of e-books from!
13) Attend an in-person conference or event (other than my book release party) as a published author. Because of my disabilities, I won't be able to attend as many in-person events as most published authors. However, I loved the conferences I attended before I got so sick, and I love online conferences too, so I do want to go to at least one in-person event once I'm published.
14) Be in someone else's book acknowledgements. I already have a few writing friends, but I hope to make more in the future, and I'd love to be an important enough part of their lives to earn a spot in the acknowledgements of one of their books!
15) Win a book award. I've become a bit more interested in this since I wrote my original post about book awards. Some books I adore have won big awards, including Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman, which won the 2015 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. I'd love to win a big YA award like that!
16) Have one of my books made into a movie or TV show. Since I joined Netflix and started watching TV show book adaptations there, I've realized that TV shows tend to do a better job at adapting books (or at least book series) than movies do. I think the extended time allows for a more direct interpretation. However, most of my writing is in the form of standalone novels, so I'm not against the idea of a movie either. This is a stretch goal, of course--most books do not get adapted--but it would be truly awesome.
BONUS: Have a long-term romantic relationship
Get married to a good guy.
Travel somewhere outside the United States.
See a musical live in person.
Learn more Spanish.
Have a whole library room in my house dedicated to books (preferably with a
cool secret entrance).
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