Thursday, January 20, 2011

The List

Last weekend I came across an article on bucket lists, and as usual I just didn’t get it. I prefer little everyday experiences to big impressive ones, so bucket lists are usually beyond me. Then I started to think about the stories I’ve written and all the stories I still want to write, and I realized that even though I don’t understand them in a lot of ways I already have a bucket list.

It’s a list of all of the books that I want to write. I’ve never written the list down, but I’ve always kept a running record of story ideas in my head. The stories that made The List are stories that have been stuck in my head for several years at least. The titles have changed as have the genres and the plots of the stories, but I can trace their essence back to ideas I’ve had for years.

Finally, I set down and wrote out The List. I wanted to do it right, so I made a column for title, genre, length, priority, and status. I learned a lot both about myself as a writer and about the stories I write by making up this list. For example, even though I don’t consider myself a YA writer two of series I want to write are actually Young Adult series, which is something I’d never really considered before.

Also, by seeing it all down on the screen it really helped to ground it for me. The stories weren’t just ideas in my head any more. By writing them down it was like I committed myself to seeing them through, to sticking with these stories until they were all done.

I even went so far as to do mock covers for all of the stories on The List, but that is another post for another day (maybe Saturday).

Anyway, if you’ve never tried writing down all of the stories you’d like to write you might want to give it a shot. For me at least it was an eye opening experience.

- Aaron

1 comment:

Bethany Robison said...

I agree, having a list of goals is really important. You've developed several useful tools (the picture collage, eulogy format, this "to do" book list), thanks again for sharing your approach! I've done lists of books I wanted to READ, but this is a great way to brainstorm for WRITING.