The Party Don’t Start Til I Walk In

It’s finally here!  It’s officially been 3 months for the Life List Club members and contributors working diligently on our goals.  And we all know that when we work hard, it means you get to play hard too!  Bring on the good times!

What is the Life List Club?  The Life List Club is a place for writers and readers alike to share with each other their goals/dreams/bucket list/what-have-you and support one another along the journey.  You can join by subscribing to any of the LLC contributor blogs which are located in the sidebar.  Anyone can be a member and we encourage all of you to make your own Life List page on your blog as a reminder to yourself what you want to accomplish.  We’re here to lend helpful advice, encouragement, and good old fashioned ass-kicking when you need it!

It’s a Milestone Party?  Today we’re celebrating our progress on our goal lists since we started 3 months ago.  We have music, food, and great schwag to giveaway, so I invite everyone to leave a comment; share with me how you’re doing on your goal commitments, what advice would you offer others, and feel free to dance!

My List and Progress Thus Far:

  1. Write every day, even if it is only ten words.  (Ok, this hasn’t been completely consistent, but it is improving.  What’s helped the most is blogging ahead and making a planner where I create and follow through on writing time.)
  2. Read 2 books a month for fun.  (I’m loving this!  See what I’m reading by visiting my Bookshelf.)
  3. Submit my work for publication.  (Nina Badzin wrote this post on why it’s important to just do it and not be a snob about your publication opportunities.  But I have nothing finished yet, so this goal is post-poned, but not gone away.)
  4. Learn about the craft of writing.  (I’m currently learning about novel set-up through my Fly on the Wall status in Warrior Writer’s Boot Camp.  I get to observe others’ writing and edits, offer input, but I don’t yet submit my own.  The basis of this boot camp is to prep you well before it’s your turn to start submitting.  I’m also signed up for Kristen Lamb’s Author Branding Class to make a bigger impact with my blog and writing.  Can’t wait!)
  5. Learn about social media.  (Uh, Kristen Lamb.  Best Freshly Pressed post to ever stumble onto.)
  6. Attend a writing conference.  (Madison Writers Institute – Wonderful experience I’m now on the lookout for next year’s conference, and thinking about saving up money to attend DFW in Texas, the conference Kristen usually speaks at!  Might see some of my favorite tweeps and bloggers there!)
  7. Meet with other writers.  (Ok, I attempted to start a local writer’s club which didn’t pan out cause everyone is so busy.  I did start a critique group with 3 writers I met at the Madison Writers Institute, but we’re not on a regular schedule either.  LLC and WWBC have been the most beneficial, which leads me to advise that while in-person groups may be more fun, don’t knock the online ones, cause they’re full of amazing people who can help you get the job done, and probably faster.)
  8. Write a fiction book.  (It’s my current work in progress.  The plan of attack is jump start writing again with NaNoWriMo and follow the WWBC evos to prepare more efficiently.)
  9. Cook more meals at home.  (I’m well of aware of the bologna incident, and the write like potatoes incident, and the double stuff oreos incident in spite of my mother.  It’s about progress, and part of progress comes from being aware.  Honestly, I’ve made some smart decisions, and have spent more time eating fruits/veggies first before the cheetos.  And I vow to not ever, not even if someone dared me, eat bologna again.  I couldn’t live down the shame the first time I blogged about it!)
  10. Be more frugal.  (I struggle here, but I’ve got some worthwhile goals and desires to attend conferences and travel more, so I’m going to watch my excess spending and start that “fund” where all the money you didn’t spend on grande green tea lattes and fancy jewelry goes into that fund jar instead which will slowly help me get to Korea, or Finland, or Singapore, or wherever else I want to go.)
  11. Take a real vacation and leave the country.  (I visited Toronto, Canada for a week with my honey, and it was so beautiful and fun.  Loved hanging out in the big city, seeing Niagara Falls, and trying Ice Wine for the first time!  Mmmm)
  12. Go to the beach.  (I blame Wisconsin weather.  And working too much.  We still only got to the beach two times this year.  But we supplemented our outdoors time with hiking, oh that’s right, we nearly died…)
  13. Go see live theater.  (It’s part of my birthday present.  I get to drag Joe to a local theater event!  Yay!)
  14. Keep up with my gratitude journal, 5 things each day.  (Here’s what I recently wrote down.  Ice water, Joe cooking dinner, fried green tomatoes, taking a late night walk around town, watching Chic music videos on youtube.)
  15. Track my progress of learning the social media and publishing world.  (I’ve been adding a second list underneath my gratitude journal that focuses on eye opening moments.)
  16. Spend more time with friends and family.  (Even though it meant a lot more driving, and therefore less writing time, I took some extra weekend trips home to see family this month.  I know it was entirely worth it.)

Rules That Help Me Survive:

Here are the three rules that I’ve come to ground myself with as I work towards my goals.  If you want to see how I came up with them and use them, check out this LLC post I did about making my own boot camp to kickstart my writing.  I hope these rules help you towards your goals too.

  1. Life comes first.
  2. Get up early.
  3. Feelings lie.

PRIZES!!!  To win, you must subscribe (or already be subscribing) and comment below!  Good luck!

All of us LLC contributors are giving away FABULOUS prizes today!  I’m offering one commenter a signed copy of Bethany Wiggins’ new book Shifting!

     After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she’s eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she’s determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O’Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it’s not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

Learn more about Bethany and her book in my author interview with her!  Or check out her blog at Shooting Stars.

Other Fabulous Prizes Include:

Pam Hawley is giving away:
-Winner’s choice of excerpt from my novel-in-progress or a copy of my short story
– I will interview the winner on their goals and ambitions for a future post in Hawleyville.
– Option to publish a piece of their own fiction/essay (up to 2,000 words) or do a guest
post at my blog.

David Walker is giving away 2 prizes:
-to a commenter, a copy of a short story, Bubba’s First Cruise
-to a subscriber, a guest post swap.

Marcia Richards is giving away:
-a copy of flash fiction – Night Moves
-invitation to guest post or be interviewed on my blog
-winner’s name used for a character in my trilogy, The Dance and The Dancer

Jennie Bennett is giving away 2 prizes:
-3 books, Oliver Twist, Secret Garden and A Little Princess
-10-page in depth critique

Sonia Medeiros is giving away:
-Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering Ebook

Jenny Hansen is giving away a prize to each a commenter and subscriber:
-Choice of a guest post from Jenny for the winner’s blog OR an interview of the winner  on Jenny’s blog

Violeta Nedkova is giving away:
-In-depth Critique of two WIP chapters

Diana Ligaya is giving away:
-a copy of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces
-an in-depth critique for fiction up to 15,000 words

Emily Moir is giving away:
-a 5 piece (4X6) photo series by Kate Moir

Alright folks, put on your favorite party hat and boogie with the Life List Club today!  We can also be found disco dancing on twitter at #LifeListClub. 

Now tell me, how’s your life list coming along?

37 responses

  1. You did so great, Jess!! Hey, I’m hoping to go to the DFW conference, too! Would that be awesome, or what? Thanks for being such a great partner in this LLC! Looking forward to the next 3 months working with you!

    1. And I see Jenny H might too?! Awesome for sure! Let’s all tour Texas together! I’ll bring the camera, you bring the chocolate!

    2. Why not have an LLC get-together for lunch or coffee or something during the conference. That’s if all the kick-boxing doesn’t scare me off.

      1. We must! How fun. We promise to put down the gloves.

      2. Hey, hey now, David. I say instead of us putting them down, we bring you a pair and lace ’em up. We’ll hang in the hotel gym and have a synchronized Tae Bo class….(Have you run screaming from Jess’ blog yet??)

        1. I LOVE this plan! But let’s not forget I’m only 5’2″ so please, don’t stand too close, I’m likely to get kicked in the head! LOL

  2. You did awesome! Totally felt the party here 🙂

    1. Did you get your Flashdance on?!

  3. […] Jess Witkins: a signed copy of Bethany Wiggins’ Shifting […]

  4. Jess,
    I have a suggestion for #10. Check out my most recent posting on my blog. I hope it helps. 🙂

    1. Will definitely do! Thanks for stopping by Shatha!

  5. Sounds like you’re doing great with your goals, Jess. And I don’t want to hear any complaints about your weather when we’ve just come off a record 70+ days of over 100 degree weather. Bet your highs were in the 70s all summer.

    1. No no, to the contrary. We had 90+, and if it wasn’t 90, it was really cold like it is now. I’m just enjoying autumn while it lasts.

  6. What wonderful accomplishments, Jess! I so share your experience with writer’s group and highly recommend the online experience. Although I didn’t take the initiative like you and try to start one here, my attempts to get involved in local face-time meetings haven’t panned out, but workshopping stories with other eFiction authors online has been a wonderful breath of fresh air. Kudos to you for how you’ve come, and cheers to another awesome 3 months for us all!

    1. Thank you Pam! You’re awesome for holding me accountable, I always appreciate your advice.

  7. This is such a great goal list, Jess. I love “Life comes first, get up early, feelings lie.”

    Best wishes to all participants! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the support Jillian! I hope my rules can help you with your own, reading list and life list!

  8. My unofficial life list is progressing in leaps and bounds this year! Best part of all: I haven’t died yet accomplishing any of this stuff. Whoo-hoo! Go, me!!

    I agree with everything you’ve said here with the exception of the “get up early” part. Then again, if I happen to wake up early, I’ll often get up. I just refuse to set an alarm to do so as long as I’m jobless. The ironic thing is, when I do get up early, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot more during the day!

    So, on second thought, what do you know…guess I do agree with that, after all!

    1. Hmm, you don’t really need any convincing from me. LOL Keep up with your own life list! Just watch out for bears!

  9. Sticking with it is what really, really counts. I’m proud of you. 😀

    Oh, and if you want some quick, easy and cheap recipes, let me know. We lived on $25K a year (both salaries together) for a looooong time. 😀

    1. I NEVER say no to food! Except bologna, cause Margaret and Mark made fun of me so much. I’d love any recipe you have time to throw my way!

  10. Jess, I’m with Catie–what counts is forming the habit, I think. I’m struggling with the lack of a local writing group, too–the closest one is about 40 miles away and meets during the day! Um, evil day job, y’all!

    You are making important steps, and I love the three rules at the end. I get up at 5 to write before I have to go to the evil day job, even when I don’t want to, well, especially when I don’t want to!

    Looking forward to seeing your continued progress in the next quarter.

    1. Oh, I envy your commitment to wake up early. My goal has been to get up at 6. I’d really like to do 5, but I stay up too late at night. It’s my slow gradual goal to get up at 5. And my gradual goal to go to bed sooner! LOL

  11. I love, love your post, Jess. And your goals ROCK!

    1. Thanks Jenny! I’m so happy to have you in the LLC now! Let’s keep celebrating everyone’s goals!

  12. Wow! Great job on your goals. Love it–it’s so encouraging to see you get ‘er done.
    did you say we could dance?
    *does Irish jig*

    1. Wait wait, slow down! You have to teach me that dance!

  13. So great to see someone getting their goals kicked out. I feel so bogged down sometimes. I need to make me a new list of things to kick out.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. That’s the best thing about this group because it doesn’t matter what time it is, how you’re doing currently as you start a commitment then and now. So I say dive in! We’re here to support.

  14. I love the list of goal categories. Sometimes it’s hard to remember some of those very important things. I got to read an ARC of “Shifting” and can’t wait to have my own copy of it.

    1. Me too! I think the book is going to be awesome. Good luck on setting some goals for yourself. I wish you well!

  15. Great goals, good luck with them all!

    1. Thank you Vix! Please feel free to share your own, I’m happy to help in any way I can.

  16. […] List Club had a fantastic party celebrating all the goals they’ve met in the past 3 months. Check out their posts, and they have some pretty great prizes, too! I highly recommend all of the writers in the Life […]

  17. Holy smokes I need a life list. bad. Is it like a bucket list?

    1. Very much so. But ours is set up to be things you want to do in the next year, so it allows you to be more impactful, (yep making up a word) about how you’re working towards that big life goal, say being a bestselling author, traveling across the world, starting school again, whatever it may be. Good luck, hope you share your life list with us!

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