I love making lists. Grocery lists are probably my favorite. Eggs. Ground beef. Juice boxes. Checking those suckers off feels like popping bubbles from a pristine bubble wrap. Sa-tis-fying.

For our next exercise in “Write Naked,” Jennifer Probst asks us to write a heftier list. The one year and five year goals for your career…

Can I just write another grocery list please?

I’ve never written lists with “success” as a conscious goal. Well, I don’t think I’ve ever written down my one year or five year goals even though I’ve always had them in my mind. I don’t know why I had those goals but I did manage to check them off. All except one.

Get married before I turn twenty-eight. (In my early twenties, anything beyond twenty-eight seemed too old maid-ish. Stupid twenty year old Jaycee.) Buy a home right when I get married. (Somewhere along the way, it was drilled into my head that paying rent was burning money. Must. Have. Mortgage.) Make *blank* figure salary by the time I’m thirty. (I dunno. Just seemed like a good goal to have.) Have my first child before I turned thirty-two. (Based on some article I read about how waiting past thirty-two increases your chances of breast cancer by 80%.  Yes, “article” singular.) Become a published author by the time I’m forty.

Guess which one I haven’t checked off, yet? Yep. The last one. It’s a bit overdue. I guess one of the problems was that I didn’t sit down to write a manuscript until six months before my fortieth birthday. I did manage to finish two novels by my big four-oh, but it turns out becoming a traditionally published author is kind of hard.  But never fear! Ms. Probst has commissioned me to write new one year and five year goals for the publishing bit,

What is success in this context? Traditionally publishing a book and selling enough books to make writing my full time career.

How should I get there? Let’s start listing!

One  Year Goal:

  • Finish two new category romance manuscripts using what I’ve learned about the craft in the last two years.
  • Start a newsletter and get… one hundred (?) subscribers.
    • Learn more about creating newsletters and getting subscribers.
  • Lose fifteen pounds. Just throwing this one in here because Jennifer said writing things down made them possible.

Five Year Goal:

  • Traditionally publish at least three category romance novels.
  • Finish at least ten category romance novels.
  • Establish a recognizable brand.
  • Make half of what I earn at my day job and quit said day job to write full time.
  • Write at least one single title romance novel.
  • Find an incredible agent who will sell that single title romance.
  • Hit a list or two.

Ooooh… My heart’s thumping. This was the most exciting list I’ve ever written. Now I just have to make it all happen!