A friend of mine tweeted last week that he was compiling his top ten list of top ten lists for 2010. We get it: It’s exciting and SEO-friendly and clever given the final two digits of this year to compile lists. But the truth is, we spent a whole year living this year, why drag it out? I, for one, am looking forward to 2011, and am in full support of others creating more proactive lists, like HTMLGiant’s “Do These Right Things.” I’m writing goals for my writing and my reading, and I’m more than interested to hear what yours are. Don’t confuse this, I’m not talking resolutions, the dreaded word that drums up words like “diet” and “gym” and “anger management classes” like in those Bing! commercials. No, I’m talking about goals and productive uses of our sometimes inane tendency to compartmentalize and organize useless-to-organize things like time.
Here are a few of mine:
1. Revise and complete at least five stories to submit.
2. Visit the library on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings to read Agni, The New Yorker, Plougshares, and The Paris Review. (TAKE NOTES.)
3. Read two to three books a month. Review one a month.
4. Create a schedule for reading and interacting with other book blogs, book bloggers, and fiction writers.
5. Get new ribbon for my typewriter and send working stories to trusted friends.
6. Write more letters. Even if they don’t write back.
7. Travel to DC, England, New Orleans, Miami, and Seattle.
Like I said, those are just a few. The list will grow and shrink and be crumpled up and thrown at a wall as the year progresses. The important part is that I spend more time doing the things it contains rather than focusing on perfecting it.
So tell us your lists: of books, of goals, of recipes you want to try, of literary magazines you plan to subscribe or submit to (or both).