Monday, February 4, 2013

The Wish List

Have you ever made a wish list? As a kid, mine included toys. As an adult, it includes a new Jeep Grand Cherokee. :)

How about a wish list of a different sort, the kind that includes goals and dreams? Ever made one of those?

When I worked as a consultant for a New Jersey homeschool network, we had a program that included curriculum counseling for parents/students.

The high school program's customized educational plan included encouraging teens to make up a wish list. We'd ask them a series of questions, including the following:

  • Who inspires you? Why?
  • What careers interest you?
  • What causes are important to you? 
  • Where would you like to travel? To live?
  • What types of books do you like to read?
  • What activities and hobbies do you enjoy?
  • What period of history interests you most? Why?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
  • If money were no object, what activities or goals would you choose?

We found that wish lists often contained cues or patterns - items or areas that students might pursue via study, hobby, recreation, volunteering, etc. This in turn, could offer clues for careers, goals, and dreams. We encouraged students to add to and reassess their lists throughout their high school years and beyond.

This wish list idea crossed my mind the other day, and I thought about it in relation to writers. What might we learn if we asked ourselves similar questions and made a wish list? Could it help focus a dream? Spur us to reach for a lofty goal? Clear mental clutter and confusion? Light a fire in a discouraged heart?

I wonder if a wish list should be a requirement for writers to help us dream big - to encourage us, reveal strengths, interests, and potential writing opportunities. What do you think?

While working on this post, I found this quote by Les Brown. Thought it rather fitting.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

Swinging among the stars doesn't sound too bad, does it?

What could a wish list do for your writing? I encourage you to give it a try. There's nothing to lose but a bit of time, and who knows, you may just find that niche, goal, or dream you've been looking for. You won't know until you try.

Where do your writing dreams take you? What does your wish list include?

Happy writing,


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Content copyright Karen Lange, 2013. No text may be used without prior permission.


  1. I love that quote!

    My writing friend encouraged me to write down three goals and hang near me. 1) goals of this month 2) goals of this year 3) goals of a few years in order to inspire and dream.

  2. Though I don't write them down, I have plenty of goals in my mind, Karen. I make sure I repeat them often to myself.

  3. What a good idea! My ultimate goal with my stories is to being able to make a living writing. :-)
    Now to make my daily quotas. LOL

  4. A great idea, enjoyed the post very much,


  5. Hi Karen...My writing wish list would be to get paid well for writing, or at least to have extra money for spending and traveling.

    Also, to have a book published.

    I do find that goals that are written down are more likely to come to pass. Susan

  6. Jennifer,
    I know, I had to share it! :) I think you have a wise friend. I may borrow that idea if you don't mind.

    Ah yes, and this is a wonderful thing too. I am better at writing things down, as long as I remember to look at the list! LOL :)

    Yes, that's a great goal, and one of mine too. :) It starts with daily quotas!

    Thanks so much! I think it applies to any area of our lives, you know? :)

    Mine too! So maybe I can get that Jeep. :) I think I've heard that said about writing goals down, too.

    Happy writing,

  7. This Susan is with that Susan and you Karen in wishing to be paid well for writing. Right now it's pretty much grocery money. =0) But we forge on, right?

  8. Love this idea. I'm going to make one today. Just by a glance, I can already see the pattern.

    Thank you for this inspiring post, Karen.

  9. I love that quote and I would definitely like to land among teh stars!

    Thanks for this inspiring and uplifting post. Exactly what I needed to read today.

  10. My goals have changed since I began, but I suppose that is natural. Means I need new ones.

  11. What a wonderful idea! Anything that inspires young people to start setting goals.

  12. Susan,
    Lots of smart and savvy Susans around there these days! :) Ah, at least there's grocery money. Otherwise, I'd be having to send you cookies and cereal and whatnot. :)

    Glad you liked the idea! You'll have to let me know how it goes. Thanks so much; you are so sweet. :)

    I know, it's a great quote, isn't it? Really helps me keep perspective, for I see it as a win-win situation. So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for your kind words. :)

    Ha, yes, new ones! I think that's how it should go, you know? Seems to me you've made good progress on the old ones, too. :)

    It was the late Director's brainchild. She was one smart cookie! :)

    Happy writing,

  13. I've done this many times over the years. What's interesting is how different my list is now. Thanks, Karen. This was a great idea, one that I need to rekindle.

  14. I will have to think about this wish list idea and get back with you.

  15. Hi Karen .. such a necessary post - we all need to be reminded to plan and not just drift.

    Love the quote too - cheers Hilary

  16. I would like to encourage someone with my writing. I'll have to think about other writing goals and maybe dream a little.

  17. Great quote---and I may just take up your challenge and answer those questions. It sounds like fun. :)

  18. Joylene,
    It is interesting how these things evolve as we proceed through life. Glad you liked it! :)

    No hurry, just meant as food for thought! Cheering you on with your goals. :)

    Thank you so much! :) Yes, drifting - something I've done a little too much of lately. Time to get back on track. See you among the stars!

    I like that goal, and I am sure you will. It's always a pleasure to stop by your blog. :) Yes, dream a little!

    I know, loved the quote too! I think it is fun, and can be helpful too. :)

    Happy writing,

  19. Hi Karen -

    I've got to try this! Just reading those questions gets the creative juices flowing.

    Maybe we should write a list together for our collaborative efforts. :)


  20. wonderful quote. And i love this idea of a wishlist. I'll definitely have to try it.


  21. What a great post! Thanks for asking, Karen. Here are my wishes for my writing:

    To publish or be part of 100 books (this includes stories in anthologies), to write at least 1000 articles, and to win one million people into God's Kingdom. I also love to make people laugh.


  22. Susan,
    Let me know how it goes, okay? And yes, I think it might be a good idea for us with our book. Good thinking. :)

    I agree, it is a good quote! Hope you get a chance to try it. :)

    Thank you so much! :) Sounds like your wish list is full of good things. Cheering you on!

    Happy writing,

  23. I really like wish lists, and bucket lists. I think they help us really look at our hopes and dreams, and they offer encouragement.
    My wish list includes things like publishing, but I've realized in this last week that it also includes helping others find their dreams.
    Thanks for this great post Karen!

  24. "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

    That is so beautiful!

  25. Great questions! I'd like to take time to really ponder them. Some of them I've never considered before...

    I always had books on my wish list. I still do, and now it's one with my name on the spine.

    Have a wonderful weekend, dear Karen.
    Dotti :)

  26. Tyrean,
    I think you are right, they do help provide a good overview. Lots of good things gained! :)

    I know, I was excited when I found the quote. So inspiring. :)

    I'm with you; I need to take more time to ponder them too. Yes, waiting to see that book of yours, I think it will be wonderful! :)


  27. I'm with what has already been said above--my wish is to be paid well for my writing. Sigh...

    A girl can dream. ;-)

    Love the quote. Be well.

  28. Janette,
    Of course a girl can dream! This one is dreaming all the time! :) Enjoyed your post over at Jennifer's. Great things to think about, thank you.
    Happy writing,


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