I love lists. It’s my raging case of OCD. I love writing them, I love reading them, and most of all, I love ticking things off. I love lists so much that I dedicated a whole wall in my bedroom to them. Exhibit A:

Why yes, there IS a picture of Jared Leto pointing at me on my bedroom wall.
He is surrounded by the chorus to Up In The Air because
So, with my love of lists in mind, I’ve created a DREAM BIG list. Jared would be proud. It is a list of things I want to achieve, rather than a list of the steps I have to take to get there. That list (actually THOSE lists) live on my wall where I can look at them every day and decide if I have any time to do anything besides work. The answer is always inevitably ‘no’.  It is a little scary to admit to all of you – and to myself – what I hope to eventually achieve in my life, but I’m going to do it anyway because I am betting on myself. I am fully aware that some or all of the things on this list may never happen, but…

“Dream as big as you want to because anything is possible, no matter how bizarre.”

~ Jared Leto. Naturally.

Someone really needs to write a book full of all the wonderful things he says. Next project!

So, I present to you (and to myself) my DREAM BIG List. It is written in second person because it’s my list to myself. I’m weird. We know this.

1.     Start a blog. (Yes, this list is retroactive because I want to feel like I’ve achieved something!!)

2.     Start an associated Twitter account. (And now I have three. THAT wasn’t a great idea now, was it??)

3.     Have one follower on your blog. (Not only do I have ONE; I have TWO. GO TEAM :p)

4.     Have one follower on your Twitter account. (GO TEAM AGAIN!!)

5.     Send your first query letter to a literary agent. I DID THIS ON OCTOBER 29, 2013. I actually did it!

6.     Be rejected. YAY!! This makes it real!! And I'm not up to Step 7 yet!!

7.     Wallow in self-doubt, consider setting your laptop on fire, decide to become a travelling monkey trainer for the circus instead, realise that won’t work because you don’t believe in animals being in the circus, and then…SUCK. IT. UP. And get back up again.

8.     Close your eyes, hope that this time will be better, edit your query if necessary and…SEND IT AGAIN. Come on, now. You can’t give up that easily.

9.     Be rejected…Again. Feel POSITIVE that you suck and everyone hates you, get into bed for at least a week and lie there in the foetal position, thinking about how life would be so much easier if you wanted to be in a boy band because they seem to be EVERYWHERE these days. Maybe…

10.   But then you put on Alibi and GET BACK UP AGAIN. This is most definitely the most important step. And I fellllll aparrrrrrrt...

11.   Repeat steps 5 through 10 as many times as necessary until…

12.   Someone requests to see more!! Yay! Anti-dance your ASS OFF.

13.   …But then they reject you anyway. It’s okay to cry this time and eat your weight in watermelon and popcorn while you watch ARTIFACT repeatedly to motivate yourself to keeping fighting for what you believe in. Yeah...This is where I am today, on Jan 17 2014. Haha. Thank Heavens for Artifact!

14.   Rinse. Repeat.

15.   Continue on this vicious cycle of self-doubt and self-loathing until…


17.   Dance. Sing. Cry. Tweet Jared to tell him that HE MOTIVATED YOU TO KEEP GOING, AND NOW LOOK! No, really. I WILL be doing this.

18.   Repeat all steps while trying to be signed with an actual publisher. Earn a few grey hairs in the process.

19.   Wait for the day you are told that…

20.   YOUR BOOK HAS BEEN SOLD. For actual money! Sure it’s not a lot, and really you thought it would be a little more than that and can you really live off your words if this is what books are sold for and oh gosh are you making a mistake but it’s all okay because YOUR BOOK HAS BEEN SOLD. For actual money!

21.   Write a long and emotional blog post thanking all the people who believed in you and supported you, and all of you hold one another and cry.

22.   Wait. The wait between being signed with an agent, being signed with a publisher and actually seeing your book on a shelf is looonnnngggg and hard. So I’ve read.

23.   Keep writing while you wait. Don’t be a slacker!

24.   Freak out over little things like the cover, the spine, the blurb, the fact that people may actually know that YOU wrote this monstrosity that some misguided soul agreed to publish while clearly under the influence of drugs.

25.   Receive an ARC copy (Advanced Reader Copy…copy. Wait. That doesn’t make sense.) Stand outside on your balcony and hold it above your head, Lion King style. Look, Novel. Everything the light touches is our kingdom.

26.   Send an ARC copy to everyone who believed in you…And hope you have enough, because seriously you guys, you are all AWESOME. I love you all so much.

27.   Receive the final, finished product. Hug it. Kiss it. Spoon it. Wait…What?

28.   See it in a bookshop for the first time. Stand near it and try to suss out people’s opinions of it. ‘Oh hey, have you read this? What did you think? I thought it was totally pretentious and poorly written…Do you agree?????’ Try not to look or sound too desperate.

29.   Probably DON’T do step 28.

30.   Smile. Laugh. Listen to a lot of Thirty Seconds To Mars and be eternally grateful for all the people and all the events in your life that led you to this point. Sing. Dance. Eat. Pray. Love.

I REALLY wanted it to be only thirty items for obvious reasons, but I can help but add an item thirty-one…

31.   Be happy. You did it! Celebrate. Tweet Jared  and thank him for all the times he motivated you to keep going (not like you don’t do that basically every day you crazy-ass stalker) Revel in your success and your ability to write words worth reading, and then…Do it again. Start from scratch. You want to be an author, don’t you? Well this is the hard part. But this is also where the fun is.

This is where the fun is.
UPDATED ON OCTOBER 1, 2013 to add...
Can I just keep him forever?? Sigh. Oh, the feels...
You can follow this incredibly inspiring man on Twitter. And really...you should.