Monday, September 19, 2016

Guest Post - The Wish List by Karen E. Lange


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

What about a wish list of a different sort, the kind that includes goals and dreams?

When I worked as a homeschool consultant for a New Jersey homeschool network, we had a curriculum counseling program for parents and students. The high school program's customized educational plan encouraged teens to make up a wish list. We asked teens a series of questions, which included the following:

Who inspires you? Why?

What careers interest you?

What types of books do you like to read?

What period of history interests you most? Why?

If money were no object, what activities would you like to do? Where would you travel? We found that wish lists often contained cues or patterns - things or areas that students might pursue via study, hobby, recreation, etc. This could offer clues for careers, goals, and dreams. We encouraged students to add to and reassess the lists through their high school years.

I wondered recently how this idea related to the writer’s life. What might we learn through a wish list? Could it help focus a dream? Urge us to reach for a lofty goal? Clear mental confusion and clutter? Light a fire in a discouraged heart?

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

While writing this post, I stumbled across this quote by Les Brown, and 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 like a bad idea, does it?

Where do your writing dreams take you?

Happy writing, Karen :)

Karen Lange is a freelance writer, editor, blogger, an online writing instructor at the coffeehouseforwriters.com, and the author of two books for homeschool parents. Her articles have been featured in numerous print and online publications. She's a big fan of dark chocolate, historical fiction, and ice hockey. Visit Karen at her blog, karenelange.blogspot.com

25 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen and Susan - as we get older we refine our ideas more ... but certainly when writing a story we need to draw on all kinds of ideas. Les Brown's quote is excellent isn't it ... cheers Hilary

Linda O'Connell said...

Karen, my writing dreams are taking me back to early morning writing. Retirement allowed me to postpone my daily writing till later and sometimes the next day, but when I taught, I HAD to rise early to fit in writing time. I am making myself get back into that routine.

When I first started writing, my New Year's goal was to publish 12 items in one year, six paying and six for exposure. I made my goal.

Thanks for the encouragement, Karen, and to you, Susan, for hosting.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'd be willing to try a wish list if it would re-inspire me.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Love that quote, Karen. That's such a great idea to create a wish list for our writing and our lives. Too much time gets spent doing what we have to, not what we necessarily want to do. Maybe our writing would really go farther than we dream with a wish list.

Karen Lange said...

Susan,
Thanks so much for hosting me today! You are always a great hostess. Looking forward to visiting with your friends, too. :)
Love and blessings,
Karen

Susan said...

Dear Susan and Karen....Great questions! Will think about them. I love Linda's idea of writing in the early morning. Need to try that. Have a beautiful day! Susan

Karen Lange said...

Hilary,
I think you are right! Age does offer interesting perspective and whatnot. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Linda,
Thanks for your kind comments! Glad you liked the post. Congratulations on your writing success! :)

Alex,
I say go for it! What have you to lose other than a bit of time? :)

Natalie,
Thank you, glad you liked the quote! I think a wish list can be a great tool to motivate us, you know? :)

Happy writing,
Karen

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen - Thanks for guest posting today. It's always a delight to have you here. :)

Hi Hillary - Karen always has such good ideas.

Hi Linda - Like you, I tended to sleep later and be more casual about my schedule when I was out on disability. It's been tough getting back into my normal routine. I do much better when I have less time.

Hi Natalie - Yes, we do tend to deal with the urgent rather than have a plan. It's something I struggle with daily.

Hi Alex - It's worth a shot. :)

Ceil said...

Hi Susan and Karen! I love the idea of a wish list for writers. ( I used to really want a Jeep Wagoneer. Do they even make those anymore??) I think dreams and desires are there for a reason, and can help clarify where we want to go.
I'll have to give this some more thought for sure. Where do I want to be?
Blessings,
Ceil

Bish Denham said...

Writing a wish list certainly couldn't hurt! Love the Les Brown quote.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I love making wish lists. I think anything is possible if you have faith. It's not about the things, but that wonderful feeling in your heart when you look at the world with joy. It's not always easy to do, but I strife to be happy for no reason at all. And when I'm successful, I can feel my heart swell.

Karen, you are always an inspiration.

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Hhhmmm, a wish list, it feels like asking Santa :) but why not? On my wish list would be more focused time to write.

JENNIFER BROWN BANKS said...

Lovely post, ladies. Thanks for sharing.

Karen Lange said...

Ceil,
Ha - we too had thought about getting a Wagoneer years ago when our kids were little. I don't think they make it anymore, but I bet if you can find one they're worth a little something! :)

Joylene,
Aww, you are so sweet. Thanks for your kind words. I guess in some ways, it parallels counting our blessings, doesn't it? :)

Marja,
Well, I hadn't even considered the Santa thing, but I suppose you're right. lol Yes, focus should be on my wish list too! :)

Jen,
Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Happy writing,
Karen

Karen Lange said...

Susan W.,
I too could probably do much with the early morning writing thing. Just have to actually get up early enough to do it! :)
Happy writing,
Karen

quietspirit said...

Karen and Susan: I don't really make wish lists. Because. I know deep down that if I had one nothing would come of it. On the other hand, I think I will try to make one just to see what happens. Christmas lists for us are made up of what we need. Birthday lists are almost the same type.

Medeia Sharif said...

I have wish lists for shopping, but I know I should make a personal one. I do have goals in mind, though.

Karen Lange said...

Cecelia,
I know what you mean. Sometimes our "wishes" seem too grandiose or impossible. But maybe with a good balance and perspective, they can offer clues of things we might be able to aim for in the future. I like to look at my "wish list" that way, you know? :)

Medeia,
Yes, for shopping - they are fun and helpful! I think goals can be closely tied to the wish list idea. Without them, we tend to flounder around, not heading anywhere. :)

Thanks to both of you for stopping by!
Karen

Lynn J Simpson said...

I 100% believe in 'wish list'! Just in the wee hours this morning I scrolled through some of my unread Kindle books and found "Living on Purpose" and the author's first step was to create an 'I want' list around areas of your life. I believe these lists, activities, help us stay focused and on purpose. When I veer away my goals and don't look at them for awhile, or get an attitude of "I don't need to do that!" I get restless in my Spirit and sometimes it takes awhile to listen and get realigned. That's a great activity for kids!

Victoria Marie Lees said...

This is wonderful food for thought, Karen. Thanks for sharing it with your readers. Lists keep me on track. It sounds like a good idea to create a writer list. All the best my dear!

Nas said...

Hi Susan and Karen,

I have wish lists but then they keep changing! Great questions to ask ourselves though.

Karen Lange said...

Lynn,
A list of this sort really can help keep one's focus, I agree. You're right, it is a fun activity for kids too! :)

Victoria,
All the best to you too! Glad you enjoyed the post. :)

Happy writing,
Karen

Betty Draper said...

I kind of am with Hillary who commented first, my list has changed through the years. And i have been able to cross off many of my wishes. This past summer I got a wish I had for a long time, to visit Montana and view the mountains in all their glory. I find it is good therapy to cross things off our list, leaves more room to add a few more.

DMS said...

I have kept lists before, but don't think I have written one in a while. I did write a writing wishlist a while back, but I think this is a good season to write a life one. Thanks for the reminder. :)
~Jess

Karen Lange said...

Nas,
I have running wish lists in my head that change as well. lol :) But at least our creative minds are always working, right?

Betty,
Yes, wish lists do have a way of changing over the years. So glad you got to see Montana! That must have been great fun. :)

Jess,
You are welcome! I think I need to refresh mine as well. :) Appreciate you stopping by.

Happy writing,
Karen