30 Before 30.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
~T. S. Eliot

Know what’s fun? Taking a 330 page novel and encapsulating it in two paragraphs that not only paint a picture of the main storylines, but also entice readers to crave more information. I’m actually being serious about this. I just might be the only writer who enjoys drafting a query letter. The synopsis, on the other hand … let’s just say I almost tossed my computer out the window on several occasions. Pretty sure it was easier to write the actual book. I finished a draft on Friday and decided to give myself a break over the weekend before editing it down by a couple pages this week. Here’s hoping the laptop doesn’t go sailing through any glass. Ha.

In between my summarizing, I’ve been doing a lot of blog reading, and something Kelsey posted really struck a chord. I love the idea of “30 before 30” — basically, a list of goals/adventures/hopes for the coming year. I’ll turn thirty on September 9th (YIKES!) and am going to try my best to accomplish these things before then. Wish me luck!

1. Sign with a literary agent for Mine to Love.

2. Write my fifth novel.

3. Travel to Nantucket and visit some of the places that proved so inspiring for my MC Sofie.

4. Try two new restaurants.

5. Volunteer at and/or donate money to an animal shelter.

6. Take a long walk at least four days per week (weather permitting).

7. Read two books outside of my “normal” genre.

8. Go to Washington D.C. for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

9. Find a quiet spot by a pond where I can sit with my writing journal and fill its pages with story ideas.

10. Meet a General Hospital star whom I haven’t yet seen in person.

11. Eat five new foods.

12. Score a 100+ point word in Scrabble.

13. See another Broadway musical.

14. Get my photo albums up-to-date.

15. Win a game of miniature golf (go on and laugh, but this is a seemingly impossible task for me).

16. Attend a book signing.

17. Visit NYC again.

18. Travel to a state where I’ve never been before.

19. Send five “just because” notes to people.

20. Re-read two favorite books.

21. Bake a cake.

22. Volunteer at a senior center in some capacity.

23. Watch the complete series of another show that Lucille Ball starred in … gotta love Lucy!

24. Walk along the beach during a sunrise.

25. Walk outside during a snowstorm.

26. Organize and hang up all the wall hangings and plaques I’ve been collecting for years.

27. Attend a concert.

28. Write a guest post for another blog.

29. Take a trip to the mountains.

30. Learn to play a new board game.

Your turn: what are three things you hope to accomplish before your next birthday?


12 thoughts on “30 Before 30.

  1. I was in the parade at the Apple Blossom Festival a really long time ago – apparently when you were a toddler. I’m not that old. You are just very young and don’t know it.:)

  2. Great list, Shari!

    Hmm, 3 things? That sounds more manageable (although I do have a couple more months than you before my birthday this year)…

    1. Finish editing my book.
    2. Cook dinner for me and my boyfriend.
    3. Vlog again, haha.

  3. I LOVE that you like to write query letters. You’re right; I think you’re the only person I know who enjoys them. I don’t mind summing up other people’s stories in a pitch, but there’s so much pressure when it’s my own. That takes a lot of the fun away. It seems like every word can make the difference between acceptance and rejection. I’d much rather do a synopsis.

    Great list, too! I could definitely help you with the miniature golf thing. It’s not my best game. If we played together, you’d be guaranteed to win at least one game — and probably a lot more than that! As for a new state to visit, may I suggest mine? ;-)

    • No pressure, right, with every word literally counting so much? ;) I don’t know, to me there’s just something much more enjoyable about pitching a book than summarizing it. You’d think it would be the other way around, since I tend to write more than necessary, but it’s always a lot tougher for me to condense the book into five pages than it is two paragraphs. Maybe I’m just strange? Ha.

      You are ON for a mini-golf game one day! Oh, and I’d love to visit there sometime … it looks like such a beautiful state!

  4. Hi Shari! A fellow blogger, Dee sent me your way in response to a “Casting Call,” we did on our co-writing blog to find authors and others in the publishing industry to interview. Check out: http://writing4two.blogspot.com/2013/01/feature-friday-with-luisa-perkins.html to get a feel for our first “Feature Friday,” that we posted today. We’re looking for aspiring authors, self-published, and traditionally published authors, in addition to editors, publishers, and agents. Let me know if you’re interested and we can cross #28 off of your list:-) ~Gina

    • Hi Gina, and thank you for stopping by! I’m definitely interested and would be glad to take part. Thanks a million for including me. Looking forward to setting something up! :)

  5. I know it’s hard, but your life will be easier in the long run if you DON’T throw your computer out the window. :)

    I also suck at mini-golf and love all of your 30 before 30 ideas! Fingers crossed for you achieving some of these goals, and hopefully I can get some similarly awesome things under my hat before my next birthday, which is also in September. Yay for September! :)

    • LOL. I refrained … probably a good thing, seeing as how I just got this computer last May and actually really love it. I’m also super excited, because as of yesterday the synopsis is officially finished (barring any minor tweaks).

      And yes, yay for September! It’s a great month for a birthday. I hope you have a lot of wonderful experiences before – and after – your special day! :)

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