My writing bucketlist… or how will I know if I’ve made it?

I’ve been giving some thought recently to the crippling self-doubt that seems to afflict many writers (and although I’m still in the almost- camp, I can definitely relate to that almost paralysing fear that what you’ve written is maybe, possibly, almost certainly utter rubbish) and wondering how I can benchmark my career as a writer.  So I decided I’d set myself up a little bucketlist about the things I’d like to achieve as a writer, signposts if you like on what will no doubt be a long and increasingly painful journey.  Here they are:

  1. Finish writing the first draft of my book – this is pretty much an essential as everything else hangs on actually having a book to publish.
  2. Finish a final version of my book – I’ve put them in separate steps as I suspect the latter will be as hard as the former!
  3. Get an agent – I’ve included this but it’s not the be-all-and-end-all, I realise.  It’s a kind of could be/couldn’t be scenario – I will consider it to be a positive sign if I do get an agent, but equally I know there are many routes to publication these days.
  4. Get my book published – I could just stop the list here as this is pretty much my 100% – what else is there?
  5. See a stranger reading my book – aha!  I don’t want their opinion or anything… I just want to see physical proof that someone other than my friends and family has read my book!
  6. Get an Amazon review – for better or worse!
  7. See my book for sale in an Actual Bookshop – in the flesh!
  8. Get sent books to review – I admit it, this is nearly as much fun as the whole writing thing!
  9. Go to a book festival to promote my book and sign an actual reader’s copy!
  10. Write the second book and start the process all over again!

What would your bucket list look like?  How would you measure your writing successes?  Is it even foolish to measure it?  Is writing for writing sake the only way forward?  Oh no – I’ve given myself an existential crisis – someone help me before it spirals further…

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