March 2, 2011

43 Things and Writing a Book

43 Things is a website where people keep track of their goals. At first, I didn't understand it, it seemed like a computerized version of a "To Do list." I figured that I already made "To Do lists" on paper, why would you want to put something boring like that online for other people to see?

But when I investigated further, 43 Things lets you add goals and connects you to a network of people who are trying to work towards the same goal or who have accomplished it already.The people in that network can cheer you on or those who have already accomplished the goal you are trying to achieve can give you tips and encouragement.

You can also leave journal entries on each of your goals which is an obvious reminder if you've been neglecting working towards one. Since the goals are public, I think it gives us an extra boost to achieve that goal it also makes me more selective about which goals I really want to pursue.

One of my goals is to write a book. It has been one off my goals since I was a little kid. I always thought I'd grow up and be a writer. I was surprised at how many people on 43 Things who have the same goal. 29,243 have the goal to "Write a Book," 2,763 want to "Write a Book and Have it Published," and 10,685 want to "Write a Novel," it's astounding!

A preliminary layout for my book.

Really, it is considering only 6,328 people want to "Lose 10 Pounds." What is it about writing books that makes us all want to do it?

I'm writing a book that, quite frankly, I want to read myself. It will be a cookbook of Colonial Era Recipes. There are many books about historical cooking and cookbooks, but there are very few that have gorgeous pictures! I think that great pictures are absolutely necessary when cooking food that is unfamiliar. My goal is to have only around 100 recipes (which isn't a lot for a cookbook) and include at least 25-30 full page photos.

The biggest reason for books to lack photos is the expense it takes to print them. At this point, I don't even want to try and get it published, I do not believe there is a wide enough readership for it. I am thinking of only ever making it into an e-book so it can be virtually as long as I want it to be and can include as many helpful photos as I would like.

I have been working on it on and off for a while when I don't have school work. 43 things says that the average time that it takes for people on the site to write a book is 1 year! Wow! I am definitely giving myself at least 2 years, I am in no rush. I am guessing a lot of the people who wrote a book in a year participated in NaNoWriMO, which encourages people to write a book in 1 month regardless of how horrible it is.

So I normally don't tell people my big goals for fear of failure but 43 things has encouraged me to do so. Even if my book takes 5 years, I know my readers and friends will encourage me. I am also having a lot of fun on 43 things.


  1. Oh, that's a fabulous idea for a cookbook! I hope you do finish it someday. . .It would be SO fun to cook from and a good read too! Good luck :)

  2. This is really neat! I would love to know more about your book... I'll be keeping up with your blog to find out more about it. :)

  3. Writing a book is a great goal. I'm sure you will achieve it at some point.
    I'm not surprised that only 6,000+ people had the goal of "lose 10 pounds" Because I probably would not have put that either — I would have a goal of "lose 50 pounds"! (but I'll bet that wasn't one of the choices)

  4. I should join that site. I wrote three books, but the next book I want to try to get it published by an actual publisher. I do want to try to write a children book about Islam and seeing if it gets published somewhere.

  5. Jess, I think you probably could. The children's book market is very into multicultural stories now.

  6. Hmmm, I think after my two papers this week, I'm going to start one.

  7. I totally agree! 43 things is a fantastic site! i love it.

    And yes i have to say "to write a book" is one of my 43 things.

    Good on you for starting it.

    Good luck! Hope it works out for you! :)


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