Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Blogiversary Guest Post: Bucket Lists with Stacey Wiedower, author of 30 First Dates

Do you have a bucket list? If so, how’d you start it? What’s on it? How important is it to you to check off every item? I’d love to discuss these questions in the comments!

I’m thinking about bucket lists today because I’m working on a sequel to my first book, 30 FIRST DATES, which is about main character Erin Crawford’s attempt to do 30 life-changing things before her 30th birthday. Because she’s just come off a bad relationship, she couples her list with a plan to date 30 guys and complete her bucket list items on her dates. And then she blogs about her adventures!

As you can imagine, much trouble and confusion and chaos ensues. J

Well, now I’m hanging out with Erin through the next chapter of her life. She’s a little more settled these days as she puts her twenties behind her and moves on toward 35 … or is she? In THIS IS 35, Erin is finding out that just because you’re “adulting” doesn’t mean you suddenly have all the answers. There’s still plenty of uncertainty in her life that brings its own brand of trouble, confusion and chaos. Meanwhile, she’s working to complete a new 35 by 35 bucket list—only this time she’s doing it with a nationally televised audience.

Luckily most of us don’t face that kind of pressure when it comes to completing our goals! But on a serious note, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my own goals and dreams. The thirties, for me, have been a decade of discovery – finding out what I love and what I really want to do with my time, my energy and the life experiences I’ve amassed so far. Obviously writing plays a big role in that for me, but so do spending time with family and friends, traveling, painting, reading and – can’t forget this one – eating delicious food.

These are the things I love, so when it comes to creating my bucket list these are the priorities that shape it. I think having goals is super important, one of the most important parts of life. Even thinking about goals – making big plans and having big dreams – is fulfilling. Right now I’m reading THE HAPPINESS PROJECT by Gretchen Rubin, and she writes that the anticipation of something big is as important to happiness as the thing itself.

I’ve seen this play out with my husband, who’s an awesome travel planner. For one trip we took in 2012, he spent pretty much every night for six months researching destinations and plotting our itinerary. The trip was amazing, thanks to him. When it ended, I think he was the saddest of all of us because it meant his planning and dreaming had ended, too … the anticipation was as much fun as the trip. That’s evidence that working toward our goals makes us happy. But first we have to have goals. Dreaming and planning and anticipating the next Big Thing or Fun Thing or Amazing Thing helps us learn about ourselves, gives us hope and makes our days better.

So, now that all that seriousness has poured out of me, let’s have some fun! In the comments, I’d love to read your top 5 bucket list items—anything from giant life ambitions to small somethings you’ve always wanted to try. I’ll go first:

1.    Live in England. Whether six months or six years from now, one day I really want to make this happen, if just for a little while.
2.    Go to Greece. I’m SO dying to see Santorini.
3.    Write a non-fiction book. Along with my writing background I’ve worked in interior design. One of these days I want to write a fab coffee table book about houses.
4.    Hang out with friends more. I want to stop saying, “We should get together sometime,” and put more actual dates on the calendar.
5.    Paint. This is something I love that I never take time to do. And that’s one reason bucket lists are important – to remind us to do things we love.

I can’t wait to hear your goals. And a bonus: writing goals down and telling them to someone else makes you more likely to achieve them. J Also, enter the giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of 30 FIRST DATES! Thanks so much for stopping by!
SUMMARY
30 dates, 30 wild ideas, total media frenzy… but only one Mr. Right.

Erin Crawford is a relationship blogger with a bucket list and a vendetta. After having horrible luck in her own relationships, she decides to start a blog called "30 First Dates." Her mission: go out with 30 men before her 30th birthday. It's her quest to find a non-jerk in 30 dates or less. As she blogs about her sometimes humorous and sometimes just sad dates, she also begins to cross off her bucket list of 30 things she wants to do before she turns 30—killing two birds with one stone by completing the items on her dates! In fourteen months she skydives, skinnydips, crashes a wedding, travels to multiple cities and lives way outside her usual comfort zone. The only question is, as her birthday approaches and her list grows smaller, will Erin be able to find love? Or is she destined to be a first-date-only kind of girl? 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stacey Wiedower is an author and freelance writer based in Memphis, Tenn. After starting her career as a reporter and editor, she followed her passion to design school and spent three years learning the ropes at a local interior design firm. Today she funnels that experience into her work as a full-time freelance writer specializing in homes and design. Her third novel, How to Look Happy, launched in January 2016 from Gemma Halliday Publishing.

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