These sort of lists were pretty hot for a while, so I thought I'd try my hand at it, with a relevant spin. This list is for writers, specifically mystery & crime writers. I've posted it on my blog, Picks By Pat, but it's not nearly complete. If you have suggestions, I welcome them. Some of them were written with tongue in cheek, but I enjoyed making it up. I hope you enjoy it as well.

101 30 Things to Do before You Die (for mystery writers)


1. Subscribe to Crimespree Magazine. Thank Jon & Jen Jordan for all their work.
2. Attend Bouchercon.
3. Take the Konrath Quiz!
4. Meet Sarah Weinman. Prostrate yourself before her while you chant “I’m not worthy!” Read her blog.
5. Read An Unquiet Night by Patricia Carlon.
6. Join Crimespace. Then go to Australia. Track down Daniel Hatadi (creator of Crimespace). Buy him a beer. Praise him highly in front of the other bar patrons (while you’re still sober, so they know you really mean it).
7. This year, query three agents a week until you snag one.
8. Get your novel published.
9. Join the Mystery Writers of America.
10. Visit the grave of Edgar Allen Poe, at night. Leave a rose.
11. Go to your local library and give a talk about your book or the mystery genre.
12. Buy a bottle of Maker’s Mark. Sip it while you read the August Riordan PI series by Mark Coggins. Note: There are several books in the series…you may need more than one bottle.
13. Get on a panel at a writer’s conference, as a moderator or participant & teach your fellow writers about a topic you’re an expert on or excited about.
14. Learn how to kill someone with poison and get that story published.
15. Write and publish a story from the killer’s point of view and make him/her sympathetic.
16. Ditto from the victim’s point of view, but make him/her unlikeable.
17. Get a book review published in your local newspaper, whether it’s the New York Times or the Small Town Gazette.
18. Attend the Love is Murder conference in Chicago.
19. Read all of JA Konrath’s Jack Daniels novels. As you read each one, have a drink from the recipe in the front of the novel.
20. Read The Rap Sheet and then visit all of the links that J Kingston Pierce lists on the sidebar…all 656 of them.
21. Meet Allison Janssen and Ben LeRoy of Bleak House Books and tell them thanks for publishing some great novels.
22. Attend a pitch session at every writer’s conference you attend.
23. Send an autographed copy of your novel to David J Montgomery, because those are the ones he keeps. Thank him. Read his blog, the Crime Fiction Dossier.
24. Read literary agent Janet Reid’s blog. If you get a chance to meet her at a writer’s conference, introduce yourself, and thank her for the useful advice. Then shake her tentacle.
25. Write a cozy, a police procedural and a thriller & get them each published under different pen names.
26. If you’ve never tasted it, try absinthe.
27. Visit Hemmingway’s house in Cuba.
28. Learn to read and speak a foreign language. Read a foreign language mystery novel in the original.
29. At your next writer’s conference, go to the lobby or main room one after all the panels are done and read one of your favorite mystery stories out loud, even if no one is listening.
30. Meet Julie Hyzy, president of the Midwest chapter of MWA and chat with her. Observe her optimistic and bubbly personality (you can actually hear the bubbles in her voice…it’s quite amazing). Oh, and read her books, starting with State of the Onion. She’s a very good writer.

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Hi Pat,

What a great list--a little mid-west oriented but I can adapt the geography. I've actually done some of these but am delighted that I can still look forward to lots of fun in my writing career.

Terrie Farley Moran
Thanks for the shout-out -- those ARE the ones I keep! :)
31-Study other art forms to get a feel for the visual, musical or textural arts. Theoretically, this should enrich the written art.
Great list, Patrick. We'll have to try and put an Australian-flavoured list together...don't worry, Daniel, we still buy you a beer and tell you how fab you are.
32. Stop procrastinating and get a website up. Sigh.
Here's a few more:

-Go on a blog tour and totally exhaust yourself but make loads of new connections.
-Write a New Books essay and get it published in Mystery Scene.
-Create your own Q&A Discussion group and book giveaway contest on Goodreads to promote your books.
-Schedule at least one event where no one shows up. You never know when this will happen, so keep holding events until it does. Then you've got your bar story!
-Join Facebook and make friends with 1,000 of your bestest pals, then bombard them with status updates about your publishing news.
-If you aren't A Real Basket Case yet or haven't gone To Hell in a Handbasket promoting your books, take a breather to read both of these cozies by Beth Groundwater.
Thanks everyone. Some great suggestions here. Keep 'em coming! Looks like I have my work cut out for me before I hit 101.
1. Finish writing your crime novel.
2. Get your crime novel published.

After that, my mind goes blank.
That's when the real trouble starts, Minerva.
What, when my mind goes blank? You said it, sister! LOL!
so that's where i'm going wrong....;)
Just keep on doing what we love until we die. Then it will be someone else's turn to weave this tapestry we call "popular culture".

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