Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

Export My Content

Barbara Mertusova

Just Finished Nano 2009 and still no novel

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write a novel (read all 9 entries…)
Finish my novel in 2007


It felt good to burn all those old pages. The fire is still warm and it doesn’t crackel, just a very low crisp hum. Like a few bees buzzing among the embers. Bees don’t belong in embers with ash, but those pages did.

I spent about three hours this evening organizing the last half of the book into the binder. I found chapters still out of sequence and had to place them within the notebook at the approximate place where they will end up. I took my edits and added them to the final print out. I three holed punched over 120 pages to get them into proper order and then I sat back and felt great.

It has been a long time coming, getting the second half of the book combined with the first. I only have this year to get this novel done. No more messing around and it felt like I was a bride or something again when I threw the pages into the flames. A new start, a new beginning. There have been a slew of new beginnings but perhaps one not as kind on my psyche as this one.

There was the new beginning when I burned the pages of my first novel, the one I guess I wrote to learn how to write a book. I’ve learned now that every writer has a least one novel in the drawer. That time by the backyard firplace and myself and my friend Maria and my sister Becky screaming like banshees while we burned all of the notes and the edits and the re edits and the final edits that still weren’t good enough. I still have a copy of that book and the writings stinks. I say that now. I can be cocky right now while I sit inside and listen to the wind whip around the lodge pole pine trees. I can be cocky when I am a few years down the road and that night on the top of Independence pass just outside Aspen when I stopped the car and sobbed because my novel was shit. Pure suckmo shit.

I was told that at a seminar that I took my book to. My words were eaten alive by the other members of the group and I held my chin high and didn’t let the tears come until I was alone, On top of the world and the starlight stung my eyes and I told myself I would do another book. So what, if that one was bad. I would listen to what they told me and I would learn more and I would continue to write.What I know now is that the whole room full of them were right. The book was crap but I did not let that stop me. I am still here and I am still writing.

So tonight I burn sheets again, but this time my ragdoll cat Echo grooms himself on the big over stuffed chair at my left. My feet are covered with those little brown ugly socks that they give you in the hospital, a reminder of Dan’s blown up appendix this summer and how the pus invaded his body and how I stood next to the bed in intensive care and how his mind rambeled and how his heart rate was mixed and sometimes muted and for my moutain climbing buddy of a husband that was the worst for me.

The fire is almost out now and I turned off the music to the radio and here about 7 miles from the continental divide I consider my writing life. I only write part time, gainfully employed on the other side, and there is a real sense of determination that I will pull off this book. No matter what I can’t fail. How can one fail if they do the best job possible and continue to learn. All I can say is how good I feel inside, like a warm orange is inside my belly and there is this sweet taste that runs up into my mouth. So I have the book together now and all I have to do is fix the entire thing to the end.

It is not such a daunting task but it will take me many months.I am determined to complete the novel. Just determind to get all the twists and turns into their proper places and build the tension and keep the tension and stick in the comic relief where I need it and gads all I want to do is just revel that I am this far. I am not done, not done by a long shot but damn and double damn I am here now and I have just burned the bad sections of the entire book. I have ripped and shedded all three hundred some pages and come up with the chapters that sing and need work. I got rid of all the capters that didn’t talk to me The ramblings of my mad mind, the times I kept on writing “I don’t know what to say” and “I don’t know what to say” and then boom something hit and I was off or I thought I was off. Whatever I was writing again and with a cup of Earl Grey with honey next to me I was fine.

I’d like to have a glass of wine and cellebrate. Celebrate that I am this far and I will continue to write under all circumstances. I know I have a long road ahead of me but I also know it isn’t as long as it was.

My employee Amy bought me Barack Obama’s book ’ The Audacity of Hope’for me for Christams. It sits on the coffee table in front of me. It sits on top of my Kabbalah Month by Month book and there is a wild wind outside the windows of my home. If a black man with a mixed heritage can perhaps make it to the white house, I too have a chance to become the novelist that I know I am inside. I too can pull in the Audacity of hope and move forward with courage.

My fingers slide on the black keys. My voice doesn’t speak. My inhale and my exhale are like every other inhale and exhale of my body. A familiar bond with the breath. As familiar as my heartbeat. I’m captured right now in a human body and it feels just right.

I wiggle my toes in those crazy socks. I feel beautiful and content and burning my old work that has taken me to this sweet place. Fire destroys but it cleanses too. All those cofused and unusable words are ash now and the fire is quiet and I hear the sound of the Seth THomas clock as it ticks out the remainder of this evening.

I can hear Natalie’s voice in our writing seminars. Continue under all circumstances, Continue under all circumstances and I have and I will continue to work on this novel. I must complete this book in 2007.

write short stories (read all 3 entries…)
No Title just think about this...

Consider signing up for the Zoetrope short story on line writing seminar. Deceide before the end of this weekend. It does cost and what will I get out of it? Go to the website and look at it more thoroughly.

do yoga three times a week (read all 7 entries…)
Do Yoga 4 times a Week

This is an easy entry, not like the novel one. So far, I did yoga three times this week and have Sat and Sunday to get at least one more practice session done. No problem.

write a novel (read all 9 entries…)
Finish My Novel in 2007

It is all about the ability to sit down, shut up and write. Not the second cup of tea, I have to go to the bathroom,I have work to do, the cat box needs cleaning. No, I know better it is about writing. Just write. Clean pure and simple.

So I have the book now done clean through to the end and it has taken me five years to get to this place. Five fricking years of saying I want to write a novel, I want to get published, I can do this and five years I have something to show for it.

BUT I AM NOT DONE: Now the real work begins. Now I must go back to the beginning and continue to edit from where the book finally ended and my ending is very weak, I read it and about puked. Well, that is Ok. I have read a lot of my novel and have not liked it and I have re-written, but what I know is this; I am a good writer and a great editor in style and wording not necessarily punctuation or spelling. I see no spell check on this 43 things and that is a bit of a pain but I am not going to obsess about that either. Who cares what misstakes are in these journal entries. The only person who would care is me. No matter, I will work on my novel to get it to the best of my ability. I will write and edit and re-edit and consider all of that part of the novel writing learning process. I will get this novel completed.

It is hard, actually one of the hardest things I have ever done or perhaps one of the hardest things I have taken upon in order to belive in my own purpose and my own destination. I haven’t got to where I am right now in life by sitting around on my arse. I’m not a person who surrenders to failure, and I absolutly will not fail in this goal to get my book done before the end of this year.

Now I have to go to the plot points of my own life and my own career and figure out how I can insert more hours to this goal. That is the tuff one. Seems like start to finish in the day I am running and doing and exercising. Like today. Saturday and there was the wicked snowstorm that blanketed the high county in Colorado and dump probably 6 – 12 inches of snow . I want to throw the telemark skies into the car and head up to A-Basin. I will do that. I’ll take a few runs and clear out my head. The trees are plastered in snow and the holiday crowds still exist but I will ignore the crowdes and ski, clear out my head from all of the work of this past week, the excel spreadsheets and getting work proofed and back from Amy and ticking off the to do list

Not to mention the restaurant owners who have fibbed about their seating arrangments and the number of tables they have in their restaurants. Me the heavy, always the heavy upholding the Rules & Regulations, and I have to dun them with more money to the Water District or pay for the fricking tables.

Whew that has been on my mind more than writing. What I see I need to do is not stay in the mindset of work, when I am not there. That Buddhist philosphy of stay in the present moment and do not let the present be eaten alive with anger or regret or past mistakes. Well I could go on and on but I won’t. I know this. When I ski, I SKI. That is my present moment. Right inside my telemark boots, right on the slopes making a path for my body to linger in the wind and to move right and left and right and left down the hill. I bend my knees and feel the hamstrings stretch and my eyes get clear. Yes, that is probably it. My eyes clear. They are clear of all moments that aren’t the present. When I ski I am the sun and the snow and the wind, I am not myself I am part of soemthing greater. When I write it is the same thing, my ego justs melts down and I am together with my Id or my spirit and all the daily stuff is not apparent.

Ok I disgress I just want to batt out what is in my head this morning. What I did so far this year is print out the whole second half of my novel which needs the most work. The first half is much better. Now, this weekend I am going to combine both the first and the second halfs. I have a huge binder already for all of this. Then I am going to start with Michael’s analysis of the first half of my novel and see where he got stuck in the book. Michael loves my book so far and that gives me a lot of strength. He is a big lawyer in Cincinnati Ohio and I met him at a writing workshop. I trust his ability to read and edit my writing. So first thing will be getting the K aspects into the first part of the novel. That has to be my quest.

For the week of Jan 7 – 14th. I will do at least one hour a day on my book. This usually works very well for me and keeps me in touch with the manuscript so I don’t fall too far off of the edges and punch myself out because I don’t remember where I am. I will have to move through some other things this next week. Keep my mind OFFFFFF OFFFF OFFFFF of anything that upsets me and put the extra energy that I have created by not obsessing into my writing. Now in order to get this book done I must have a few blocks of writing time this week in addition to just keeping myself on track. I will figure this out later when I have my daytimer in front of me.

I have ticked this box to remind me each day to write for a least an hour. That is how I got the book this far. I wish myself well. I can do this. I will complete my novel in 2007.

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