A Writerly Bucket List

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I dislike failure. Bucket lists, on the other hand, are super fun to write.
I sort of think bucket lists should be about things you have control over accomplishing. But . . .

 . . .  that’s less fun. Enter: My Writerly Bucket List. It’s a combination of stuff I can control and stuff I can’t. But the most important thing about this list is that it’s not really about stuff you can measure as a writer. It’s more about the non-sales, non-Book Scan milestones I’ve reached or want to reach, the stuff I can’t really measure but want to experience.

  • See my book on a Target shelf
  • See my book on a Barnes and Noble shelf (I’ve seen pictures people text me from other states, but I’d love to walk into MY Target or B&N and see this)
  • Get fan mail
  • Get an agent
  • Do a book launch at The King’s English in Salt Lake City
  • Get a starred in review in a major trade magazine
  • Get a five star Goodreads/Amazon review from a stranger
  • Have an author I love but I don’t know say they love my book on social  media
  • Have my books made into audiobooks (Can’t make myself listen, though)
  • Be on a panel with an author hero
  • Be recognized at a book/writer event and have someone whisper to their friend, “Oh my gosh, that’s Melanie Jacobson!” (Heard someone do this about one of  my friends once and thought it was the coolest thing ever)
  • Get published by one of the big 5 (I got SO CLOSE on the last submission)
  • Teach at a major writing conference
  • See my book in my alma mater’s bookstore
  • See my book in my local indie bookstore
  • Give a keynote speech at a writing conference
  • Sell the movie rights to one of my books
  • Be invited to join (name of author group redacted for reasons)
  • Be sent to BEA by a publisher
  • Get a jacket blurb from an author hero
  • Do a book tour
  • Show up on a “best of” list for a major fan blog
  • See a stranger reading my book in the wild (I’ve been texted pictures of this but haven’t seen it myself)
  • See my book in my current market’s major book catalogue
  • Do a book signing with an author hero
  • See my book displayed at my local library
  • Do a school visit

Make your lists, guys. The non-sales kind. And then make as many of those happen as you can because it’s super fun to check it off. Looking at all the things I still have in store makes me giddy because each of these milestones is SO FUN the first time you hit it.

Happy writing, guys, and just as importantly, HAPPY DREAMING!


Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She consumes astonishing amounts of chocolate, chick flicks, and romance novels. She lives in Southern California with her husband and three kids and a series of doomed houseplants. Melanie is a former English teacher who loves to laugh and make others laugh. In her down time (ha!), she writes romantic comedies for Covenant and maintains her humorous slice-of-life blog. Her sixth novel, Always Will, hits shelves in October. Melanie’s contemporary YA novels are represented by Alyssa Henkin.