Well, it’s curtains for 2013. A new year has begun.
This is my favorite time of year. So much promise and possibility. Plus, at heart I’m an over-thinker and a planner, so I delight in taking stock and looking ahead.
2013 was a pretty great year for my writing career. I had two new stories come out and have sold a third one which will appear next year. I finished one novel (ABSENT) and began sending it around to agents and have nearly completed the first draft of another one (PROJECT AWESOME). I feel like it’s been a year of growth for me, both in terms of creativity and in terms of deepening my understanding of structure.
Here are my 2013 numbers:
- New short stories completed and out on submission: 4 (I hoped to write 7, so I fell short here)
- Total short stories out on sub: 12 (garnering a total of 49 rejections and 3 acceptances)
- Short stories sold: 3 (plus I was awarded both Semi-Finalist and Honorable Mention finishes from Writers of the Future)
- Novels out on sub: 1 (ABSENT)
- Total words written: approximately 220,000 (a complete rewrite of Absent, 75K on the first draft of Project Awesome, plus 4 new shorts and a couple of in-depth outlines). This does not include short stories drafted but not yet finished. While this is a good number, it’s 30K short of last year and 50K shy of what I hoped to accomplish.
- Conventions attended: 1 (MileHiCon)
- Writing Workshops attended: 3 (Vegas women’s writing retreat, Colorado writing retreat, and Paradise Lost)
While I think this is a pretty respectable showing, I wrote less in 2013 than I did in 2012 as well as less than I’d projected.
There are a number of reasons for this. I developed and taught a new class for my day job in the spring semester, which was about one million times more work than I’d anticipated and definitely cut into my writing productivity. I also had some personal things going on that kept me both distracted and busy and reduced my writing time throughout the summer and early fall.
However, numbers aren’t everything. This was my most successful year to date in terms of sales, as well as a year in which I received dramatically more personalized rejections and had more stories held for voting and editorial consideration. Thus, I infer it is not just me who thinks my writing is getting stronger and more compelling. And that is always a win.
So, my writing goals for 2014 are:
- Finish the first draft of PROJECT AWESOME, get it beta-read and revised and start subbing it to agents
- Begin a new novel (TBD – so exciting!)
- Write and sub at least 5 new short stories
- Make more sales!
- Attend more conventions. Much as I dread networking, I need to get out there and meet more people.
- Revisit some old abandoned projects and see if they can be revised and revitalized or if they are destined to be trunked
So, that’s my year behind and my year ahead. How about you? Did you meet your writing goals? Any important milestones to share? Do tell!