I just busted out my 2010 Rush wall calendar, which tells me it’s time for my annual year-in-review post. Here we go:
The Year That Was
New Fiction: 92,000 words. That’s Wet Work, plus my 24-hour Writers of the Future story, "The Hills."
Other Verbiage: 38,000 words. These are blog entries, critiques, and a couple of articles.
That’s 130,000 new words for the year.
Rewrites: 114,000 words. The bulk of this comes from the second draft of Petra Released, and also includes some short story revisions.
Submissions: 36, including novel queries.
Rejections: 35, including withdrawn manuscripts.
Sales: 3 (fiction and non-fiction).
Submissions Pending as of 12/31/09: 7.
Publications: 5. Here they are:
"Gone Black," Writers of the Future Volume 25, Galaxy Press, September 2009
"Canaan," Jim Baen’s Universe, issue 21, October 2009
"To Hollywood and Beyond: Adventures at the 2009 Writers of the Future Workshop and Awards," New Myths, issue 9, December 2009
Awards: Collected my Writers of the Future award in August. I blogged about the entire WotF experience beginning here.
After the heady achievements of 2008, 2009 was probably bound to be a bit of a disappointment. Even so, it wasn’t too bad. Here’s how I measured up to my goals for the year:
1. Write at least 100K of new fiction. I missed this by 8K. I attribute it to getting a late start on Wet Work, and to the massive schedule disruption that was Writers of the Future. As disruptions go, it was pretty pleasant, but a disruption nonetheless.
2. At least 100K in rewrites. Made it, with room to spare.
3. Pay more attention to short stories. Unqualified failure here. I did pen one short story I was pretty happy with, but my submissions stats were not markedly improved from last year.
4. Continue with weekly progress reports. Done.
5. As always, focus! Especially when on the road. Improved my road productivity in 2008, a nice accomplishment somewhat offset by my too-slow return to normal following Writers of the Future.
6. Continue with self-promotion efforts. My website is still MIA, but I continued to keep up with con appearances.
7. Be a more timely critiquer. Managed this one, largely by drastically cutting back on critiquing.
So, then. Total new word count was down from 2008, but still respectable. I stayed on pace with my long-term goal of writing a new novel a year. Rewrite word count was up. Sales were down, but I notched some high-profile publications.
I’d be lying if said I wasn’t a tad disappointed, even with all the concentrated awesome that was Writers of the Future. Much of this stems, I think, from the failure of Petra to garner any interest Out There. I had higher hopes for it–but of course, that isn’t up to me. Let that be a lesson to those of you still aspiring: it really, really, really isn’t all sunshine and roses after you make that first sale.
Right. Moving on.
Goals for 2010
1. Write at least 100K of new fiction. It’s a new year, so it’s time for a new novel. Wish I knew what that novel was going to be.
2. At least 100K in rewrites. The bulk of this will likely come from the rewrite of Wet Work.
3. Get the website up. For a number of reasons, this keeps not happening. No more excuses. This year, it goes up, even if I have to do it by my own HTML-illiterate self.
4. Improve submission statistics, including novel queries. I think one of the reasons Petra hasn’t set the world afire is that I haven’t been aggressive enough with it.
5. Continue critiquing. Must keep the editor brain sharp.
6. Continue weekly progress reports. It’s all about the accountability.
That’s all I can think of. Keep churning out the words, keep sending out the stories, keep hoping for the best. Not much else to it, really.
Happy 2010 to all.