2010’s roster of accomplishments, one I’m both happy and not happy with is:
-NaNo done again (woo)
-Twenty-one thousand words of the real novel done and I should be around thirty by Tuesday
-Nine short stories (well, ten if you count two 1k flash fictions I submitted for an anthology to be two separate shorts)
-One actual sale (Sense to Cthulhurotica, Dagan Books, ed. Carrie Cuinn)
-One sort of sale (Tilling to Seasons in the Abyss, Blood Bound Books; it was for a contest that I decided to go for and got into the anthology, if it comes out, but didn’t win any prize money)
-Joined a writers’ group (although it looks like it’s pretty much dying and I will probably need to find another one)
-111,350 first draft words written
I am, of course, proud of what I accomplished but as I look at it it feels like such a meager amount. So much of last year was spent goofing off and doing other things and really, since I’ve spent most of November and December just writing (well, and playing some SCII, I’ll admit), I’ve got the urge to do more.
Over the course of this year I started and stopped a number of different projects that I was either unable to complete in time for the anthology I was submitting them for or the idea just petered out in the end. If I include those in the list above I can add five more shorts to the list, bring it to fourteen or fifteen depending on how you count. Which, all told, is better than last year.
Looking at this I know I need to step things up. I need to not be content with just fifteen hundred words a night but I need to make progress on both shorts and novels each day. Do I think I’ll compare to the likes of Jay Lake, cranking out ten thousand words in six hours? How that guy puts out so much is beyond me but I know he doesn’t play video games and so looking at my habits next year I know that’s got to get toned way down in comparison to 2010. Do I regret how much time I spent playing? Eh, it was something fun to do at the time and I enjoyed myself so it seems silly to regret it now, but should I do that in the future? No, not if I want to actually, you know, do this writing thing, especially when you consider the fact that in three months I’m going to be a first-time parent.
However, looking over what I have produced I definitely like it a lot more than what I did in 2009. The stories came with greater ease, the stories written were of a higher quality, the number of stories I had to walk away from out of concern for chasing a bad idea were fewer, and, hey, I have 100% more sales this year than last year (not hard, but still).
So, what to do for next year? Commit again to the following goals:
1. One short story a month, edited and complete, push is two written (the edited may be dodgy as my usual editor is also becoming a first-time parent in February)
2. Submit every completed and edited story until I’ve either exhausted the markets it’d be good for or it sells
3. Continue to do at least fifteen hundred words a night on the novel(s) in addition to at least five hundred words a night on short stories, push is two thousand a night on novels and one thousand a night on shorts.
4. Read two novels a month
5. Two sales
6. Accepted to Clarion (Ha! Why not?)
7. Finish the first, rough draft of Burning Wick before Connor is born
Can I do it? Yes. I just have to do it.