Year to Date 2012

And the latest in the ongoing saga of my writing life…

2012 Stats (as of 12/31/12):
Stories Circulating: 12
Rejections: 105
Sales: 2

I’m happy about the fact that I sold another story and poem this year, but it’s frustrating that so many of the stories I was circulating last year, which I had worked so hard to polish for my MFA thesis, are still being shopped around. These are stories I really believe in, and it’s hard to see them rejected over and over. But I have high hopes for them in the coming year.

Next year’s stats will probably look very different because I’m changing both what I write and what I’m doing with my writing. When I started writing, I was a natural novelist. I trained myself into writing short stories because it would be easier to practice various story elements over and over again, and it would be easier to get other people to critique short stories. I haven’t written a novel since I was 19. Then, 6 years ago, I changed to only writing mainstream literary short stories rather than SFF because I wanted to learn everything I could from my MFA program and that meant writing only what the professors liked. And for the past two years, I haven’t written a word, I think becase I’m so divorced from the kind of writing I really care about.

But this year’s NaNoWriMo has convinced me to get back to my first love, writing fantasy novels. That means in the coming year, the number of stories and rejections are gradually going to drop to almost nothing as I finish sending my old stories to different markets and start focusing on novels. Books take longer to write, and my plan is to self-publish my first few novels as e-books, which means no rejections to tally, and the sales will begin to mark sales of e-books to individual customers. It’s going to be an exciting year.

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Nano wrap-up

The first couple of weeks of Nanowrimo went pretty well; I stayed on target despite being sick and working late, pounding out the wordage and using weekends to catch up. I even managed to write something like 4K while flying across the country on no sleep. Twice. In 36 hours.

But I knew that when I got home to my folks, I was going to need to choose between connecting with them or withdrawing to focus on writing. I chose human contact: I’ve got a lot going on right now that I needed to talk through with them, and it’s the first time in a long while that I’ve gotten to see my aunt, and even longer since I’ve seen my awesome cousins. I wanted to be present for all that.

And then I flew home on Monday and had to pound through the work week, and I knew there was no way I could make it to 50K, so again, I focused on catching up at work and transitioning back in a good way.

So I finished off the month with 29,410 words and the following realizations:

1. My 18-month dry spell is over.
2. I am a natural novelist and I have now re-learned how to pace a longer story. I am getting off short stories cold turkey, starting now!
3. I have more spare time than I think I do.
4. This is not the end. I’m already back at work on the novel this weekend, and I think I’ve worked out a good word quota for real life so I can write a good chunk every day and still do things like make dinner.

Feels good.