Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011: The Year in Review

2011 was not so much a "Year in Writing" as it was a year in publishing. I didn't set any particular goals for last year, which is good, because things ended up going in directions I never would have envisioned last January.

For one thing, I had trunked Scent and Shadow back in July of 2010, and had every intention of letting it sit until 2015. But then my writing buddy convinced me to un-trunk it.

I submitted it to a writing workshop, and it was rejected.

Yes, originally, they took a pass. But I emailed back, thanking them for their time and asking for a recommendation as to where I should take it next. I wasn't submitting the novel because I thought it was ready - I knew damn well it wasn't. But I needed another set of eyes, because I couldn't see it anymore.

My attitude impressed them enough that they gave me some of the best feedback I've ever gotten. They told me to rewrite and to resubmit the first 20 pages. Which I did.

And I got in.

So, long story short, I started the year with a trunked novel, rewrote it, workshopped it, wrote whole new scenes and rewrote other parts, had it professionally edited while I learned how to self-publish, and then self-published it October. Along with 11 other stories.

And I'm pleased to announce that Scent and Shadow is now available for print at the CreateSpace store, and should hopefully be available at Amazon later this week.

So, yeah. Not what I'd had in mind a year ago. But oh, so worth all the work.

2011 (not counting unfinished projects):
Short stories written: 2
Short stories sold: 1 (two awaiting contracts)
Short story submissions: 8
Short story rejections (including revoked submissions): 5, plus one that's probably a no response
Short stories published: 2
Total short story word count (final drafts written 2011): approximately 4900
Total novel word count (final draft): approximately 103,000

Most of my achievements were on the publishing side of things, but I really let the publishing side take over my writing last year, which is a mistake I don't plan to repeat. Granted, I had a lot to learn about publishing - ebook formatting, creating covers, finding editors to work with, uploading ebooks, setting up loads of accounts, creating my own publishing business, doing print layout, marketing, pricing, metadata - but I still need to be writing.

So for 2012, the writing comes first!

Writing goals: 4000 words of new writing a week.
Publishing goals: a new story published every month, either self-published or otherwise. Also, I want to self-publish two 5-story anthologies.

I'm hoping to do another full-length novel this year, but no promises. I'm toying with the idea of doing a novel as a serial, as the story I have in mind breaks out quite conveniently. I haven't decided yet. But I will promise that you'll see more Gabriel Chapel this year.

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