Writing Year 4

My writing anniversary is March 1st. Every year on March 1st, I write a post about how the previous year went in terms of writing. I think it speaks to how well this year is going as far as writing is concerned that I just completely missed March 1st this year! So I’m writing this post as of March 1st (i.e. not counting rejections or new submissions since then), just to keep things consistent.

This year:

Stories Written: 3
Number of [Submission-Ready] Words: 12,700
Number of Story Submissions: 61
Number of Rejections: 50
Number of Acceptances: 2(!)
Postage Costs: $2.40
Revenue: $144.88

Total:

Stories Written: 18
Number of [Submission-Ready] Words: 86,000
Number of Story Submissions: 175
Number of Rejections: 165
Number of Acceptances: 2
Postage Costs: $116.59
Revenue: $144.88

The big news obviously is that I sold 2 stories this year, and came out of the closet (so to speak) about writing. After 3 years of toiling in obscurity with the rejections mounting up, this has been a phenomenally successful year for me. Of course, 2 acceptances to 165 rejections, that’s still only a 1.2% acceptance rate, lest my britches get too big.

You will notice that my lifetime revenue now exceeds my lifetime postage costs! Exciting. However, that’s postage only. Luckily I almost never need postage or ink these days, but I did donate $10 to Duotrope, and buy a $30 iPad bluetooth keyboard for writing. So I’m still net negative lifetime (even without considering ink). I’m no longer using Duotrope, but I’ll probably donate something to The Grinder this year instead.

My first thought on looking at the stats was, “Only 3 stories last year? That can’t be right!” Actually, I think it is, with a few caveats. First off, I put 20,000+ words into a novel, which is not counted there. Second, I had a story finished just before March last year, which I counted last year, and I actually have 2 stories I just finished in the last few weeks, which I’ll take credit for next year. So 3 might be technically correct, even though it doesn’t tell the whole story.

I also finally got around to trunking a few stories, and I think I’m about to trunk a bunch more. I don’t know if it’s because my writing has improved, and so my older stories look worse to me now, or if it’s just because I’m published and thus more snobby. But I start to think about certain stories that have been rejected everywhere and have mostly run through the list of markets I like, and I start to say, “If this does get published, would I still want people to see it? Is it up to the level of the other stuff I’ve published? Would I want this magazine on my “resume” of places I’ve published?” So yeah, I guess totally snobby.

I also joined Codex, an online writer’s group. This has been an amazing so far, for so many reasons. It’s very nice to have someone to talk to about writing (believe me, Sara hears about as much as she can handle). Also, I spent so long researching how to get started writing, and now that I’ve sold a few things, it’s really nice to tap into sort of the next level of research and talk to people who are more in a similar boat. Big thanks to David Steffen of Diabolical Plots for recommending it to me.

As usual, onward and upward. But it feels great to finally see a little bit of onward and upward progress!

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