June Writing Round-Up and Mid-Year Review

Hello 2017 Hump Day! How are we already halfway through this year? Oh, right: we’ve been working our tushes off!

Here’s how things stand with my writing goals:

  • Words Written: 2,011  (YTD: 107,810 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+)
  • Works Complete: 1 (YTD: 6 | 2017 Goal: 10)
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: 5 (YTD: 42)
  • Books Read: 1 (YTD: 12 | 2017 Goal: 30)
  • PLUS
    • I have a story publishing tomorrowShimmer Number 38 will be live by morning and available for purchase. Expect a post with links and the GORGEOUS cover tomorrow.
    • 2 new stories submitted, 2 rejections (both forms, #sadtrombone)–including my FIFTIETH REJECTION (#allrejoicing)
    • I did not finish Botanizer revisions, but I’m moving along reasonably well. This is all hard, scary stuff at this point but the manuscript will be far better for it. My word-count has been low this month since I’m doing a lot of cutting and re-writing in the next draft and I’m not counting that for/against my goal for the year.
    • My novella-in-progress took first place in my division on Codex! Huzzah! It was a big ego boost to hear my peers praise it and raise great concerns with my first draft. Now I’m doing my research so I get everything really, really right when I tackle revisions (after Botanizer, I promise).
    • I finished a short story and critiqued it with my writing group! I still need to revise it, but I love it and where it’s going.
    • Days I’ve written/revised this month: 13/30
    • Days written since the inauguration: 96/160
    • Longest streak: 31 days

So here’s some straightforward info about this year to-date:

  • 2 short fiction sales
  • 6 complete works
    • 4 short stories, revised/submitted
    • 1 novella
    • 1 novel
  • 12 books read
  • 42 submissions to paying markets
    • 2 acceptances
    • 34 rejections
      • 27 form/lower tier
      • 7 personal/higher-tier
  • 50th lifetime rejection achieved
  • 107, 810 words written.

This all feels really good. As much as I’ve struggled to get my butt in the chair this month for all sorts of absolutely legitimate #life reasons, I’m doing good work. And my productive months really outweigh the months I struggle. So it’s all a matter of getting back to it when I can.

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for links to Shimmer!

May Writing Round-Up

It’s been a busy but focused month. I feel good about where I am right now even though I’m still scrambling to make up for ground lost in the craziness of the two months before. Most importantly: I like the things I’ve been writing and have all month. And isn’t that one of the hardest things to maintain as a writer? So without further ado, here are the numbers.

  • Words Written: 18,789  (YTD: 105,799 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+)
  • Works Complete: 2 (YTD: 5 | 2017 Goal: 10)
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: 5 (YTD: 37)
  • Books Read: 3 (YTD: 11 | 2017 Goal: 30)
  • PLUS
    • SALE! You may remember this post from earlier this month about my sale to Cast of Wonders. Fun note: the illustration in the post will be used for the episode, too! ❤
    • 6 rejections (all forms, #sadtrombone)
    • Revisions to Botanizer have been happening! I’ve hit the scary part where things will start to change substantially this draft. See this Twitter thread for my visceral reactions to this. Only 22 days to SFFPit!
    • I FINISHED THE NOVELLA and I’m very proud of it. Really, really, really proud. Of course, it’s in draft form and will need be revised. Feedback via the Codex Contest is forthcoming, and I definitely will not put this work ahead of Botanzier.
    • I finished a short story and critiqued it with my writing group! I still need to revise it, but I love it and where it’s going.
    • Days I’ve written this month: 23/30
    • Days written since the inauguration: 83/130
    • Longest streak: 31 days

April Writing Round-Up

This month was more than a little crazy. There was a death in the family. I struggled through some tough stretches with my kid. And I got off on the wrong foot with a story that just ate away at me. None of that is good for work ethic. That said, until I got the worst news of the month last week, I was actually on-target for my meager word count goal and had found my footing again. Here’s to getting back on the horse again this week and month!

  • Words Written: 12,297  (YTD: 87,010 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+)
  • Works Complete: 0 (YTD: 3 | 2017 Goal: 10)
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: 7 (YTD: 32)
  • Books Read: 1 (YTD: 8 | 2017 Goal: 30)
  • PLUS
    • 7 rejections (1 personal)
    • Revisions to Botanizer have been slow, but I’ve got a pile of interlibrary loan books to get through and it’s my top priority this month.
    • A major source of words this month was a novella I’m writing for the Codex Novella Contest. I’m really loving what I have, but it’s not a full novella yet and I have (checks calendar) two weeks in which to finish it. Time to bite my nails…
    • Days I’ve written this month: 13/30
    • Days written since the inauguration: 60/100
    • Longest streak: 31 days

May is my refocus month. I want the novella and a short story done. And I want to make measurable headway on Botanizer. There’s too much to do and not enough time to do it. We’ll see how it goes…

BUT: Look for more news! And soon!

March Writing Round-Up

This month’s round-up is the perfect example of why I need these. I had some big wins early on, but a slow week has gotten me into a funk. So let’s review the month and scare off some brain-weasels, shall we?

 

  • STORY SALE: I will write a whole post for this when I know for sure when it will publish, but I sold “The Moon, The Sun, and the Truth” to Shimmer (yes SHIMMER, #squee) this month! I couldn’t be more proud of this little former-flash future-Western-dystopia that I wrote for the Codex Weekend Warrior flash contest in January. If you were at my Boskone reading in February, you heard it. Expect to see it later this year.
  • Words Written: 17,211  (YTD: 74,713 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+)
  • Works Complete: 1 novel! #Brains is done and with a few readers! (YTD: 3 | 2017 Goal: 10)
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: 5 (YTD: 27)
  • Books Read: 0 — but only because I beta-read two novels for friends (YTD: 7 | 2017 Goal: 30)
  • PLUS
    • 2 rejections (both forms) and 1 SALE
    • Of my 7 active submissions, 4 have been bumped from slush/are in editors’ hold piles
    • Did I mention that I finished #Brains? I’m quite happy with the result, draft though it is.
    • My critique for Botanizer was amazing. Revising has been slow–partly because revising is slow and partly because life.
    • Days I’ve written this month: 13/31
    • Days written since the inauguration: 47/69
    • Longest streak: 31 days

Still wanting to get a short written, revised, and submitted by the end of April, but I’ll be tackling a novella mid-Botanizer revisions so…we’ll see?

February Writing Round-Up

Twenty-eight days of work. Twenty-eight days of not taking any downtime for the sake of downtime. This has been a good month.

  • Words Written: 33,543  (YTD: 55,981 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+)
  • Works Complete: 1 flash piece finished, revised, and submitted! (YTD: 2 | 2017 Goal: 10)
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: 9 (YTD: 22)
  • Books Read: 4 (YTD: 7* | 2017 Goal: 30) *I think I missed a book in my January report
  • PLUS
    • 7 rejections (1 personal)
    • Attended Bokone 2017 as a panelist and moderator! Best Boskone yet for me!
    • I did take those days and one for prep off of writing, in part because what little down-time I had was given to ELF. But I’m okay with that. That was work, but it wasn’t writing. I’m proud that I got back to it with no hesitation. That’s how it should be.
    • I interviewed author Meg Howrey and the Q&A appeared in Publishers Weekly! I’ve got a few more of these in the work beyond the reviews I’ve been doing for them.
    • Codex Weekend Warrior 2017 wrapped. I wrote 4/5 stories and have revised and subbed 2 of those 4 already this year. Very pleased with the other 3 ideas that came from the contest, and they’re in my queue. I’ll definitely play again next year, and I’m going to shoot for finishing all 5 stories.
    • I’ve entered #PitchMadness! Just a good way to get myself prepped for everything that comes next for Botanizer.
    • Speaking of Botanizer, my critique is next Sunday. #dyingofbrainweasels
    • I ended January with 13k written in #Brains, my jaunty drivel project that has nothing to do with zombies. This month, that MS us up to 45k and counting!
    • Days I’ve written this month: 24/28
    • Days written since the inauguration: 34/38
    • Longest streak: 31 days

A note for March and April: I’ll be moving away from hard-and-fast metrics as I revise. My big goals: 1) Finish #Brains, 2) Revise Botanizer, 3) get a short story written, revised, and submitted.

January Writing Round-Up

It’s been an exhausting month. I can’t even do justice to digesting what’s going on politically. These benchmarks don’t mean a lot in the global sense, but they prove that I’m writing and writing means resisting and that’s something.

  • Words Written: 20,077 (2017 Goal: 200,000+)
  • Works Complete: 1 flash piece finished, revised, and submitted! (2017 Goal: 10)
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: 13
  • Books Read: 2 (2017 Goal: 30)
  • PLUS
    • Attended Arisia 2017 as a panelist and moderated my first-ever panel!
    • 9 rejections (3 personal)
    • Codex Weekend Warrior contest almost finished! For those not in the know: We spend 5 weekends writing a flash story then vote/critique before the next weekend begins. It’s my first year, so there’s been an interesting learning curve. But I’m 1) enjoying myself, 2) producing, and 3) looking forward to doing it again. Of the 4 pieces I’ve written so far, I’ve subbed 1 (see above), need to expand another a little more, and need to expand a third a LOT. The forth is being read this week, so we’ll see!
    • The secret jaunty drivel project known as #Brains is going well. At just under 13k, it’s not as far along as I’d have liked, but HEY it’s progressing and I like it.
    • Days I’ve written this month: 29/31
    • Days written since the inauguration: 11/11
    • Longest streak: 16 days (and counting)

All in all, I’m pretty damn pleased with my progress.

2016 in Review; 2017 in Preview

Happy New Year! Thanks for reading along as I tackle the crazy world of the written word. It’s been a great and happy year and a dark and stormy year. I had some great wins. I had some tough losses. But we all did, and I think it’s important to take a minute to reflect and appreciate what we’ve each accomplished.

Here’s my Year in Words:

  • Words Written: 122,416 (includes fiction, book reviews, blogs, and essays).
  • Works Completed: 5
    • 1 novel
    • 3 short stories
    • 1 esssay
    • plus: book reviews and blog posts
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: 19
  • Publications: 1 (my first!)
  • Books Read: 28
  • PLUS
    • Applied to grants and fellowships
    • Got selected for programming for two local cons
    • Got some amazing feedback on my work from fellow writers, editors, and others
    • Attended Paradise Regained, the Viable Paradise reunion, and got some serious recharging done

And here’s what I’m shooting for in 2017:

  • Words to Write: 200,000+
  • Works to Complete: at least 10; there will be short stories aplenty, more novel writing, and hopefully lots of stuff to celebrate
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: As the time it takes markets to review and respond can vary wildly, I can’t really judge how many subs I’ll get in this year, but I hope to keep 3/4 of my revised-and-ready stories on submission for the whole year.
  • Books to Read: 30
  • PLUS
    • Attending two cons as a panelist/moderator
    • Possible travel to an out-of-state con
    • My first novel critique
    • Lots of rejections