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30 December 2008 @ 01:38 pm
December and Annual Statistics  
Neither December nor 2008 is over yet, but I don't realistically expect to get anything done in the next 36 hours, so I'm posting my report now.   I've got the regular monthly report first, followed by some year-long figures.

First, December:

  • 3,400 new words of fiction written this month. 1
  • 18 first drafts currently in progress. 2
  • 1 first draft currently "ripening" before second draft. 3
  • 1 second draft currently in progress.
  • 1 second draft currently in the hands of "trusted readers."
  • 2 third drafts currently in progress.4
  • 0 third drafts currently awaiting polishing.
  • 0 fourth drafts in currently in progress.
  • 9 stories currently submitted to markets
  • 290 words in shortest story currently submitted.
  • 14,000 words in longest story currently submitted.
  • 0 offers of publication received this month.
  • Longest current wait without response: 222 days.

1 Both March and September were worse, but this is pretty bad. Mostly the holidays got in my way (we have between two and seven houseguests for eleven straight days). Most of the writing was polishing off the first draft of my fantasy-horror story (which came to 9,900 words). For several days I also worked on a second draft of my trickster story.
2 I always have a lot of first drafts "in progress," until one of them really grabs me and I work on it obsessively. None of these drafts is new. I have an SF-romance piece I really want to finish, but I haven't looked at it in months.
3 I employ a six-week "ripening" period for first drafts. The one in the incubator now is the aforementioned fantasy-horror story.
4 These are the same two stories that have been dogging my steps for month. One is a moody mainstream story that needs major surgery, the other an urban fantasy/slipstream piece that has to be rewritten from scratch.

Now for the annual stats for 2008. Note that this isn't precise, because I didn't begin keeping rigorous records until the second half of January, but it's pretty close:

  • 107,000 words of new fiction written.*
  • 22 first drafts completed.
  • 20 final drafts completed.
  • Longest story written: 14,000 words.
  • Shortest story written: 60 words.
  • 21 different stories submitted to magazines.
  • About 88 total submissions overall.**
  • 7 offers of publication.
  • 2 paid sales.†
  • 7 stories appearing in print or online.

* Not nearly as much as I'd hoped, but I’m still proud of myself. I've written the equivalent of a draft of a novel in one year. NaNoWriMo it's not, but when I started doing this I wondered whether I'd be able to keep it up.

** Duotrope says 74, but I can count at least 16 submissions I made that Duotrope doesn't track.

† I was very lucky that my first offer of publication was a paid sale. I honestly didn't expect any paid sales in my first year. That first one -- to Nature Physics -- has made it easier to endure the inevitable string of rejections that followed. The second one -- winning the Earlyworks Press Sixty Word Sagas competition -- really buoyed me. I'm still reasonably chipper in the face of the hard slog the other 14 stories are having.

Current Location: The Bosom of My Family
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
Current Music: Rohan Theme from "The Two Towers"
girlspell: Mathematiciangirlspell on December 30th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
One of the things I'm always amazed by your writing is that you have so maney stories going on at once. You have 18 first drafts in varous stages. Dosn't it get distracting? You do this in addition to the huge load you carry in teaching. I know you have a break now, still it must be tough. Yet you get through it just fine, finishing out stories that are so good. They read so effortlessly. As if the indivdual story was your life work.

I'd also like to know if any story get almost complete...and then you suddenly change you mind. Feeling the story would work in another direction. Has that happened?

I include a funny icon I just found. I got a kick out of it
Kenken_schneyer on December 31st, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
Hi Rachel,

I love the icon. The mathematician is right.

The many first drafts in progress don't get distracting, because I'm never working on more than one or two at a time. The other sixteen or so are drafts that I started and, for some reason, have not yet been able to finish. But experience has shown that I do eventually finish most of them -- it's just that it often takes a very long time before I'm ready to do it. (Thanks for the compliment about the way the stories read -- at the moment I'm writing each one, it does feel like my whole life's work.)

I don't change my mind at the last minute about first drafts, but I sometimes do with second or third drafts. There are a couple of stories I simply haven't been able to revise to my own satisfaction. I have hope that I eventually will.