With the last few hours of 2011 winding down, now seems like an appropriate time to reflect on what I’ve accomplished this year as writer. Last January, I decided to get serious about my writing, so I set concrete goals for the year. Over the course of 2011, I’ve written several times about my progress, a sort of self-assessment.
For those of you who have been following my scribbles, it should come as no surprise that I met or surpassed all of my goals. This tells me that I underestimated myself in 2011, and I should increase my goals for 2012, while keeping them realistic and focused on things for which I control the success or failure (e.g., writing targets vs. sale targets).
Over the next week, I’ll be finalizing my 2012 goals, but for now here’s the final tallies for my 2011 goals:
- Write and/or edit at least 500 words per day. Over the last twelve months, I wrote/edited 297,450 words, which equates to an average of 730 words per day (not counting November’s 52,000+ word NaNoWriMo effort).
- Finish the novel I started last year (2011). With a big push in December, I completed the first draft of my novel (currently untitled) and I’m pleased with its current state.
- Finish at least ten short stories. I finished—meaning I wrote and submitted at least once—13 short stories this year. (I know this could have been significantly higher if not for my other goal of finishing my novel.)
- Make at least 40 story submissions or four sales. Overall I made 66 submission, but most importantly to my writing aspirations, I sold eight short stories in 2012: “Hoodoo,” “Observations on a Clock,” “Still Life Through Water Droplets,” “Thief of Futures,” “The Last Horse,” “Clownspace,” “The Sea Shall Have Them,” and “No Better Yesterday for Tomorrow.” Three of those sales were to qualifying, pro-rate markets under the Science Fiction Writers of America, which means I am eligible for active membership as soon as all three appear in print (which will be January 3rd, when “Still Life Through Water Droplets” appears at Daily Science Fiction).
By any measure, it’s been my most productive year as a writer, and I am grateful for all of the support my family and friends have given me, especially my wife and daughter who have not complained (too loudly) when I’ve disappeared for hours at a time to write. With their continued support, and buoyed by my success this year, I’m looking forward to a more successful 2012.