I’ve been unmotivated to write my third-quarter progress report for my 2013 writing goals because I’ve been afraid of what I might see. I’ve been so focused—I might even say consumed—by doing novel edits recently that several of my other goals have fallen to the side. I shouldn’t be surprised; in my last update I was concerned that might happen, and indeed that concern has come to fruition. I’m a little disappointed, certainly, but I’m also happy that I’m finally making tangible progress toward completing my novel, and I think I will get the edits done before the end of the year. So here’s what I’ve accomplished in the third quarter (July-September) for each of my 2013 writing goals:
- Write and/or edit at least 700 words per day. I successfully wrote or edited 73,714 words this quarter, bringing my total to 203,985 for the year. This works out to 750 words per day over the course of the year. I failed to hit my word target in September, but this word-count number is a little hard to interpret. I credit myself 500 words for a day of editing (usually it’s about an hour), and I’ve spent many days revising my novel-in-progress, so many of these words aren’t “new” words. I’ve also spent as much as two or three hours in a day editing, yet I’ve only given myself credit for 500 words, whereas if I was writing, I could have written 3,000 words in that time. I’m not reading a lot into this number—it’s simply a way to measure time spent writing, and I’m happy with where I’m sitting.
- Finish at least twelve short stories. I completed no short stories, keeping my total for the year at six. Again, I am not too disappointed to fall off pace because I have been making progress on my novel. I also still have several stories in that “nearly” finished stage, but haven’t been able to push them to completion yet, which is actually disappointing to me.
- Make at least 60 story submissions or five sales. This quarter I made 32 submissions, which brings my total to 54 submission this year and puts me on track to make my goal. For the first, I made a lot of submissions to foreign markets. Additionally I made two sales, my first ever foreign sale to Nova Fantasia and a second to Kasma SF. I’ve now sold five stories in 2013, including two sales to pro-rate markets. I have met this goal with a quarter to go!
- Revise and submit my draft novel. I’ve made tangible progress on revising my novel, and I think I have a good chance of finishing my revisions by the end of the year. If I can do that, I will submit my novel, perhaps to the open call at Angry Robot.
- Develop a series for self-publication. I haven’t made much progress on this goal, but I intend to write this novella in November as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I have a rough outline for the novella, and I’m currently targeting about 40,000 words. Unfortunately, I likely will not reach my entire goal this year; I doubt I will get this story self-published before 2013 ends.
- Complete NaNoWriMo (50,000 words in November). NaNoWrMo is already here, and I’ve fallen a little behind, but not enough to be concerned (I’m actually traveling for the day job now, so I expected to fall behind). If I can make it this year, that would five straight years that I’ve succeeded.
Overall, I’ve had a mixed bag of successes so far. I doubt I’m going to meet all my annual writing goals, but I’m happy with my progress. If I can finish my novel edits, and combined with my pro-rate sales, I would consider this a successful writing year. The fourth quarter is nearly half over already, and I have a long way to go, however. So back to writing.