As I get older, the years seem to pick up speed, like someone started flipping the pages of an animation picture book fast enough to make the little stick man run. Christmas blurs into Christmas, into Christmas, and sometimes it feels like the time between has hardly been lived. This makes it difficult for me to take real stock of what has been accomplished in a given year.
Enter data tracking software!
Curious about what I’ve been up to while the little stick man raced across the page, I put together the following data:
# of submissions: 113 (representing 25 stories)
# of acceptances: 4 original, 1 reprint (the reprint was not a submission–was included in Penumbra’s Best of Volume 1 anthology)
# of stories completed: 14
# of stories written for contests: 10
# of words on a fiction project written as a tool to learn about plotting and drafting a novel, but not intended to be marketed: just over 100k.
Workshops/Conventions Attended: Dean Wesley Smith’s “Character Voice & Setting,” Norwescon, Cascade Writers Workshop
There was actually a lot of stuff in there!
I think the biggest lesson I see is that the bulk of my stories are written for contests, and two of the others were written in the context of the Dean Wesley Smith workshop. Useful information. The common denominator there is fixed deadlines. I knew that I perform best with deadlines and with time pressure. I just didn’t realize how much of a motivator they are.
For that reason, I am setting a goal for 2014 to complete at least one story by the last day of every month. Due date. Deadline. Do it.
How has 2013 treated you? Any lessons you’ll try to bring forward into the New Year?