Friday, January 10, 2014

Annual Writing Review

Every January I update my archive files, clean out the messes I've created, and do an assessment of what I've written in the past year.  I've been doing this since I started writing again in 1991, partly to see how far I've come and partly to torture myself that I could have done better. Twice, this practice has caused me to reassess what I was doing and change my behavior.

The chart at right shows the arc - the blue representing the total number of pieces written, the red the cumulative number of sales and the green the ratio of sales to production year by year. For those who might be interested in figures the total number is just under 500 and the peak ratio is 100%. My "lifetime" sales average is 24% (which sometime produces enough income to  order extra fries.)

It is interesting to reflect on how things have gone so far as sales and production are concerned.  Since I only did a gross count of files, any novels get the same weight as novellas,novelettes, short stories and articles to get the total for production. I really ought to count words of megabytes, but even for me that's too detailed.

The chart indicates the ups and downs of my working/writing career. Strangely the years I had problems with work also turned out to be the most productive for writing.  In my peak years I sold almost as many as I wrote, the bad news being that I didn't write very much in those years.  The chart also shows the decline of the novella markets, which was my first love, and which I pursued against all reason.  It was only after I'd relearned how to write short, that my sales increased. Periods spent attempting novels also meant low production, much to my regret.

So, looking back on the year just passed I have to say I didn't do badly.


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