Sunday, February 14, 2016

Bud's Year in Review

Once again, as in other Januaries, I've updated my archive files, cleaned out the messes I've created, and looked at the various pieces I'd been working on in 2015.  I've been doing this assessment since I started writing again in 1991, partly to see how far I've come and partly to torture myself with the realization that I could have done so much better.  Sometimes this review causes me to reassess what I am doing and change my writing objectives.  This past year I've published one novel, completed another (currently in peer review) and continuing to work on whatever crosses my ADD-afflicted mind.

The number of pieces I count in any given year is the gross number of files, so novels get the same weight as novellas, novelettes, short stories, and articles.  I do not count the number of multiple drafts, edits, and crap I deleted or threw away in frustration at my fickle muse.  Neither do I count the number of multiple drafts to reach the final version of a story. Some of my friends suggest I should keep track of total words or megabytes instead of my simple file count, but to me the resulting number would be too horrifyingly large with ratios of written words to words sold at millions to one, e.g. I do a LOT of drafts!

Writing 1990-2015
The chart at the right shows the arc - the blue representing the cumulative number of files worked on and the red line shows the cumulative number of files sold year by year (not included in the count are sales of reprints, audio productions, or donated stories.)  The green line is the ratio of sales to work each year, which disappointingly declines as the number of files increases.  The lesson I take for this annual compilation of misery it that I have to kiss a lot of frogs, among other things, to make a sale

The chart shows the  ups and downs of my working/writing career.  Strangely, the years I had problems with my day job 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 all that much  in those years.  Post-retirement periods have been spent attempting to finish novels (I worked on four in 2015) which also meant a lower overall production count, much to my regret.

So, looking back on 2015 I have to say that I've not done badly.


1 comment:

  1. I like the graph, Bud. It is succinct and provides a good visual for both the work and frustration writers go through.


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