Friday, January 3, 2020

2019 Writing in Review

As 2020 begins, as in previous years, I’ve updated my archives, cleaned out the messes I've created, and looked at the various pieces I've worked on during the year.  I've been doing this assessment since I started writing again in 1990, partly to see how far I've come and partly to torture myself with the realization that I could have done much better.  It also makes me to humbly reassess the wisdom of writing fiction.

 During the last year a few of my short stories and a novel were published.  My remaining WIP remain around 98% completed due to continual rethinking and rewriting/revising.
The number of drafts I count in a given year is the gross number of files, not the number of times they’ve been accessed.  Novels count the same as novellas, novelettes, short stories and articles.  I do not count the number of multiple drafts, edits, and crap I throw away in frustration at my fickle muse.  Some other writers may obsessively count and report their word production and have suggested that I really ought to keep track of total words written (drafts, sketches, edits, etc ) instead of a simple file count, but even for me the resulting number would be too horrifyingly large with ratios of written words to words sold at  millions to one. 
The source of this data is an Excel database I have maintained to keep track of my submissions.
Writing Statistics 1990 - 2019
The BLUE line represents the number of drafts (22) worked on during the year.  The cumulative number of drafts is just  559. 
The PURPLE line is the number of submissions for each year.  In 2019 I made 22 submissions bringing the cumulative total to 387. This represents 65% of the total drafts. The flattening of the curve from 2014-2018 is when I was writing novels instead of shorter works.

The GREEN line is the number of pieces I've completed during the years. The cumulative total now stands at 189 or 32% of what I worked on.
The RED line shows the number of unique stories sold by year (I haven't included sales of reprints, audio productions, or donated stories.)  The cumulative number of unique sales is now 134 (three in 2019). I seem to sell 24% of my drafts, which is better than a third of submissions. On the other hand  this indicates that I sell about 70% of everything I manage to complete (and submit.)

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