Year in review
Since Bibsy did so on her blog, I guess I'll put a bit up of what I've done over the past year, though it probably won't end up as statistical as hers was. Last year at this time I was doing final revisions on my first novel manuscript--I'd started writing it over 5 years ago, took 2 1/2 years to write the first two drafts and had sent it out to a couple publishers when it really wasn't ready. When we moved to Colorado, I did a lot more research into the publishing side of things and got involved in a couple of online critiquing groups, which helped me push the novel to a new level. So that was where I was at with a year ago. After revisions I sent it to one publisher that accepted unsolicited manuscripts at the time (though it doesn't anymore) and haven't heard back from them, despite queries. So I pulled it from them and submitted it elsewhere a couple weeks ago.
But that was not the only novel I worked on this year. Again this time last year I decided to pull my second novel--more science fiction than fantasy--out again, rework it a bit, and post it for critiques. I'd initially put it away because it seemed too experimental, something no one would likely accept from a no-name writer. But as I remembered some of the things I'd liked about it, I decided to give it another go, and I think it works much better now after some significant revisions and additions. I finished those in November, and I'll be submitting it somewhere soon--to a publisher or agent, I'm not sure. Ideally to the same publisher that the first one is at once they accept that one ;)
And...on New Years Eve I finished chapter 18 of a new novel that I started last summer. It's currently at 73k words, which is as long as the first draft of Signs and Wonders was (before I added 10k in the most recent revisions) and only 7k short of the first draft of Darkness. And I have 10-12 chapters to go, so this one might be pushing 120k. From me that's almost ridiculous.
Stories, I'm not even going to count how many I've written or submitted. But I've had 3 stories published (as well as an essay, 4 poems, and a handful of book reviews). Two more would have been published, but the publisher folded. And I have 7 stories currently scheduled to come out in the coming year--4 in print and 3 online (one of which should be very soon). Also at least a couple dozen different things currently out on submission (including some poems).
I have no funny anecdotes to give about the comments on rejections like Bibsy has. Alas. So what's ahead for the new year? What goals do I have? The key goal is simply to keep challenging myself, to keep improving as a writer. And obviously I'd like good news with my novel submissions. More specifically, I'd like to be done with the first draft of the new novel sometime in March. I'd like to have a professional sale of a short story (at least professional-level in terms of pay, even if SFWA doesn't consider it professional). And let's say a dozen other sales of short stories. In all that seems pretty reasonable. I hope.
PS Oh, I guess I do remember one head-scratching rejection--"The story was aptly titled." Oh. Good. Were you reaching for something to say that was positive and that's all you could come up with? =)