Well, it’s a new year, a blank slate of dreams and possibilities, so instead of focusing on the future and what it might bring, let’s wallow in the past. Yep, it’s one of those year-end review/summary type things we bloggers just love to do. So here’s a look back at my writing in the year of our lord 2015.
This post with be filled with stats because they are super-duper exciting.
Total Submissions Sent: 46*
Honestly, this is fewer than I’d hoped, and a lot of this has to do with my position at Privateer Press, which I left in June. It kept me pretty busy, and I had a grand total of five (5) submissions from January to June. Things picked up a lot when I abandoned a good, steady-paying job with benefits to hang my hopes and dreams on the sure-fire, cannot-possibly-miss, super-good-decision of becoming a fulltime freelance writer. Anyway, I sent another 41 submissions from June to December, averaging almost seven (7) a month.
Not too shabby since it’s really just the second half of the year we’re talking about. This is good for a 13% acceptance ratio, which is okay, but it could certainly improve. Some of the stuff I published this year is available to read online, right here:
Form Rejections: 23
Yeah, bunch of these things. Form rejections made up 56% of my total responses from publishers. Seems about right to me, but I’m sure there are writers who have gotten more than I have or a hell of a lot less.
Personal Rejections: 11
A fair number of these, and 27% of editors who didn’t actually publish my work had something (usually positive) to say about my writing. Personal rejections accounted for about 40% of my total rejections.
Never Responded/Withdrawn: 2
Just a couple of these, and one of them was my own damn fault. I sent a story to a publisher they’d already rejected like a giant fucking tool-bag. I fired off a very apologetic—i.e., I’m-a-dumbass—withdrawal letter soon after.
As some of you know, I write a fair amount of material for Privateer Press, and that stuff is not included in the stats above. So, what did I do for the fine folks at Privateer? Hey, look, more stats!
Privateer has commissioned me to write a series of novels set in their Iron Kingdoms universe. I’ve finished one, and I’m working on the second. The first book is slated for publication in the third quarter of 2016.
I wrote a long novella or a short novel with former coworker and talented writer William Shick. It’s called Scars of Caen, and hey, look at that–a link to Amazon where you can check it out.
Short Stories: 6
A wrote a total of six short stories for Privateer Press, ranging in length from 1,500-word flash pieces to 10,000-word novelettes. You can check out some of these via Amazon right here. The others appeared in the magazine No Quarter or will do so in the near future.
In addition to short stories, I penned a number of articles for the Iron Kingdoms universe and its two primary games WARMACHINE and HORDES. These also appeared in the Privateer Press magazine No Quarter.
And lastly but no leastly, we have this here blog. It’s been a lot of fun to do, and it’s provided me an outlet for my opinions and my personal writerly woes. The response to the blog and the nonsense I write on it has been really positive, and I’m thrilled so many folks find my blathering useful or entertaining. Anyway, continuing our theme of stats and more stats . . . here are some more stats.
Total Posts: 75
Total Visitors: 4,015
Total Likes: 514
Total Comments: 252
I’m pretty satisfied with those numbers for my first six months, and I think I’ve found a groove for how often I should post. Those 75 posts and other bits and bobs total about 75,000 words of material, which is a fair amount, I think, and I’ll likely exceed that handily in 2016.
Okay, broad view, and, yes, more stats. Here’s what my total output for 2015 looked like in hard numbers. I’m only counting stuff I wrote that was either published or is slated for publication. I certainly started a lot of projects last year that I hope to finish this year, but that’s too many disparate bits to pull together
Words Written: 290,000
Articles/Stories/Novels Published: 16
So, goals for next year. I’d like to double the number of horror/sci-fi submissions and shoot for an even 100. I’d like to increase my acceptance ration to 15%, which of course translates to 15 acceptances. One way I’d like to increase my submission rate is to complete at least one new story per month. I have ten or so in various states of completion, so this feels pretty reasonable.
I’m slated to write/finish three novels for Privateer Press in 2016, but if I can, I’d like to write a fourth novel for my agent to shop around. I’ve got some ideas for this book, but it’s another 90,000 words or so added to an already packed schedule. Might be tough, but it’s a goal worth shooting for.
As for the blog, I’d like to keep my pace of two to three substantive posts per week. That said, I have at least two novels coming out next year, so I’d like to use the blog to promote them. Don’t worry; I’m not going to turn the blog into a giant marketing platform, and the biggest change you’re likely to see is one additional post per week pimping out my latest book, story, or whatever. You can certainly ignore those posts, or, if you’re so inclined, click a link once in a while and behold the fruits of my labors.
Well, that’s my 2015 wrap-up post with too many numbers, self-aggrandizing drivel, and obvious excuses for failures and shortcomings.
How was your 2015? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Impressive year. I want to read more of your work (I know I told you I really liked the shadow story you did for Molotov).
Here are my Grinder stats:
– Pieces: 12
– Submissions: 15
– Rejections: 9
– Acceptances: 3
– Pending Submissions: 3
It was my first year submitting, so that was a huge step for me. I chose stories that weren’t my best, but that I thought were the closest to being ready. I plan on working on some more complex stories this year.
The acceptances were from two token paying markets and one was non-paying. I’d like to aim higher this year.
Thanks. I’m fairly satisfied with the work I did in 2015, seeing as it was a transitional year for me. This year, though, I want to crank the dial to eleven and really find out what I’m capable of producing in a year.
I’d say you had a pretty good year yourself. I didn’t sell a single piece in my first year, and you sold three! You should definitely chalk 2015 up in the win column. 😉
Spinal Tap, nice 🙂 It will be fun to see what the next year brings.
I really enjoyed the flash fiction about the guy who is beheaded and reanimated his body for revenge. Recommend something along those lines and I’ll buy it off amazon. Or if nothing comes to mind, recommend your favourite. Please let me know.
Hi there. I’m glad you enjoyed “Beyond the Block.”
The best thing I can recommend is The Molotov Cocktail: Prize Winner Anthology. I have two horror flash stories in that one similar in tone to “Beyond the Block,” which was also published by The Molotov Cocktail. The anthology also has loads of other great short horror/weird stories by some really talented folks, and that alone makes it worth the three bucks Molotov is asking for it.
Thanks for your comment.
aeryn, send me the Amazon link to your favourite piece whether it be flash or novel. I’ll check it out. I really like the flash about the beheaded man gaining control of his body. Let me know. Thanks.
Julia, see my reply to the previous comment. 😉
I guess I wasn’t the only one w the same thought. Did you put some sort of subliminal message in your post? “Buy my stories”
Nah, the only subliminal message I’ve mastered is “reject my stories.” Got that one stone cold. 😉
Congrats on a great year and here is to an even better one. Seeing numbers like that are inspiring. Makes realize I’ve got to stop being such a slacker and do more.
Hey, didn’t you send like a metric ton of agent queries AND get a book deal in 2015? I wouldn’t exactly call that “slacking.” 😉
I did. But haven’t turned out much new work.
Looks like a successful year for you!
I recently received an acceptance- on the 31st- and a rejection- a couple of days ago. At least, I thought it resembled an acceptance. They said they were “interested”. I guess I should be cautious for now.
I haven’t been anywhere near as successful as you, but I’m optimistic that this year will be a good one for me. Someone on another blog I just read called resolutions for 2016 “intentions”. That’s something to live by this year, methinks.
Thanks. I’m satisfied with my output in 2015, though I’d like to accomplish more in 2016.
Congrats on the acceptance (or short list letter, if that’s what it turns out to be).
I’m not big on resolutions, but I like the idea of intentions. Here’s to a productive and successful 2016.