My 2012 in reading and writing
At the beginning of the year I set a goal to write 4,000 words of fiction and come up with 8 story ideas a month. Here’s my year-end report on those goals:
Total story ideas: 157
Best month: tie – June/December = 19
Worst month: February = 9
Total words of fiction: 57,506 (that’s 2.3 months above goal)
Best month: March = 7,216
Worst month: August = 2,527
First drafts completed: 13
Stories revised and submitted: 5 (plus one revision of a previously published piece)
Pro Market Rejections: 14
Works Published: 5 (all in the Mormon market; see my bibliography for details)
Blog posts: 46
Books Read: 71 (pages read = 25,030; see my full list of books read at GoodReads)
Based on my GoodReads ratings, my top fiction reads for the year were: What I didn’t See: Stories by Karen Joy Fowler; Sharps by K.J. Parker; Finch by Jeff VanderMeer and Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey. That seems right to me. There are a bunch of great books I gave four stars to and those all worth reading, but those four titles had the biggest impact in the sense that I found myself thinking (and writing and talking) about them days and weeks and months after I finished them.
It was by far my most productive year ever as a writer. It was my least productive year as reader (as gauged by volume; it was much more productive in relation to the quality of works read and their impact on my thinking and writing). I wish I could say that there was a stronger correlation between the two, but part of the dip in reading was due to listening to podcasts and watching Netflix/Hulu.
On the whole I’m pleased with this experiment in goal setting. I won’t be talking stats in 2013. I wanted to track them and share them for this first year, but from now on the focus will simply be on writing and publishing. The numbers that count from now on are: stories that are worthy of readers (whether that’s because an editor has decided as such or I have; and, yes, I will be pursuing both avenues).
I will maintain the current goals as a minimum. With, of course, the intention to exceed them. I’m also going to add one other goal of moving at least two story ideas per month from idea to thumbnail sketch.
So that’s my 2012 in writing/reading. How was yours?