clhollandwriter: (Default)
It's that time of year again, when everybody posts up what they've been up to for the last twelve months.

I haven't been keeping track of words, but here's the basics:
Submissions: 20 (4 still pending)
Sales: 1

So it's not been a great year, since last year I had 68 submissions and 7 sales. However, at least part of this is because of the way Real Life has shaken out. At the beginning of the year I was going through the final stages of training in my new job, so I took March off writing to just read. Then in April we decided to start looking for a house. The looking, and the buying, and the moving, pretty much swallowed the next four months. Then I moved internally at work (same job, different department), which meant a whole readjustment to being back on the phones and shifts. Things didn't really settle down again until September.

I don't really have an excuse for why I've been so rubbish from September onwards, other than that by this point I was just tired. I didn't even particularly enjoy Swanwick Writers' Summer School this time around, between the terrible food and lack of mental energy to deal two hundred other people. Not having much in the way of real holiday all year didn't help (most of it was spent packing, or moving house).

Things I have written this year:
Stories: 3.5 new (one needs typing up and the end finalising), 2 completely rewritten
Poems: 7 (5 new, 2 complete rewrites)
Miscellaneous: a few bits of random non-fiction (not all of it finished) and blog posts. I've also purged my files and deleted a lot of old work, or dragged it back into the light to be reworked.

It's better than nothing, and I wouldn't say the year's been a complete waste as I've made up for a lack of writing by doing a lot more reading and rediscovering video games - so far I've restarted Dungeon Keeper 2, Final Fantasy 7, and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

We're getting on for evening here. I probably won't get much more done in the way of writing this year, although there are a couple of submissions I'd like to get out the door. I'm making plans for next year's writing, including looking at ways of keeping better organised. Next year (tomorrow!) I have some writing samples to finish up, and I want to get that .5 of a story finished off. I'm also working my way through the rewrites mentioned above, and also thinking of giving either Reunion or Stigma a poke to see if there's anything salvageable. It's been a long time since I worked on either of those.

clhollandwriter: (marchin)
I wasn't sure I was going to do one of these. Looking back, 2015 seems like a bit of a crap year. But then when I checked my submission stats, I realised I've actually made more submissions than in any previous year - 65 in total. It's been one of my worst years for sales but, with the exception of being a runner-up in the Wergle Flomp contest, all were to venues I've never been published in before. Including Flash Fiction Online, which I've been trying to get into for years.

Most of my submissions this year were reprints, partly because there's a larger number of podcasts around these days and partly because I haven't written an awful lot of new fiction. There are a number of reasons for this. One was a change of job role to something more challenging that left me with no mental energy to write. This is something I'm just going to have to learn to work around, since it's not going to get any better. Another reason was a lack of desire to engage with the science fiction and fantasy publishing community. Some of this was impostor syndrome: clever and strange stories seem to be around in spades, and (with a couple of exceptions) I don't seem to be able to write them. The rest was the fact that it's a pretty shitty place to be writing at the moment. The overwhelming impression I'm left with is there's a large contingent who think you shouldn't be writing in the genre unless you're a straight white male. And there's an equally large contingent who welcome diversity, unless you're not from the group you're writing about in which case, no matter how hard you try and what your intentions are, you'd better get every tiny detail correct or they'll eviscerate you on Twitter.

This is, of course, a generalisation. But it doesn't feel like a fun or safe place to be writing any more, which makes me not want to write.

I still need to decide what I'm doing for 2016. Somehow I need to stop worrying about the community looking over my shoulder telling me I'm Doing It Wrong. I have considered going to play in a different sandbox for a while, but I'm sure it will turn out to be as equally full of poop. Maybe I'll take a break from submitting for a year. Or a break from Twitter. I don't know, but I need to do something.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
It's been a productive week. Since getting the broadband sorted out, I've written a story, and sent three submissions and a query. It's amazing what not having to wait 20 minutes for a computer to load will do for your motivation.

Stats for the year are as follows:

Currently there are four submissions pending, and one under query.
Submissions - 30
Sales - 5 (including 2 reprints)
Publications - 10

It was eight, but I've just checked and the anthology The Best of Every Day Poets One was published on 10th December, and contains "Plain English" and "The Charge of the Lightweights".

Off now to update everything, and then get on with a story for which I actually have a market in mind and a deadline, for a change. I seem to struggle the most with open-ended projects, so I'm trying to start the year with specific goals in mind.

September 2017

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