Quarterly Check-Point: SEPT-NOV 2020

It may seem a little funny to be doing a quarterly check-point here at the end of August, but since December is usually such a wash for me (productivity-wise) with all the holidays and vacations, I tend not to include it as a realistic work period. So September to November it is! The last productive quarter of the 2020 (holy crap–where has this year gone?!).

Yesterday, I sat down with my notebook and hashed out the various metrics to the best of my ability. Some are tricky to do mid-year (like total word count, which involved a lot of detective work to go back and determine what words I actually added–this is something that would be good for me to track daily…. Note to self…), but most are easy enough to evaluate. As this year (2020) currently stands, by comparison to last year (2019):

Submission Attempts: 10 / 39

NEW! Submissions: 2 / 3

# Personal Rejections: 0 / 8

NEW! Rough Drafts: 2 / 3

*Total Word Count: ~11,400 / 114,000

Stories Sold: 4 / 1

Books Read: 15 / 42

Looking over these numbers really help me to priortize what work to focus on. For example, I know I have a short story draft that just needs typing up/finalizing into a complete draft which is 95% written, so if I put in the effort, I can hit the third rough draft by the end of September (maybe even the end of August…). I may even have another that I wrote a while ago, but which has never been brought over to the computer (and therefore, never looks editable) that I could whip out, so that’d be four new rough drafts with relatively little effort.

I’m fairly confident I can complete TWO new submissions by the end of the year (I have two which are primed to edit, and need some decent work, but not impossible/re-conception work).

Overall word count has been pretty pitiful, and I doubt I’ll get close to 114k this year–it’s been an editing heavy year, which is typical of the first New Baby year, so next year I’ll try to focus on this a bit more. Still, I need to review where I’ve gotten to in Dragonsired, and start thinking of where it goes next in Part II. If I can get a start on Part II by the end of the year, I’ll be happy with that.

Reading has also been DISMAL this year, again, largely due to NEW BABY, and also obsession with reading the news, so I’m going to readjust my expectations here and aim for 21 books total this year. That’ll be half of what I was hoping for, but still not terrible. And to make that a little easier, I’m limiting myself to one book per genre, as piling up on one kind of book (biographies, or nonfiction, or audiobooks, etc.) seems to be a key reason I get log jammed on my to-read list.

AS for Submission Attempts and Personal Rejections, these numbers were always going to be low, in large part because I’ve sold a lot more stories this year, which means my submission queue is incredibly short and I don’t get as many rejections in general. Which is good news, but does affect those numbers. So I’m not worrying about these until next year, when hopefully I’ll have gotten close to replenishing my queue.

And of course, that leads me to STORIES SOLD, which I’ve done great on this year! Very excited to have passed this benchmark from last year. No guarantees whether I could keep that pace up next year, as it’s entirely out of my hands whether a story resonates with a particular editor or not, but getting more work out is a key factor in this. Last year laid the groundwork for this year, so this year is laying the groundwork for next year, which means I doubt I’ll have quite as much coming out next year. But you never know! Just glad to have such a nice number for 2020, despite everything that’s going on in the world.

And that concludes this quarter’s review! To summarize the goals:

  • Edit and submit 2 stories
  • Type up 2 story rough drafts
  • Read 21 books
  • Plan/start Dragonsired – Part II

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