2013 in Review

Happy new year, everyone! I am so glad that 2013 is finally done. It’s been an exceptionally busy year for me at home, at work, and writing, and I’m looking forward to a quiet 2014 in which to sort it all out.

Writing-wise, it’s been a pretty good year for me. I wrote: 1 novella, 4 short stories, and 6 or 7 flash stories. In terms of what’s working versus what’s not, my shorter and weirder stories have outsold longer more traditional pieces, and there’s been a marked difference in response between my first-person and third-person stories. I’m told that Jay Lake has a theory that writers’ skills are like a collectable card game, and every writer gets one or two free. I came to the conclusion that I got first person voice as one of mine, and I’ve been leaning hard on it this year for some pretty good results so far.

My first two SFWA pro sales were published this year: Tumbleweeds and Indelicate Questions in February, and At the Old Folks Home at the End of the World in November. That makes this my first year of Campbell eligibility. My submissions were way down in 2013 (36 compared to 52 in 2012, 7 of them reprint subs) but I still made four sales, two of them stories I wrote this year, and one reprint. Not counting the five subs still out, that’s a roughly 10% sales rate. This is not terrible for where I’m at in my career right now, but I would like to improve it through a combination of writing better stories and being smarter about where I sub.

This was supposed to be the year in which I put the finishing touches on my novel A Death in Deep Space and started shopping it around. …oops. I got blindsided by the sheer amount of work involved in selling a house and moving across the state, and then in revising over the summer to show it to a friend I realized that a significant chunk of Act IV just didn’t work, tore it out and, um, got stuck and haven’t replaced it yet. (On the plus side: this was partly from coming to the understanding that I had been unconsciously mimicking the five-act structure of many of my favorite mysteries, which was a tremendously useful thing to finally recognize!)

Anyway: I didn’t have as much time this year, but I feel like I used it more efficiently. I didn’t write as many stories, but the ones I did were better, and my sales rate is going up. That’s not a bad place to be going into 2014!

2 thoughts on “2013 in Review

  1. I have to agree with O — definitely a good year! A 10% sales rate? Very nice!

    Good luck getting the novel polished and shopped around this year.

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