My overall writing goal for 2010 was to get better at finishing things. And yet somehow, I didn’t quite say so when posted my goals here. Instead I listed the stories I wanted to finish. Of those, I finished and sold(!) the “Evolutionary Just-So” story, the story with “something wonderful hidden in it” held on to its mysteries, and none of the “four very short drafts” I wanted to finish went anywhere. I did “start and finish a new story” and the end of the world and a flying pig. But it was tough.
First, I set a bunch of deadlines. I forced myself to honor the first one and let go of the “Just-So” story. Then I ignored the rest, telling myself that deadlines don’t work for me. Somewhere along the way, I started working on the new story, which drove me crazy the rest of the year. Then with a deadline from my critique group coming up, I pushed through it and completed a draft. With “just a few” revisions I wanted to make, I went back to poking at it, and the story went back to driving me crazy, until I saw the end of the year coming up, and realized that if I didn’t get my act together I was only going to finish one story all year. I set a deadline, and pushed through it, and finished my revision. Lesson learned? Deadlines don’t work for me. I have to do the work.
So here’s my writing scorecard for 2010:
Stories finished: 2
Stories sold: 1
Rejections received: 12 form, 9 personal, 1 withdrawal, for a total of 22.
How does that compare to 2009?
Stories finished: 6
Rejections received: 16 form, 7 personal, for a total of 23.
This year and last year, I’m not exactly a writing dynamo. I’m not so sure I learned to get better at finishing anything, but I do like what I wrote this year. And next year, I’m going to try something else.