In 2010 I began writing fiction and managed two token sales.
In 2011 I made my first professional sale and began building a bibliography.
And 2012 has been the best year yet. Here are some of the highlights for me this year:
* Qualified for full SFWA membership.
* Was accepted to and attended the Viable Paradise workshop.
* Edited and published my first anthology project.
* Attended my first SF convention as a guest/panelist.
And although I’m proud of each and every one of those accomplishments, perhaps the most important achievement for me is this:
* I now believe that I can sell what I write.
This sounds less impressive than it actually is. But the truth is, confidence is hugely important. The ability to write fiction without second-guessing myself, without wondering if the latest story I’m working on is at all viable, is liberating and something I’m only recently able to do. The “pretender” syndrome of “I’m-n0t-a-real-writer-I’ve-just-been-lucky-with-a-few-short-stories” is more difficult to shake than you might expect. But statistics are on my side, showing that most of what I write consistently sells, at least at semipro level.
In 2012 I completed a total of 24 short stories, totaling almost exactly 50,000 words. Of those 24, I felt that 20 were good enough to submit (and may yet revisit the remaining four and fix them up). I already sold ten of them (7 to pro-paying markets). I also sold almost every story I’ve been submitting since 2011.
Part of this success is due to submitting very aggressively. I spent time researching new markets, tried to make sure I never had too many stories hanging out on my hard drive without being out for consideration somewhere, and was perfectly willing to have the story debut in a smaller market rather than remain unpublished.
Write1Sub1 challenge (which I will continue in 2013) had helped. Also, my goal of hitting a total of 200 submissions kept me going as well. Sending out 200 submissions in a year is *hard*. I barely managed it, shipping off a few stories this past week just so I can reach that number. Here are my statistics for the year:
Currently out on submission: 13
Lost / never responded: 1
There were also a number of stories accepted in 2012 which I submitted in 2011. A total of 35 stories (including reprints) were accepted in 2012. Of these 35 stories:
10 sold at pro pay (5c+ per word)
16 sold at semi-pro (1-4c)
3 sold to token markets (2 to Every Day Fiction and 1 to Toasted Cake. I donated the payment back to those markets)
6 reprints were donated without pay (5 to podcasts, one to a charity anthology).
And the stories that are still circulating? Although there are a few oldies I really like and can’t quite let go off, most are recent work, from late 2012, and I have every confidence that they will find quality homes soon!
So what’s the plan for 2013?
I actually expect LESS sales next year. Because I want to spend more of my time on writing novel(s), editing, and translating. So with that in mind, my 2013 goals are:
* Complete at least one novel and begin shopping it around to agents/publishers
* Continue to participate in the Write1Sub1 initiative and write at least one new short story per month.
* Translate into English at least two SF/F short stories by Russian authors
* Attend at least one major SF con (something like WorldCon or World Fantasy) and a few smaller ones
I wish everyone the best of luck with setting and accomplishing their own 2013 goals. Happy New Year!