2013 New Year’s Resolution in Review

Happy New Year everyone! Kristin wrote the obligatory 2014 resolution post, so I’m going to write the obligatory “resolution in review” post and see how I did for 2013.

Last year I posted my New Year’s resolution for writing in this post.

For the tl;dr version here was my list at a glance:

Novels planned: 3-4
Completed: 1
Novellas Planned: 3
Completed: 1
Short stories Planned: 1
Completed: 0

I posted this list at the end of January so I had already started on the projects by the time the post went up. The novel that was completed was my 2012 NaNo project, so I just had to finish it, which let me write a Novella in January as well.

Now, the question remains, how did the rest of the list go? I called my resolution, “A Writing Frenzy” and I can tell you, it really was. It was a lofty goal, maybe even insane some would say, and really, at this point, I agree.

I reached a point where I was really burnt out and twice I had to take really long breaks to rejuvenate myself. I haven’t decided what my writing goals will be this year, but it won’t be anything near as insane as I did last year.

As a self-published writer, I am constantly burdened by the expectation of turning out work faster and faster to keep up with other successful self-pubbers who turn out a book every couple of months (or month depending on the writer). People think, to be successful in the self-pub world, you need quantity and quality. But the fact is, to make sure you have quality, sometimes it’s impossible to have the quantity.

I’ve tried to keep up with the numbers other self-pubbers turn out and I know it’s kind of impossible to keep up that rate and keep up the quality. There are a few things that go into that. One, and kind of an important one, is money. In order to make sure I put out quality work is putting in an investment in the project. That includes paying my editor and my cover artist. If I had to put out a book every couple of months, I would keep none of my profits and how can I keep working if I can’t pay my bills? Another is giving myself time to develop the project. If I just churn out project after project, I won’t have the time to polish the project, fix it, make it better.

Because of those two, very huge things I did not publish every project I finished this year. And, one other reason, I’ve decided to try to become a “hybrid author,” which means I hope to query one or  more of these projects for traditional publishing. So I’ll be both self and traditionally published. It may never happen, but I hope it does.

So, how did close did I come to my goals? Here you go:

Novels planned: 3-4
Completed: 4
Novellas Planned: 3
Completed: 4
Short stories Planned: 1
Completed: 0

You can see, I accomplished my novel goal, surpassed my novella goal, but fell short of the short story goal (merp, no pun intended). I think, if I hadn’t written that fourth novella, I would have gotten that short story. But, when I finished the fourth novel in the middle of December, I knew I just didn’t have anything left in the gas tank.

Here’s how my word counts broke down over the year in order to reach these goals:

January: 80,123
February: 75,011
March: 35,170
April: 27,351
May: 30,005
June: 46,289
July: 4,054
August: 27,077
September: 0
October: 30,002
November: 50,000 – won NaNoWriMo WOOT!
December: 8,250

Total words for 2013: 413,332

You can see in July, September, and December, I needed time off. How many of these titles did I publish? I published all four of the novellas under my pen name and I published one, yes, just one, of the novels. I know right? Two of the novels, including my NaNo project from 2012, I wrote just for fun. I may self-publish those because I like writing in that world, but it’s a saturated genre that most agents are weary of. The fourth book I wrote, the NaNo 2013 project I finished in December, that one I will be querying. The market is tough, but I’m going to give it a go anyway.

Like I said before, I don’t know what my goals are for this year, but I do plan to write the sequel to World of Ash, which was one of the novels I wrote in 2013.

Do you have writing goals this year? What are they?

Also, I am very happy to announce that we have a new Spellbound Scribe to welcome to the blog! Mandy P. Be sure to check in on Thursday for her inaugural post! You can also pre-stalk Mandy on her blog here or on Twitter here!

4 thoughts on “2013 New Year’s Resolution in Review

  1. Great job, Shauna! This year I think I’m making monthly word goals instead of project goals–for me sometimes saying “I plan to write x amount of projects this month/year” is more daunting than inspiring. Happy New Year!

    1. Shauna Granger says:

      You know, Lyra, that’s not a bad idea at all. Might try something like that myself. Happy New Year to you too!

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