The 2011 Writerly Recap

Yup, it’s that time again: the end of another artificially imposed construct approaches. January 1 may be a fairly arbitrary marker for the start of the new year, but it does serve as a convenient measuring stick for looking back and taking stock of where I’ve been and where I’m heading writing-wise.

So with that said, let’s take a look at 2011—not as epically awesome as 2010 was for me on the writing front, but not a bad year.

Novel Progress
Ha! I said “novel progress.”

There was lots of valuable brainstorming and jotting down of notes and ideas during 2011, but otherwise, revisions on My Big Fat Epic Fantasy novel took a back seat to a great many other things. Hopefully that will be remedied in the near future.

Short Stories
Stories written in 2011 include:

  • “Demon Dreams,” a 6,700-word fantasy piece that’s probably going to end up being even longer once I finish revising the dang thing
  • “The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen,” a 3,800-word Norwegian folk tale-ish fantasy story that sadly has only racked up form letters at the few slush piles it’s visited so far. I had my hopes up that this one would get a little more love.
  • “First Date in the Horror Aisle,” a goofy little 2,800-word YA-ish science fiction story (despite the title)
  • And a 1,000-word comedic superhero flash piece that’s probably too heavy-handed to sell anywhere

My one writing goal for 2011 was to do better than my paltry 2010 output of only one new story, so I can definitely check that off as achieved. I wish I had gotten more done, but trying to balance writing time, day job, and grad school was tough. But now that I’ve gotten the hang of that being-a-student-again thing, I’m going to strive for a better balance once the spring semester starts. In the meantime, I need to take advantage of winter break and get writer-me into gear.

Of story sales and SFWA…
While I had several stories published this past year in some rather lovely places, I wasn’t nearly as successful with sales as I was in 2010, both in terms of total number sold (9 stories in 2010 vs. 5 in 2011) and sales to pro markets (3 in 2010, zilch in 2011).

Acceptances in 2011

  • “Unlucky Clover” to Beyond Centauri
  • “Mr. Fluffy” to Untied Shoelaces of the Mind
  • “The Holy Spear” to Black Static
  • “The Cycle of the Sun” to
  • “Dumping the Dead” to The Best of Every Day Fiction Three

Published in 2011

Daily Science Fiction became a SFWA-qualifying market this past fall, making 2011 the year that I finally reached active member status. I don’t feel like much of a pro, though. Just another would-be writer slogging away, occasionally achieving a small enough scrap of success to feel like I might one day achieve awesomeness, but mostly just adding to my rejection collection and banging my head against the same old wall of why-can’t-I-do-better-than-this frustration.

Wow, that last bit was a downer of a sentiment to ring in the new year with. Here, have a Muppet chaser:

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