I realize this is late for a year-in-review post, but this is really more for my own amusement and record than anything else. Self-indulgent? Maybe. But here it goes anyway.
As a part of 2011, I joined the W1S1 effort. That is, I strived to write and submit a story each week. Though I started in June, I kept on track for quite a bit. I eventually dropped back to the monthly version of the challenge because I was trying to finish the draft of my novel. Still, I kept up with that version as well.
So, what’s the verdict?
The six months I participated in W1S1 in 2011, I wrote more stories than I ever had before in any previous year. Here’s some stats:
Drafted: 16 brand new stories
Revised: 12 stories
Submitted these 12 stories along with 7 others from 2010
Pending: 14 (including 5 subs made in 2012)
I don’t like making new year’s resolutions, but I feel confident this year is going to be a good one for writing. Though it’s somewhat out of my control, I’d like to make several more sales this year, including to pro markets. I’d like to be able to join the SFWA by the end of the year.
Nothing’s guaranteed, but I know I won’t get anywhere unless I write. And write. And write some more. And once I’m done, I need to submit. And submit. And submit some more.
Here’s to a prosperous 2012 everyone!
This is really the first month I’ve been doing this Write 1, Sub 1 thing and it’s been pretty great so far. The whole point is writing consistently and consistently sending out your work on a regular basis. I’ll post my sub stats as the end of this post, but I can tell you right now, the whole effort has been well worth it.
I have 12 stories on submission right now. Of those, I wrote 3 from the beginning this month and performed major rewrites on two. So, I guess I didn’t really accomplish the writing a story a week thing, but with all the rewrites I needed to do, it still feels like a major win to me.
Here’s all my sub stats for the month:
- 16 story submissions
- 2 poetry submissions
- 5 rejections
- 3 stories need major revisions
As if I need anymore on my plate, I’m working on my novel again, Dr. Fantastic’s Prodigious Prestidigitator. I got 1,188 words down today on it bringing the whole manuscript up to 37,401. I’m at the halfway point now, which in retrospect, makes sense why I got frustrated with it in January and set it aside for a while. But after a thorough reread and making some notes, I’m ready to jump back in, full steam ahead. And many other mixed metaphors.
I hope June made for much writing and submitting for you, too!
So I recently found out about a little thing called Write 1 Sub 1 or W1S1 for short. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Your task, should you take on the challenge, is to write one story and submit one story within a time frame you choose (weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc). I don’t know how closely I’ll be able to hold fast to this, but it’s a good motivator nonetheless and if the main blog where this all started isn’t enough motivation, there’s also an excellent (and very encouraging) community over at Absolute Write should you decide to join in the fray.
What I like most about this challenge is it’s helping me focus. I’ve written several stories that never ended up on submission because I felt they weren’t “there.” As I revisit them now, a tweak here and revision there is all they really needed. Perspective. I need more of it.
While some people can put pen to paper without external motivators, I find writing communities, contests, prompts and groups of people to hold you accountable extremely motivating. Presumably, you’re all in the same boat together, which is great when all you need is a little commiseration.
Since joining in on the fun, I have 4 older stories out on sub and I’ve written 3 new drafts. I likely won’t be able to keep up this pace, but I’m taking advantage of it now.
I’m off to write. Or edit. Or do something productive in the way of words. What are you working on right now? What writing groups, contests or challenges have you found motivating? Let me know in the comments!