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2016 in Review

Sales and SubmissionsSo the year is at an end. Yeah, yeah, new year, new possibilities, same old 24 hours/day. Anyway, here’s how I did in 2016:

Writing wise I…
(2015 numbers in paranthesis)

… submitted 164 (109) stories to publishers.
… got 4 (8) stories accepted.
… of which 4 (2) acceptances were by pro markets.
So, more submissions, less acceptances. But I only submitted to pro markets this year, meaning that all of my acceptances were from pro markets. Which rocks!

… collected 134 (94) rejections.
… of which 17 (17) were personal rejections.
Yep, that’s a lot of rejections. I broke my 300-rejections-over-my-lifetime milestone in June, which made me start thinking and stop writing until, oh, later November. Yeah, don’t count your rejections, and don’t celebrate them. Remember the good personals, ignore everything else.

… wrote 36 (37) stories.
… which contained 50 000 (47k) words.
… and in total I wrote 92 000 (68k) words of fiction.
So, of all the words I wrote, almost half are in non-completed stories. This is something I need to become better at, completing stories I’ve begun.

I started the year great, with a lot of writing, and a lot of submissions. But then came the burnout in June, and the following downs. I tried to power through them, but to no avail, if anything I made matters worse. Nopes, I needed to rest up, do other things, and such. Then, in December, I managed to start up again, slow like, and so far it’s been going better.

I also stated learning again.

Yeah, I’ve been putting that by the side, just existing and letting my mind rot. But in the fall I decided to start learning something every day. And so far I’ve…

… learned all the countries of Africa, Asia, and South America, as well as all the States of the USA. I’ve started practicing German on Duolingo and when I don’t have the computer I’m adding large numbers in my head.

… gone to the gym 31 times, which is less than stellar, but better than crap. Most of these were Kettlebells training, but I also tried GRITS Strength (not much strength, sort of aerobics with light-ish weights), Hathaya Yoga (would be for me, if it wasn’t at such bad times here – and I’d rather practice Kettlebells) and Underground (fun, but too much squats and jumps; my knees can’t take it). I’ve also biked or walked to work every day but three (YAY me!).

In Non-fiction I’ve…

… written 41 blog posts.
… totaling 48 200 words.

I’m not counting partial blog posts.

I also did several interviews, which have languished unpublished as I’m struggling to make heads or tails of my blog. Frankly I have no idea what to write about here, and as writing energy has been limited, I’ve decided to put it into fiction rather than blog posts.

A result of writing more fiction, and playing more games, and doing more playtesting and designing, has been that my energy levels have increased. I’m a creative animal, and doing stuff makes me feel better, which enables me to do more stuff, which makes me feel better and so on and so fort. So I’m going to keep writing, and keep working, and just slow down a little so I don’t burn out.

I’ve also found that shaming and forcing myself to do creative work doesn’t work for me (maybe I’ll write a blog about that later). Instead it makes me focus on how bad everything is going.

Instead I’m going to focus even more on how well I’m doing this month, this week, this day, and right now, and let bygones be bygones. So fare well 2016, and here’s to a new year and new opportunities.

Also, when put together, I’ve accomplished a shitload of stuff in a single year, a lot more than I thought I’d manage when I started.

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  • When you say you submitted “stories” to publishers, what exactly are you referring to? Short stories? Sample chapters of potentially longer stories?

    I see you said you wrote 36 stories, so presumably the almost 100 others were from previous years of writing them?

    • Filip Wiltgren

      I write mostly short stories (1 000 – 7 500 words) and flash fiction (less than 1 000 words). Submitting is submitting to magazines, anthologies, journals etc. Some of them, like Fantasy & Science Fiction or Clarkesworld, will send you a rejection with a few days (I’m saying rejections because I’m still to crack F&SF and CW; they’re both dream markets for me). Then I can submit that stories to another publication. So each story has multiple rejections before it’s accepted (or retired). So far I’ve only gotten three stories accepted by a pro market on the first try.

      One thing that I’m a bit hard-headed about is never sim-subbing (sending a story out to several publications at once), because while editors will forget a story they reject, they’re likely to remember a writer that withdraws a story which they want to publish. So I figure it’s both common courtesy and good business sense to send a story to a single publication at a time. Also, I’ve got problems with not enough markets to send to (the pro SFF short story markets are rather few), rather than not enough stories to send.

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