11 Jun

Rections and Dejections – May 2016

Rejections and Dejections Graph

Rejections and Dejections GraphThis month started with a bang and ended with a fizzle. I hit the doldrums in my precious not-so-novel writing project, I tested out a new prototype to the point where I have to start taking it apart in order to improve it, and I lost all forward momentum.

Then I sold a story.

Fiction

This month I wrote 13 750 new words of fiction, and completed 2 stories for a total of 8 750 words. I submitted 9 times and got 11 rejections (if you’re wondering how that adds up: these are rejections for submissions from previous months). I also sold 1 story (yay!), had no stories published, and I have 24 stories currently submitted and waiting for a response.

Since I started keeping track in late 2014 I’ve written 124 130 words of fiction.

The story that sold I can’t talk about too much yet, hopefully I’ll be able to tell you more next month.

Those two stories that I finished, well, one I really like, the other I think is a bit of a failure. But I’m the worst judge of my own work – the stories that I’ve thought to be my best keep being rejected, while stories that I only thought were OK, or even so-so, got published. I guess it’s because when I tell stories to myself I’m more likely to like them – but other’s aren’t likely to understand them. But I’m hoping that will change as I get better at my craft.

For once I had motivational issues. Around the last week of May I stopped writing. Couldn’t get myself to sit down and put words on paper. I had one day where I cranked out three blog posts and finished a story, then nothing. My mind kept drawing a complete blank. Only now, almost 10 days later, am I getting back into my groove.

I’ve had moments like these before, and while I know they’ll pass I really dislike them. There’s not much I can do other than try and try, show up, stare at the computer, and read web comics. Here’s hoping that things are passing or else I’ll have a bad month ahead.

Non-fiction

This month I wrote 6 450 new words and finished 7 new blog posts for a total of 5 000 words. I also got 26 new subscribers to my email list.

Since I started keeping track in late 2014, I’ve written 113 930 words of non-fiction.

It’s not the greatest productivity but I felt that it was decent. I wanted to write a buffer so that I can walk away for a few weeks but that doesn’t seem to happen.

I had a post go viral, getting over 1 050 views, which is the highest for any single post to date. My two most reliable posts are still the FightMediocrity review and the Habitica review, gaining about 100 reads/month, mainly because they score high in Google searches for the aforementioned search terms.

I had a single day in which I cranked out three posts. I also had two posts that I’m holding on to because, well, they don’t give that much value to you, dear reader. I’ve been thinking about adding value to my readers a lot, and what people are interested in (if you’ve got a tip, put it in the comments). So far I’ve been dabbling in audience analysis and mindmapping my way to interesting topics. Hopefully this will pan out after the summer. I’ve also got a number of interviews lined up for publication in September/October, which I hope will be interesting.

Game Design

This month I created 2 new prototypes and ran 9 playtests. I played 28 games and my most liked game has been Mombasa, which I played 2 times.

Early in the month I went to a board gaming convention here in Linköping, which was a blast. I met a lot of great people (shout out to everyone who was there), friends both old and new, and played a number of games that I hadn’t played before, including Mombasa, which is a great brainburner of an Euro. Nothing for beginners but if you like to have your gray cells calculate away the night, then Mombasa is for you.

Analog_Game_Design_102-2This inspired me to start designing again and I came up with two simple card games: Top Dog and Das Amt[note]Which is German for “the Office”.[/note]. Top Dog is a set collecting, hand management game with a twist, aimed at children age 5 and above. The Office, which I’m writing up for my Analog Game Design series of posts, is a card game with a definite take that mechanism where it isn’t about wining as much as not losing – everyone gets buried by paperwork. I’ve playtested this one a whole bunch and there’s an interesting, quick game taking shape there. I’ll keep hammering away at it over the summer.

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