Thursday, November 15, 2012

Crunching Numbers

Numbers annoy and disturb me: the numbers of rejections I've had; the numbers of words people can write (almost every day); final word counts in someone else's WiP. I know I shouldn't let them bother me, but some days when I feel like I'm not doing enough to forward my writing career they get to me.

I've stopped counting numbers of anything other than numbers of submissions and acceptances, so a realization that popped up the other night surprised me.

I prepped and submitted my 40th and 41st story manuscripts earlier this week. My average story word count is around 4000. There have been some longer, some shorter, and of course plenty of stories I haven't finished or never sent out to the traps.

But lets just say amoungst all that I've written, conservatively, about 160 000 words. Being generous, with those unfinished WiPs, maybe it's closer to 180 000.

That's two books worth. Or a really big doorstop.

I had to think on that for a moment. For all my struggles, procrastinations, and anguish over other people bashing out oodles of words, a book or two a year, I've written the equivalent of maybe two books worth of words in the last two and a half years. They're not all good words, or in any sort of linear (quality and quantity) fashion, but not all first drafts of books are amazing either.

And then I stopped to think again: out of those 41 stories I have seen fit to submit (and admittedly trunked a few), I've sold 14. That's a success rate of 34%. THIRTY FOUR PERCENT. Sure, only 2% of that success has been a pro sale, but I undersell and underrate my ability to produce.

I'm doing okay. I can do better, but I'm definitely doing more okay than I thought.

patience, mah minion...1 day this will all be ours

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