I don’t believe in new years resolutions (unless it involves buying a new monitor at an after-the-holidays sale) [see what I did there?]. If you’re going to exercise more, or eat better, or anything else, just do it. Don’t wait for an arbitrary number to change to a another arbitrary number.
That said, a calendar year is a natural place to stop and reflect, particularly in the age of the internet where sites you rely on to gather statistics prepare to reset for the next year. So here’s my year in numbers.
Goodreads: I read 34,653 pages from 100 books in 2011, and that’s only counting things with an ISBN, more or less. Lots of online reading, including stories at Strange Horizons, Ideomancer, Clarkesworld, Escape Pod, Lightspeed, The Drabblecast, Daily SF, Electric Spec, and so on aren’t reflected in that. Perhaps the biggest missing piece, in terms of page count, was the Mongoliad, a serial novel which had to be at least 700 pages equivalent, of which I’ve read all 47 chapters published as of this writing.
Duotrope: I’ve found this story-submission-tracking website to be completely indispensable. There’s no way I’d be organized enough on my own to keep track of this in a system of my own devising, unless maybe I went off for months to build one. Bravo! According to the stats here, I submitted 17 different pieces a total of 53 times in 2011, with 2 acceptances (a 4.65% rate for those I’ve heard back from) and 6 personal rejections. Over the course of the year, I retired three of these stories.
The Duotrope site is strictly donation supported, and based on recent observations, under a fairly significant user load. If you use the site, please help them out. I suggest $1 per story sub if you can afford it. If you (like me) used to buy those thick annual market guidebooks, direct that money to these folks instead.
Other: On top of all that, I continued work on my novel. It went in front of an alpha reader, which resulted in a bunch of changes I’m really happy about. A careful editing pass corrected many of the systematic writing deficiencies I originally inserted into it, and added about 6k words. In 2012, it’s going out to beta readers (and beyond?). Looking at options.
I joined a local writers’ group, which has been terribly helpful. I made it to two cons, Potlatch and FogCon.
I don’t have any specific goals for the arbitrary period known as calendar year 2012. I will keep doing what I’m doing. With so much still to learn, I will keep improving where I can. I’ll be at Paradise Lost II for some remedial work. One thing that will be new, though: my first contact with the reprint markets. 🙂
Update: even-more-late-breaking stats.