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2012 hits and misses

As_janus_rostrum_okretu_ciachNo matter what plans might have fallen by the wayside in 2012, I can’t be too disappointed since it’s the year I became a published author. Hard to beat that.

Well, except by becoming a published romantic suspense author with a fat advance, awesome covers, a multi-book deal, and a gazillion sales. 😉

Hey, I need something to strive for in 2013, right?

I’m not much on resolutions, and my goals tend to morph a little as the year goes on, but I like to start the new year by evaluating the previous year’s performance and set goals for the next 12 months. It’s become a tradition for me to share with you how I did, what I learned, and my plans going forward.

2012 was an abysmal failure from a fiction writing standpoint. But professionally speaking it was a great year in other ways. I got the contract for and wrote Scrivener For Dummies, and it released in August. What a whirlwind!

So here’s my look back, and forward.

2012 Stats

I wrote 113,384 total words, not including blog posts (regardless of purpose/site). June and July were busy spent on revisions and attending conference, so I have hours there, but no words.


I worked 768 hours, not including blogging (except promotional blogs), reading/answering email, networking on Twitter or Facebook, reading craft blogs, or volunteer hours for my writing chapters. I count hours for long stretches of research or craft reading, but not the little snippets I sometimes take here and there.



– Completed and polished a manuscript, though it wasn’t the one that I’d anticipated. Not that I’m complaining. 😉

– Taught two Scrivener courses for both Mac and Windows, and moved to running them myself.

– Researched, tested, and paid for new online class platform.

– Attended RWA National Conference and my local chapter retreat.

– Read several craft and research books.

– Blogged weekly.


– No completed fiction manuscripts. I got one about half finished, another about half edited, and a new one outlined.

– I didn’t come close to my word count or revision goals.

– No NaNoWriMo three-peat this year.

Goals for 2013

In an effort to focus on putting in the time instead of just words, I’m changing things up a little. I’ll talk next week in more detail about what I’m doing to make these goals more likely to happen.

– 60-90 minutes of writing or revisions every non-holiday weekday. Striving for at least 1000 words during writing sessions.

– Teach two Scrivener online classes for both Mac and Windows on new WizIQ platform.

– Check/respond to email, Facebook, Twitter, or other blogs after morning writing is done, but by 9:30am.

– Set more boundaries between my personal and professional life by limiting my “work” (writing, business emails, chapter volunteer duties) to weekday hours as much as possible.

– Continue to blog weekly.

So that’s how I did and what I’m looking forward to. How was 2012 for you? What plans do you have for 2013?

Image credit: By Ultima Thule, 1927 (Ultima Thule, 1927) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Completion and progress

The Celtic triskelion symbol (at right) represents completion and progress, and a sense of advancement. A fitting metaphor for reviewing the past year and looking toward the next one, I think.

There’s something to be said for accountability. Writing down how much I spend, eat, or write makes me more likely to stick to my goals.

In 2010, I only tracked my word count, but that didn’t tell the whole story. Some months I had almost no words, but I’d still been working hard. So for 2011, I tracked all of the hours that I deemed directly contributed toward publication or making money: revising, researching, reading craft books, preparing query letters and contest entries, taking workshops, and teaching Scrivener classes.

Because you wouldn’t expect anything less, here’s a snapshot of my productivity for 2011.

  • Total (net) words written: 173,617 (14,468 words/month average)
  • Total writing/revising hours worked: 377.25 (31.5 hours/month average)
  • Total hours worked on all writing-related activities: 736.25 (61 hours/month average)

Words by Month - 2011

(Note: Word counts are net. During NaNo my manuscript contained 50,200+ words.)

Hours per Month (blue=writing/revs, red=total) - 2011

May and August have a low writing/total ratio because I was teaching classes. June was similar because of the RWA conference.

What’s not included is the time I spent on writing-related activities that don’t directly contribute to more words, better writing, or making money in some way: blogging, tweeting, checking my Facebook author page, reading/answering emails, volunteering for RWA groups/events, and Citizens Police Academy classes.


  • Golden Heart final, The Sandy Contest win, Between the Sheets Contest 2nd place
  • Attended RWA National Conference and pitched to an agent and editor, both of whom requested
  • Received eight full requests and four partial requests
  • Received four rejections with specific feedback, including one request for my next project
  • Won NaNoWriMo
  • Proposed and taught two Scrivener online classes, and figured out how to host the class myself in 2012


  • Only met hours-worked goals in four of 12 months
  • Didn’t meet manuscript completion goals

Plans for 2012:

  • 1500 words/day, 5 days/week when writing
  • Two hours of revisions/day, 5 days/week when revising
  • Complete and polish current manuscript, and one additional MS
  • Stay off email, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs until writing/revising goals met
  • Teach two Scrivener online classes
  • Attend RWA National Conference and WRW Retreat
  • Win NaNoWriMo
How did you do in 2011? Are you going to make any changes in how you work? What are your plans for 2012?

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