Sunday, 1 January 2017

My Writing Year: A Look Back and a Look Forward

So here we are at the start of another year. Time to look back at what we've accomplished in the past 365 days and what's coming up.

All through 2016, I've been keeping a running tally of my word count, including fiction, nonfiction, and blogging. I also include editing, at a ratio of 10:1, so editing 10,000 words counts as writing 1,000. While this is the first year I've kept track of my word count, I'm sure this is my most prolific year so far. I ended up with 900,750 words, an average of 17,322 words a week. While this sounds impressive, writing is my day job. There are plenty of professional writers who blow my word count out of the water. James Reasoner has written a million words a year for the past 12 years. No wonder he has 344 novels under his belt. I'm downright lazy by comparison!

The first of my novels to come out this year is the one I'm most proud of. The Last Hotel Room was picked up by Kindle Press. It's about the Syrian refugee crisis, and as I promised during my Kindle Scout campaign I donated $500 to Doctors Without Borders for their excellent work on the ground in Syrian refugee camps. Thanks for your support! I'll be donating a portion of my royalties too once I pay though my advance.

That same month I also released Warpath into Sonora, a Western from the Apache point of view. It's my first Western unless you count my Missouri Civil War novels.

On a related note, Osprey Publishing also came out with my Apache Warrior vs US Cavalryman, part of their Combat series that takes a grunt's-eye view of conflict from both sides. This is the seventh book I've written for them. You can see all my Osprey titles here.

The bulk of my work has been ghostwriting. I've ghostwritten five novels and a short story this year, plus the bulk of a sixth novel. You can read more about this aspect of my career in a post I did for Black Gate.

So what's in store for 2017? I want to hit a million words this year! I already have two ghostwriting contracts lined up, plus a bunch of my own books. You can keep track of my progress with the word count bars on the right side of this blog.

If you're a writer, artist, or other creative type, how did your past year go? What are you plans for this one? Tell us in the comments section!

Happy 2017!


Sioux said...

Sean--I have word count envy. Certainly, my word count is puny compared to yours. However, during November and NaNoWriMo, I got down 30,000 words, and those words were written while I was sitting surrounded by 6th, 7th and 8th graders (who were also writing). The result: I am 4/5 (or so) through with the first draft of a middle-grade historical fiction manuscript.

Congratulations on such a prolific year, and may 2017 be even more successful. (And I love your idea of counting the words you edit/revise, and that they weigh more heavily, because it IS more difficult to revise/edit.)

Jen Chandler said...

Wow! Congratulations on all you accomplished last year. I hope you're able to keep that momentum going into 2017! Also, congratulations on your spot in the IWSG Anthology! I look forward to reading your story.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Yolanda Renée said...

Congratulations on your win in the IWSG Anthology!
Happy 2017!
Wow! Great goals and wonderful achievements! Keep at it!
1 million words!

Chrys Fey said...

A million words? Holy cow! That's an awesome goal. Good luck! And congratulations on placing in the IWSG anthology!

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.