Monday, 1 January 2018

My Writing in 2017 and Looking Forward to 2018

Happy New Year! Well, at least if you use the Gregorian calendar like I do. It's been a busy year and I'm looking forward to an even busier one in 2018.
At the beginning of the year I set myself the challenge of writing a million words a year. I counted words the same way I did in 2016: fiction, nonfiction, and blogging all count. I also included editing at a ratio of 10:1, so editing 10,000 words counts as writing 1,000. I rounded down to the nearest 250 words.
So how did I do? I got to 927,000 words, up from 900,750 in 2016. So I missed my goal, but still had my best writing year to date. I'll be trying for the million mark again this year. We'll see how that goes.
Despite it being my best year, I was not entirely happy with my output. Much of it was ghostwriting, and while that certainly helped my bank account, it meant that no new titles came out under my name in 2017, a first in more than a decade. I also ended up in a higher income bracket and the taxman really nailed me.
I did have some successes. My neo-pulp mystery novel, The Case of the Purloined Pyramid, won the Kindle Scout program and got a contract with Kindle Press. The ebook edition comes out January 9 and the print edition later this month. I also got more than a third of the way through the next in the series, The Case of the Shifting Sarcophagus.
This year I'm making a concerted effort to work on more of my fiction. This will mean saying no to some ghostwriting offers, but I think it's best for my long-term career. Sales of my own books fell off sharply in 2017 because I wasn't bringing out more stuff, and that needs to change. In this new publishing world, visibility is the key. So, besides a million words for this year, here are some more resolutions I'll try to stick to:
Writing 1,000 words a day of my own fiction.
Writing a short story every month (more on that later).
Pitching a nonfiction article every month.
Getting more of my back list out in print, and sprucing up things like metatags and blurbs.
It's going to be a busy year!
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!

1 comment:

Sioux Roslawski said...

Sean--I think you need to up the ratio when counting the words while editing. Maybe up it enough that you end up meeting your goal for 2017? ;)

In 2018 I am going to become part of an accountability group. I need writing colleagues with tasers...

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.