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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2008-01-01 09:23
Subject: [personal|process] Year End Summary
Security: Public
Location:Nuevo Rancho Lake
Mood:th
Music:house noises
Tags:books, escapement, green, lj, mainspring, personal, process, river, stories, writing
Happy New Year, all. (At least if you're Gregorian.) Here's my obligatory year-end summary.

This year in my writing related program activities (ie, excluding day job output, which is substantial) I have written about:

104,000 words of first draft novel
345,000 words of LiveJournal entries
10,000 words of nonfiction, reviews, articles, etc.
90,700 words of first draft short fiction

That's 549,000 words of new material in 2007. I still have no idea how to account for revisions, and email is still copious but irrelevant. To break it out a bit more:

Written in 2007

21 short stories a 90,700 words

1 partial novel (Green) at 104,000 words

About 10,000 words of published nonfiction, mostly with specficrider

About 345,000 words of blogging here on LiveJournal.

Rewriters, copy edits and final galley edits on Escapement

Final galley edits on the Mainspring Powell's | Amazon | Audible ] mass market paperback edition

Publishing stats in 2007

Mainspring Powell's | Amazon | Audible ] in hardback, book club and audio editions, as well as Czech rights

The River Knows Its Own Wheatland Press | Amazon ] in trade paperback

About 20 short story appearances, plus several Year's Best and reprint anthos

Sold 24 short stories and 7 reprints

46 short story rejections




So what does it mean? Well, in 2006 I wrote a hell of lot more novel, and somewhat less short story. Nonfiction output is down as well. LiveJournal, on the other hand, is up quite a bit. Somehow this doesn't seem like a good thing.

Some of this is the shift to the New Model Process. I went essentially dark from the spring to the fall, right through the summer, except for a few short stories and my continued presence here online. That wasn't angst, it was transition. I knew it at the time, so it didn't alarm me too much.

I doubt I'll be back at the 2006 peak word counts again. I write slower and more thoughtfully, and will probably continue to slow down as I work at it. This is mostly a problem for my own self-evaluation process, but I'm beating myself into submission. And even with the issues, it's not a writing year to be anything but proud of.

I'd like to produce at least two first draft novels a year. (I did not even produce one complete first draft in 2007.) I'd like to produce them with enough lead time for the steeping aspect of the New Model Process to really be effective. Short fiction is still a great pleasure of mine, but I think I just need to be very relaxed about my numbers there, given that I'm committed to doing novels.

Once, I thought that if I did it fast enough I could do it all. Now, I want to do it well, at whatever pace that takes.
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User: voluptasia
Date: 2008-01-01 17:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Interesting to notice how much more LJ is getting your words than that which you publish and get paid for. =)

Best wishes for a productive and successful (whatever that means to you) 2008! =)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-01-01 17:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes. I was just noticing the same thing, to no little irritation on my part. Grr.

And likewise to you, for 2008!
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eclectic_writer
User: eclectic_writer
Date: 2008-01-01 17:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dude, how'd you count all your lj posts?

Awesome output no matter what though. Here's to hoping 2008 will be even better! ;)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-01-01 17:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Archived it at ljbook.com, then extracted the text from the resulting .pdf and counted it in Word. I'm going to try to reverse the ratio of LJ-to-fiction in 2008.
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kara_gnome
User: kara_gnome
Date: 2008-01-01 17:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes, a lot of lj words, but if I may...you're using your lj as a, besides other things, as a classroom. In a way, maybe this is a lot of raw material for another step in your writerly life.

Maybe you'll teach a class, if you haven't already. Maybe you'll write a how-to-write book, someday. Heck, you've got a lot of it here already, spread out over your lj :).

I mean, you can't know, at this point, how it will come in handy for your writing career. Well, okay, *if* it does, but still, it could, someday.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-01-01 17:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, thank you. That's kind of how I see it, too. The bulk of what I post here is writing, politics or link salad. That doesn't seem like wasted time to me, really. I am a very political animal, and much of the writing talk is me working out what I think.

It's not the amount which bothers me so much as the ratio, if you take my meaning.
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kara_gnome
User: kara_gnome
Date: 2008-01-01 18:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Always something, it seems. I wonder if that's part of the process, too? We're writing 10,000 words a day, but X suffers, and the 10,000 words are fine, but if only X could be better!

Writing's a funny thing, really. Your blog often talks about this, and it's very true.
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Leah Cutter: Word count
User: lrcutter
Date: 2008-01-01 18:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Word count
As always, I'm impressed (and envious!) of your word count. But I also understand that my process is different, and it's okay.

I'm always at a loss for how to count revision time. Because while the actual word count may not change, most of the words in that word count have.

I hope that next year continues to be a writing success for you.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2008-01-01 21:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Have a great 2008, Jay!
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mevennen
User: mevennen
Date: 2008-01-01 21:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sorry - the anonymous good wishes were from me! Logged in now.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-01-01 23:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And my thanks!
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jeffsoesbe: bald man thinking cap
User: jeffsoesbe
Date: 2008-01-02 05:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:bald man thinking cap
LiveJournal, on the other hand, is up quite a bit. Somehow this doesn't seem like a good thing.

Well, I agree with Kara that one of the purposes of your LJ is as a classroom and public diary on writing process and the writing life. This is a purpose that I, as a beginning writer, appreciate very much. Thank you!

Also, I think LJ might function as your "ubiquitous capture book" of things that interest you. At VP, Cory talked about how when he wrote _Little Brother_ (his new book) he realized that BoingBoing had been his capture journal and that he was pouring tons of BoingBoing-developed info and opinion into the book. So, perhaps LJ helps with that aspect of your writing as well.

Of course, this could all be nothing more than cheap rationalization...

- yeff
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-01-02 13:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Like what Kara said, I agree with you here. I'm just trying not to give myself a free pass for something on which I might need to focus with a hard eye. Grr.

We'll see how the next few months go.
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User: hkneale
Date: 2008-01-02 14:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:John Thornton
Transition. Yeah. Me too.
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User: tsheehan
Date: 2008-01-04 17:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It might be too late after this entry to comment, but I gotta say, thanks for posting your rejections as well as your sales. In a weird way it gives me great comfort to know that you never stop getting bounces.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-01-04 17:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yah. I try to be transparent about the downsides, yanno? Though honestly, I've come to review rejection less and less as a downside.
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