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Writing-Off 2013

21 December, 2013

Around this time of year, it tends to be obligatory for most bloggers to produce a ‘year in review’ post. I usually do a couple – one about my writing year, and one summing up all the best books I read. This, then, is the former.

Bearing in mind there’s still a week or so left of 2013, what has my grand total of fiction words produced been? Drum roll, please! The answer is: 67,809. This is the point where, in an old cartoon, the trumpets would all go floppy with a very sad sound.

Yes, dear reader, that really is my sum total for 2013, and it’s rubbish. This year has been a bit of a write-off when it comes to writing, particularly considering I’ve topped 150k words every year since I started keeping track in 2010, and zoomed past 230k in 2012.

So, what have I accomplished in those meagre 60k? Well, in all honesty, it’s not as bad as it looks. I spent most of the first six months of the year comprehensively editing the novel I wrote last year, which meant a huge amount of time, effort and dedication, but very few new words to add to my spreadsheet. (Yes, I do have a spreadsheet – maybe I’ll show you it some time. Or not.)

Apart from that, my writing really has been all over the place. Knowing that I wanted to query Root (that edited novel) before I started anything new, I instead poked at a few short stories, a potential fantasy-romance novella and an equally sketchy YA fantasy, intentionally without making much progress on any of them. (I say ‘intentionally’ because I have a bad habit of abandoning finished novels and moving onto something new and shiny, without ever trying to sell the last one. I didn’t want that to happen again.) All this time, of course, I was still working on my serial fan-fic for Chronicles of Tyria, which was really the only thing keeping me writing at all, some months.

Now, though, we come to the other reason my yearly word count is so low: the rest of my life. 2013 saw some massive changes for me. At the start of the year, I was still settling into a new job, but by late spring I was already making plans to leave. When I quit my job in the summer, it was to move 100+ miles to a Victorian farmhouse that ‘needed a bit of work’, and I’ve spent the last few months deep in home renovations on a pretty impressive scale.

Next year, I hope, things will settle down. It’s been impossible to keep a writing schedule for the last few months, but with the house finished and our B&B opened next spring/summer, we should be able to return to some semblance of normalcy. (There is, of course, every chance that our new business will completely consume our lives. I can’t exactly hope that doesn’t happen, because it’ll mean we’re being successful.)

I have big plans for my writing in 2014, which I’ll talk about in a later post. For now though, I hope all my readers have a lovely Christmas – and that your writing year was less of a write-off than mine!

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