Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Silly Goals, the Silly Stats.

Do you have any silly goals? Ones that don’t really mean that much, but stick in your mind anyway?

My goal for a long time was to get past selling one million words. Or at least one million words of finished and polished work. Well, in my guesstimations, I thought I’d get there by the end of this year.

I’m way short.

As it stands, I’ve definitely written 630,966 words, plus an estimated 92,000 that I’ve lost. (Two novellas and three short stories, and I refuse to buy my own stories just to count, LOL.) That’s only 722,966 words.

I should be at about 855,000 by the end of the year.

So, middle of next year, hopefully! Not that it matters.

And I’ve been saying I’ve sold fifteen novellas for about two years now. Oopsy, I lied. I counted today, realizing that such a number wouldn’t stay the same, LOL. I’m just now at sixteen, so I was wrong. I’ve sold forty-two short stories, though. Holy crap. Can you believe that? I can’t. Who would’ve ever thought me would get forty-two short stories done?!

That’s not that much. Ray Bradbury wrote one story a week for like, years, didn’t he?

The other silly number and goal I’ve got stuck in my head is one hundred novels. I don’t know why. LOL. Well, hey, if Nora can do it, why can’t I? Maybe they won’t be as good ...

At this point, ONE novel would be nice, LOL. Here I am worried about a hundred. Several of my novellas were novels I split into two parts, but they don’t feel like novels. They have 6 hinges instead of 3, LOL. Come to think of it, do novels have more turns or just bigger turns than novellas? More subplots layered in with the three big, main turns, or what?

Shit, I never thought about that. Do you know?

Come to think of it, where did I ever get the idea it was right to have 3 pivotal scenes in a novella?

Oh boy. Methinks I’m getting scared for nano. Tough.

So what about you? Do you have any goals that are just a tad ... silly? And why do we sometimes feel embarrassed, admitting our dreams? That’s silly, too.

7 bonus scribbles:

Angie 10/29/2007 03:00:00 AM  

I read about someone, I forget who but I think it was an SF writer, who as an exercise started (not necessarily finished, but started) a new story every day for a year. I've been wanting to do something like that (only cut down to a month 'cause a year's a bit excessive) for a while now but haven't come up with a "clear" month to set aside for it. Of course, I'm doing NaNo and November isn't a terribly convenient month for a major writing blitz, so I guess it's just a matter of picking a month and then scheduling everything else around it.

It's a silly goal because it doesn't really buy you anything, but I think it'd be a good exercise. Even if I never finished most of the stories, I think it'd be a great workout for generating and developing story ideas. I have a bazillion ideas but most of the notes in my Ideas file have been there for years, so I need work on actually turning them into stories, at least conceptually. I'll do it one of these months. :)

Another one I remember was something I read, about how you can't call yourself a "real" writer until you've accumulated a thousand rejection slips. It wasn't meant literally of course, but was a way of thinking about rejection slips to turn them into pluses instead of minuses. Or at least, into milestones on the road of your apprenticeship as a writer. Because even if all you're getting is rejection slips, the fact that they're piling up means that you're writing and submitting, which is the only way to get published. Practicing and learning and developing good work habits are all important things to do, whether or not you've actually gotten a check yet.


Bernita 10/29/2007 06:55:00 AM  

I think you're disgustingly prolific.

Edie 10/29/2007 10:32:00 AM  

LOL, I'm with Bernita. I'm sure I have many silly goals, but I can't think of them right now. I do look at Rs when I'm in a bookstore to see where my books will be place. Isn't that what all writers do?

spyscribbler 10/29/2007 11:07:00 AM  

Ohmigawd, Angie, they say one thousand rejection slips?? Wow. That is so not going to happen, LOL. I'd stop at one hundred and do some major writing, write ten practice novels or something, hire an editor, anything. Or quit, LOL.

(I'm not saying that's a wise course of action. Just saying, LOL ...)

A new story every day for a year. That'd be cool. I used to have a file full of ideas, but I've slowly worked through most of them. I need to get going again, LOL.

spyscribbler 10/29/2007 11:19:00 AM  

Oh no, Bernita and Edie. That's the thing, I'm not! I think I only average about 5,000 - 8,000 a week, and I spend about 25 hours a week. That's only about 200 words an hour. So I'm kinda lazy a lot of the time (I love wandering around the bookstore, taking some time to read ...).

But it builds up. Who would've thunk it?

Angie 10/29/2007 11:19:00 AM  

SS -- LOL! Like I said, it wasn't meant literally. :D I think the whole point was that it really wasn't a reachable goal, unless you were absolutely the stubbornest and most determined awful writer out there. [wry smile]

It was an article in a magazine or a writing book or something like that, done humorously, where the writer claimed to have read or been told this. He was all chipper at first because his rejection slip collection was growing nicely, but then he actually got accepted! Well, that's disappointing -- he's a slip behind! So he keep sending out more stories and slowly his accumulation of rejections slows down until he despairs of ever getting to a thousand and being a "real" writer.

I think the point was that it might seem at first as though you're getting bazillions of rejections (and at first I'm sure that's true for all of us [cough]) but if you look at the goal of getting to a thousand of them, it'll eventually turn around. [ponder] It's one of those psychological things that probably either works for you or doesn't. :)


spyscribbler 10/30/2007 10:47:00 AM  

LOL, that's true. That's too frightening to me to be inspiring, LOL! :-)