Monday, December 30, 2013

The Race for the New Year

New Years Resolutions, blah, blah blah.  Almost everyone makes them and almost everyone forgets them.  And even those who don't forget them don't follow through with them.  Don't believe me?  What were your goals from last year?  The year before?

And how are you doing on them?

Ah, but I digress.

For the last two or three months I've been making writing goals, and for the most part achieving them.  (I'll probably fall short of the new 30,000 words for this month but there's an outside chance to make that goal if I can stop blogging about it.)

Making goals for next month is nothing new.  But, since it is a new year, let's make something worthwhile.  Something achievable.

I'm entering two races.

Dean Wesley Smith (I mention him a lot here) wrote a long time back about making goals.  Somewhere along the line the goal setting method became known as The Race.  I couldn't dig out the original post of his, but this website references it.

It goes like this.  You get:

  • 1 point for every short fiction piece you have submitted to paying markets
  • 3 points for every novel synopsis + 3 chapters (to markets, agents don't count)
  • 8 points for every complete novel submitted to paying markets (again, agents don't count. Only places that can but the novel)
  • As soon as it sells the points come off.  Previously sold pieces that is in the market for other sales (anthologies and so on) count towards the tally
The idea, or one of them, is that the higher number you have, the more you sale.  This is due to two reasons.  1) More chances to sale and 2) The more work you produce, the more practice you get and thus, the better your work should become.

Writers with high numbers (50 and above) tend to make it.  Writers with lower numbers (Mine is currently at 11) tend to not make it.

So what about the e-publishing world?  Dean discussed that sometime back here (courtesy of Amanda McCarter and Annie Bellet):

The eRace.  It's similar, but the points don't come off.  You get 

  • 1 Point for every short story e-published
  • 3 Points for every short story collection e-published (5 or more)
  • 5 Points for every novel e-published
The points don't go off so it's possible to have a number in the 1000's.

Oh, and I just read this before publishing this post:
So you have to get 5 sales in the epub world before it counts towards your eRace total.

One of my goals is to be a successful hybrid writer, publishing in both worlds.

So yeah.  I'd like to complete 2 novels this year and, say 30-50 short stories.  I keep playing with that number.

But how about something more lofty?  This year I will achieve the following:

A Race score of 60.
An eRace score of 40.

I'm not sure how lofty those goals are.  The 60 seems easier, as I haven't put any new e-works out there.  (I guess I currently have a score of 5 in the eRace.  You're welcome to go find and buy those stories, they're out there.  But I wrote them years ago and I'm not happy with them.  I can't bring myself to take them down yet, but eventually I will.  Probably.  I think.)

60 and 50?  Can it be done?  Stay tuned here to find out. I sure hope the answer is yes.

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