In 2013 I wrote just under 45,000 words, which means that I didn’t meet my goal for the year. I did write more words than in 2013, which is great. And I’m happy with the story I published, and generally happy with the rest of the work I did, even though most of that work is still unfinished.
For 2014 I’ve again set my goal for 60,000 words total. That’s 5,000 words a month. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.
There were two entire months this year — July and August — where I wrote nothing at all. Those months I do regret. It was at the point where I didn’t know how to finish the novel that was my largest bit of work in 2013. Eventually I turned to a short story and finished that, then started another one. For 2014, I don’t want to let that happen again. So a secondary goal is to write at least something every week and have no zero-word months.
There is a lot of argument among independent authors about what success means. Many writers consider success to be making a lot of money with your publishing efforts. Most of us would love to make a lot of money, but that doesn’t mean we all define success that way. I am one of those who does not.
Writing fiction is deeply satisfying to me, but it still doesn’t come easy. I’m learning a lot along the way, mostly about story structure, characters, and how to weave all the elements together. So for me, for now, success is the ability to continue to write and to see my abilities grow stronger. That is all. In that framework 2013 was a huge success, even though I made almost no money.
I turned 60 years old this past fall and yet I still don’t feel rushed. There is time to write, time to keep learning, to become a better writer and a better publisher. That is the only thing I can control, and so I will.