Well, the novel revision is done and sent and various other projects are moving forward–including the selling of the novel and writing a lot of support materials. But also meeting the obligations of all the short stories I agreed to (before I realized that I’d be pretty brain-dead for the first 3 months of the year as well as sore and tired all the time.) So here are some thoughts about the whole “gotta hit the deadlines and keep my oar in the water” situation of being a professional writer with no contract in hand:
Writing is a lot more than typing up a cool idea. Just from the gross word-generation standpoint, it’s long and tedious and a tremendous amount of work. For example:
Since the first of the year, if all current projects continue on track through the end of 2015, I shall have written 4 short stories and 2 mosaic-novel segments (of 5,000 words each), and turned in a total of 5 shorts plus the 2 mosaic pieces (plus revision and other work on the novel). Right now, I’ve got 3 of the 4 shorts in the can–with one of them completely through editorial up to the compositing and proofing stage. I’m starting work on the last short and waiting on the mosaic starts. Right now, my short story word count for the year stands at 18,531 with up to 15,000 to go. There’s still one short story hanging editorial fire from last year with a word count of 4,861 that I completed late September of 2014 and turned in before Bad Things happened to the anthology it was supposed to run in. And the story I’m starting now that’s due by the middle of the month will probably run small at about 2,500 (though it has the option of running up to 5,000) words.
It’s hard to know how many words I generated, versus how many I just changed, cut, moved, and so forth in the novel revisions, but the total number of words “revised” on that project this year (not last year, when it was being created as a first draft) is 292,000 (plus another 20-30,000 or so in background stories, notes, changes, excisions, and re-writes.) If the novel sells this year, I’ll probably be revising it one more time before the end of December. Added to that, if all the shorts complete their editorial cycles this year, I’ll be revising, creating, or otherwise managing the equivalent word count of 4 “standard” novels, but the print word count for this year may be zero due to editorial cycles.
And that’s why it seems to take writers forever to put out a new book or short story.