Mark Terry

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Yeah But Post

December 8, 2010
Yesterday's look at my 2010 fiction publication schedule would suggest that I was wildly busy and productive this year. What I failed to mention was that none of those books were actually written or even finished in 2010. That's not true, come to think about it. 31-1/2 Essentials For Running Your Medical Practice was written this year. The proposal was written at the end of 2008, beginning of 2009, we spent most of 2009 fussing around with marketing efforts and I did most of the writing this year.

Which someone begs the question: So, Mark, did you complete any fiction manuscripts this year that will be published next year or the year after?

Um. No. I'm working on it. But no.

So what did I do this year?

Well, one of my spreadsheets indicates 31 invoices, which might not sound like a lot (I've had years with over a hundred), but most of these invoices were for decent chunks of money.

So, for an idea of what a working freelance writer might do during the year:

--4 issues of a technical journal, the 4th issue just now coming to press
--6 trade journal articles, a couple of which I co-wrote with a medical IT consultant. The lowest paying one was $220.80, the highest $2900. Most were somewhere between $400 and $750. I no longer write for the low-end one. Typically I do more articles, but I was doing a lot of other stuff this year.
--5 market research reports. This explains a lot about 2010, I think. Financially lucrative, but not necessarily a lot of fun. Also, unfortunately, I know that this particular client tends to be on an every-other-year cycle, so one year I'm crazy busy with them and make a bunch of money and the next, not so much. Also, they had a financial restructuring going on this year so God only knows what'll happen next year. Ah well.
--twice a week column for an e-newsletter.
--filled in for another column on another e-newsletter
--took on a website content writing/editing gig that's still wrapping up and hopefully will provide additional work in 2011. This was a massive project--almost 600 web pages.

Yeah, so that covers my year fairly well.


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Yes, you've been busy. I have gradually whittled my writing down to the few jobs that pay best. I guess putting my eggs in fewer baskets carries some risk. As far as creative writing goes, I haven't done much. Mary and I have written a big chunk of the next Byzantine mystery and done substantial revision on a couple of stories to be published. Maybe next year will be more productive in that regard.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Yeah, I guess. I've tended to focus on the better paying customers, but I do tend to worry when any of them make up more than, say, 30% (or 50% or 70%) of my annual revenue. I try to adjust for it, but it isn't the easiest thing to do.

9:36 AM  

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