Mark Terry

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Evaluating 2011, Part 1

December 28, 2011
Well, since I insist on creating resolutions/goals etc., for upcoming years, I suppose this is the time to look at the ones I made at the end of 2010 and see how I did.

1. Lose 12 pounds.
No. I didn't. Probably enough said. I exercise more than ever, am probably in the best shape of my life in many ways, but I eat too much and I eat too much of the wrong types of foods. An ongoing struggle.

2. Earn $80,000+ with my writing.
No. Not even close. 2011 was one of my worst years, very close to 2009 in terms of being shitty financially. 2010 was my best year ever. If I average the three years, then I'm quite happy. So the key might be better financial management. I was also hit in 2011 by a non-paying client and a client that had me to do work, then went out of business. Although they claimed they would honor the invoices, nagging hasn't gotten me any money. Also, a third client, whose work is ongoing, hired me and a bunch of other writers to revamp a corporation's giant website. The corp was wildly impractical in terms of their timeline, so although it looked like I would make upward of $8000 on this gig in 2011, I've made about $2000 or so, although I fully expect to make the rest and more in 2012 as everyone's expectations about the size of the project and the timeline starts to merge with reality. I also did some reports that either are totally royalty-based (something of an experiment) or partially royalty-based, so I won't see monies (if I do at all) until sometime in 2012.

3. Finish SINS OF THE FATHERS and get a contract for it.
This is the 5th Derek Stillwater and no, I haven't finished it. I don't know if Oceanview will be interested in it when I do, or if I will even show it to them given that they expressed no interest in looking at the partial earlier in the year. I'm working on it, I will finish it, and it will be published, either sometime in 2012 as an e-book and trade paper, or at a later date in various formats by Oceanview. I just plain don't know yet.

4. Finish A PLAGUE OF STARS and start to market it.
Um, no. This is an SF novel I've been working on for a couple years and it's stalled, although it's on my to-do list for 2012. I'm also working on a short story with the same main character and in the same universe.

5. Finish FREELANCE WRITING FOR A LIVING and e-pub it.
Yes, I did this. To-date, this wildly successful nonfiction book has sold two copies. One to myself. Go me.

6. Make all my current e-books available on PubIt and in paper.
Yes, although not completely. But some of them. This is a slow and ongoing process, but I give it a "qualified yes."

7. Finish CHINA FIRE and begin marketing.
Um, no. And maybe never. Hard to say. But out of several WIPs, this one's not on my radar. Sorry, Natasha. Maybe someday.

8. Get at least one more book contract signed.
Well, yes, although not the way I expected. The point of this was to get a contract for a novel or nonfiction book. That didn't happen, although I self-published several books this year. More about that in tomorrow's post, I think. What did happen was I was contracted by FierceBiotech to write an e-book and it paid quite well, even though the timeframe was murder. These are not really books in the way we think of them, they're really a series of interconnected articles on a single topic and run maybe 5000 words. But I did it, got paid for it, it got published, and got contracted for another one due at the end of January, so I'm happy, actually.

9. Get a ghostwriting gig.
Again, I did a fair amount of article-based ghostwriting this year and although I was thinking of bigger money for book clients when I wrote this resolution, it was an interesting experience overall and I made some money and connections with it.

10. Write a nonfiction book proposal.
Yes, I did this. Probably one of the most intelligent resolutions I have here, because it was under my control. I wrote it, got an agent for it, she marketed it some, it didn't sell. Still, there it is, I have a relationship with the agent, and I think in 2012 I'm going to cannibalize parts of the proposal and try to sell the parts to magazines in the subject area. And it's a nice addition to the portfolio and was a good experience.

11. Run a 5K.
I did. It was both horrible and glorious. I'd injured myself a couple weeks before and was just starting to recover, but having paid for it, I ran it with my youngest son, Sean (who damn near lapped me), and I pulled a muscle pretty badly in the first half mile or so, but kept stumbling through the course. It was a sunny, clear and cold day and the course was through woods and farmland and dirt roads and hell, as painful as it was, I'm looking forward to running more of them. I've got my "elitefeet 34" big number on my wall in my office.

Tomorrow I'll look at things that happened in 2011 that I didn't plan for but that I think were good.


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

You've been busy. A lot of different projects finished too, despite the misses you mention. If you are like me the fiction projects are always getting shoved aside by better paying non-fiction work. But you never know what just might suddenly take off or open a door so the more the better.

Great that you ran a 5k. For a few years I loved doing road races, slow as I was. And I still remember how thrilled I was when I finished my first race. And how much it hurt while I was running!

9:21 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Thanks Eric. Yeah, fiction gets pushed aside when I'm busy with better paying work.

My relationship with running is rocky, but I seem to be on better terms with it lately.

12:12 PM  

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