Monday, December 31, 2007


Annual Output

It's become something of a tradition for me to post about my annual output on the last day of the year. As with years previous, I'm only counting fiction, and only counting new words written (some of these, like Set the Seas on Fire and Iron Jaw and Hummingbird, were partially complete already at the beginning of the year, so I'm only counting the stuff written in '07, and others, like Three Unbroken, were still only partially complete at year's end).

This is the first year in which I've written full-time, with Georgia spending part of every day (ideally, at least) in preschool. Life intruded more than a few times, of course, and so I didn't actually get to work every day (in December, particularly, I only managed a scant handful of days working, due to various family illnesses and trips to doctors and hospitals, and those few days hardly productive ones). Still, I was interested to see how my productivity this year compared to previous years in which I was only able to work part time.

As a basis for comparison, here's my total output for the last two years, in both of which I was only able to work part-time at best.
2005: 158,985
2006: 169,800

Set the Seas on Fire 22,382 new words
End of the Century 167,245
Iron Jaw and Hummingbird 64,093 new words
The Dragon's Nine Sons 94,151
Star Trek: Brave New World 40,600
Three Unbroken (first twenty chapters) 30,234

"Death on the Crosstime Express" 8,056
"Assault on Miral Prime" 7,427
"Abominable Memory" 7,478

Total new words written in 2007: 441,666

Not bad. Not bad at all. This year I managed to do better than the last two years combined, and this year's output included some of my best long-form work to date, at least in my opinion. Considering that I only wrote a few hours a day at most (about four or five hours daily on average), and then only for a few weeks out of each month, I feel pretty good about the results. One of my goals for the year was to work out a sustainable schedule, one I could follow over the long haul, including time each day for exercise, loads of time for playing with Georgia and just hanging out with Allison, and time off every now and again to lunch with friends or read a book just for pleasure. Aside from the last month, which was pretty much scrubbed due to the aforementioned difficulties, I've pretty much managed to hit all the marks and still produce more work than any year to date. It's a promising indicator of what I'll hopefully be able to do in the next few years.

Wearing my editor/publisher hat, I did reasonably well, in comparison. MonkeyBrain only published three titles this year, due to a variety of factors, internal and external, but those three were gems: Paul Cornell's British Summertime, Kim Newman's Secret Files of the Diogenes Club, and Sean Williams's Cenotaxis. For those keeping score, that's one first-US novel, one short story collection, and one original novella. We're expecting to do about as many next year, if things go according to plan, for what it's worth.

And on the parenting front? Georgia is still the cutest, smartest kid on the planet (don't believe me? Go see for yourself). So I've got no complaints on that score.

Am I to infer that Brave New World is your contribution to the Myriad Universes series?
Yes, indeed. "Brave New World" is the title to my short novel in the omnibus Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Echoes and Refractions.
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