I found 2013 was a good year for writing. After the launch of Rebirths, a friend pointed me to Heinlein’s Rules of Writing. Following these five rules increased my output and kept my quality high. While they can be misapplied and misused, having practiced the craft of writing for years, I was ready to put them to use.
The sticky issue seems to be rule 3: “Never rewrite except to editorial suggestions.” Some take this as “send out your first drafts.” That isn’t the case. Heinlein is saying that good enough is exactly that. Don’t worry about minor rules of punctuation. Let the editor do her job. Don’t polish and rewrite until it is bland, but editing for spelling and consistency are exactly what you need to do. Trust yourself to tell the story.
I figured up how much I have written since I started writing fiction. The first years are lumped together because I could not break them down further.
- 2003-2008: 137,729 (an average of 27,545 words per year).
- 2009: 26,536
- 2010: 29,119
- 2011: 28,109
- 2012: 39,240
- 2013: 60,770
Rebirths is 54,212 words. I wrote it in 2011 and 2012. It was the only thing I wrote in 2012 that went into my calculations (I did not count nonfiction or writing for competitions). That means I wrote enough words in 2013 to be another novel the size of Rebirths-a serious increase in output.
The reason I can’t release 2013 as a book is that they are short stories set in different series of mine. Three of the stories were for Joshua’s Pawn Shop (“The Buick Eight”) and Lou’s Bar & Grill (“Crazy Moon” and “Sixes Wild”). Another, “The Other Cemetery,” was accepted for the anthology Supernatural Colorado. I also finished a novella for Denver Mason’s Iconics Earth setting and worked on two others in the same setting.
Before my friend pointed me to Heinlein’s Rules, I had only written 18,000 words in 2012. From May onward, I wrote 42,000.
Those completed stories for Lou’s and Joshua’s have been submitted or will be submitted soon.