Well, well, well. It’s a bit early, but this blog has been around for FIVE years. Five years! The first post was on July 20, 2012. And here it is:
My New Novel
July 20 by dariusjones
[This entry is a repost from my earlier, Goodreads blog. It was the first post on “A Writer Begins.”]
Well, here goes nothing.
My first novel has just been published. It’s on the Amazon Kindle store here. It’s also on Goodreads.
Please take the time to leave a review. And a big thank you to all of you who have already got it and are reading it.
I was so nervous to hit “PUBLISH” on that first post. And I honestly didn’t want to do it, but I felt that’s what a writer should do once they published something in this day and age. So, I did it. The blog has come a long way since then: the posts are longer, have a more conversational tone and have pictures (even GIFs and videos).
I want to use this post to take a deeper look at my blog and my writing over the past five years. I’m going to do this via simple stats and lists.
First, here’s a breakdown of the stats for this blog:
Total posts: 198
Total followers: 188
Comments received: 103
Visitors in the first year: 5
Most popular post: The Craft: Poe’s Unity of Effect
Posting schedule: Once every two weeks.
Not bad, lots of progress there. I’ve also stuck to my established posting schedule of once every two weeks. I wish I could do more, but with my writing fiction, sleeping, working out and…Oh yeah!!!—that full time job—that’s about all I can handle.
Second, here’s a look at my submission/rejection totals for stories.
My first story submission was also in July 2012. This was the rejection letter I received July 8, 2012 (just before the blog began):
Thanks for submitting “The Hatchlings,” but I’m going to pass on it. It didn’t quite work for me, I’m afraid. Best of luck to you placing this one elsewhere, and thanks again for sending it my way.
And yes, I keep all my rejection and acceptance letters. Here’s a deeper look at my submission/rejection stats from my Duotrope listings which I use to track my story submissions. (Hat tip to Aeryn Rudel from which I’m errrrr, “borrowing” this idea of sharing rejection stats. But seriously, you should check out his blog, Rejectomancy!)
Never heard back from publisher: 8
Withdrawal by author: 7
Pending submissions: 3
Acceptance/Rejection ratio: 3.9% [Believe it or not, that’s not too bad.]
So, also looking back from the start of this blog…from that moment when I decided I’m going to give this writing thing a shot: What has changed? What’s different? Well, everything is the same, everything is different. I still have the same job, and I still write on the weekends. But certain writing milestones have occurred. I think a Q-and-A format might answer these best, so apologies for the cheesiness, but let’s dive in!
Darius, what writer milestones have you passed in these last five years?
Q: Have you self-published a story or book?
A: Yes. I self-published a novel, The Library of Lost Books and a novella, The Man Who Ran from God on Amazon Kindle.
Q: Have you traditionally published a story? That is, has a magazine/publisher published your work?
A: Yes, four times. All of them were stories: The Hatchlings, The Ghul of Yazd, Barabanchik, and So You Found Me.
Q: Have you received payment for publishing a story?
A: Yes, first via Amazon for my self-published work. And also for two of my traditionally-published stories for magazines.
Q: Have you signed a contract for a piece you published?
A: Yes. Twice for the same pieces I received payment for.
Q: Which of your published pieces are you most proud of?
A: The Ghul of Yazd. Its characters, its structure, its dialogue and its tone have that “unity of effect” I’m always looking to create. And it’s simply a good yarn.
Q: Have you attended a Con with a writing track and participated in writer events?
A: Yes. Attended writer panels and workshops at two RavenCons.
Q: Have you written a play?
A: Yes. Something titled The Sludge Ship Chronicles.
Q: Have you had a play staged/performed?
A: Alas, no. But it’s ready to go! Finished, and proofed and everything! If anyone out there can help market it, let me know! It can be produced cheaply, I swear! Anyone? Anyone???
Q: Have you had a novel traditionally published?
Q: Have you received an advance for a novel?
A: Oh God, no.
Q: Have you got an agent?
Q: Have you done a book tour or an event promoting your own work?
Q: Have you quit your day job because you thought: “Let’s make a go of it as a pro?”
So, there you have it. Five years of this blog, five years of submissions and five years of writing fiction. I’ve come a long way, especially when you consider I’m doing this on the side, catch as catch can.
The most fundamental thing I’ve done in writing and the one thing I’m really sticking to now is: Writing what I want to write. I can not emphasize this point enough. It is absolutely key, as I discussed in this post and many other places. In the end, picking the right story is easy. You know that strange, enduring story? The one that doesn’t let you sleep at night? That has you imagining the main characters as you sit through yet another PowerPoint presentation? That’s running through your mind as you’re on the bike at the gym doing Cardio? That’s the story you have to write! That one, right there! Get it out, and trust me, you’ll feel a lot better.
Well, that’s about it. Thanks to you, the blog readers, for tuning in. And a big thanks to friends, family and my partner for supporting my writing in ways big and small, spiritual and material. It means so very much to me to have you in my life and know you support what I’m doing.
With that, I’m off to write some fiction.
See you guys next time,