Readers, subscribe for a freebie. Click Here!


An Author's Year: Writing 2023

As a professional writer, it seems I work hard but the rewards (and publications) come much later. The wait is often measured in years instead of weeks or months. And of course, some of my writing (including 2023 efforts) may never be published. 

Despite zero new books published in 2023, I've been busy. Most weeks my writing and writing-related work is a full-time job of 35-40 hours a week during the school year. (I took off July and August.) However, I'm awful at keeping track. 

As encouraged by Julie Hedlund in the 12 Days of Christmas for Writers annual writers' wrap-up, I want to keep track of my accomplishments. (Learn more and sign up here!)

But I do keep track of some work-related things. If you're curious about my writing year, read on.

Writing Projects

Writing projects go beyond books. Are you surprised by anything here?

0 published books
0 new contracts based on my ideas (pitched through my agent)
8 contracted books completed and submitted in 2023:
     Flick! The Truth About Lizards (Reycraft Books. This was pitched in 2022.) 
     6-book work-for-hire educational market series
     1 book definitely outside of my regular writing, a work-for-hire project
31 blog posts written and published
    15 here at
1 manuscript abandoned (Its future is currently unknown.)
3 educator guides written, designed, and shared
    2 for me
    1 for a client
1 author visit guide written, designed, and shared
?? Rejections (Too many to count.)
             I let my agent keep close track of that though I do get updates. I wouldn't be able to stay in this business if I counted them. Three manuscripts have been out on sub for about two years with no contracts in sight.
1 manuscript revisit and overhaul plans after an encouraging rejection 

Writer Income
Less than $10,000 through the writing of the books. (The 6-book series noted above were very short books.)

However, much of my work as a writer isn't writing. Read on.

I love to teach all ages! Some events last for days. Others lasted for less than an hour from my computer. Some were local. Others were a plane ride away. I visited Oregon, California, and Vermont. I live in Pennsylvania, but had events in nearby Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland, too.

The number of events doesn't reflect how many presentations I shared. In-person author visits often have 3-4 presentations in a day. I had a week of 5-programs-a-day this year. At writing conferences I teach as many sessions as requested. Sometimes it's intense. Other times it's low-key. No matter what, there's always a lot of preparation involved (even if I've taught the same topic before). 
All presentations take time to prepare. Some might be a 4,000 word talk written, revised, and practiced. Others are outlined, revised, and practiced. All include slideshows to help visual learners (when events are indoors). Many include handouts.

19 days of author visits (at schools or online)
3 family literacy night events
3 community events (like zoo, library, church, museum, book festival, story time events)
6 writing conference/workshops (in person and online)
6 educator/librarian/history conference workshop
37 total events

Should I mention here I am an introvert and get my energy by quiet/alone time? 

But also know that I love people. Maybe we'll meet at one of my 2024 events?

Event Income
I do not know the total income earned through events this year. However, I do know that some events were unpaid or deeply discounted events. In incurred expenses for many of them. However, my event income makes up the majority of my 2023 income. 

Helping Writers/Consultations
24 writers/organizations helped through critiques or consultations as well as editorial work. 

Consultation Income
I do not know the total income earned through consultations this year. Honestly, the income wasn't much. I have tried to keep my fees affordable while providing top-notch services. Like my other work, some of this was volunteered, such as helping my critique partners and church.

Additional Work
I'm sure you understand that reading is part of my work--even when I'm not researching. This typically happens away from my desk (and often throughout evenings and weekends). Social media marketing definitely consumes a lot of time. I took a break from it in the summer. Sometimes I'm invited to a podcast or interview for an article or blog. All of this takes time even if it doesn't earn money directly. 

I wrote a similar post sharing about my year as an author last year. 

What surprised you the most about my writing year? I know most are surprised about the money. Many are equally surprised at how much nonwriting is still work. What surprises you?

If you like this post, please consider signing up for my monthly author newsletter. Thanks!

No comments