career metrics.

The contents of my Scrivener folder as of this morning:

  • 3 complete novels (55k, 89k, and 100k words, respectively)
  • 5 complete short stories
  • 5 partial novels in various stages of completion/development
  • 3 partial short stories, ditto
  • 3 abandoned partial novels (one of which was retooled to become TERMS OF ENLISTMENT.)

All in all, that’s roughly half a million words…not the most prolific output for five years of work, but certainly not chicken scratch.  The kicker?  All but one item (five half-assed chapters of an abandoned partial novel) were written after we started having kids.  In the three years between my layoff and the first child, when I had all the time in the world to write, I didn’t get anything written.

The lesson here?  1.) You have to write a lot of crap before your writing gets halfway decent, and 2.) There is a writing life after kids, even if you end up the stay-at-home parent of two.  I guess there’s also a 3.) If you want to write, you’ll find the time.

In other Only-Interesting-To-Fellow-Penmonkeys news, I discovered Scrivener’s one-click “export to ebook format” feature.  Of course, I couldn’t resist the temptation, promptly made ebooks out of all my completed novels, and loaded them on the iPad.  I must say, they look FABULOUS in iBooks. Just like real novels!


14 thoughts on “career metrics.

  1. divemedic says:

    When will we see these novels?

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Well, the MilSF novel is still in Submission Hell with two different publishers and about a dozen agents. The other two…I consider those practice pieces.

      • Tam says:

        I swear to Freja, I initially read that as “…the MILF novel…” and I thought, “Well, at least he’s broadening his writing horizons…

        • Marko Kloos says:

          Hey, I could single-handedly blaze a trail for a new genre: MilfSF.

          “Major Beverly Foxington looked over the line of strapping novice pilots in the lecture hall, ready for their first class of Orbital Insertion 101. ‘Not a bad crop this year,’ she thought. ‘Good thing I poured myself into the extra-tight flight suit this morning.’….”

  2. scotaku says:

    I did all my writing when I was working about 65 hours a week and also having to take care of the kids/home when my Beloved was also working a ton. Then the economy moved me to a more… relaxed schedule and I had basically all the time I “needed” to write, and my word count is about ten thousand. In three years. So I guess there may be something there about carving precious time out to do something you want? Because having too much time might just allow for too much procrastination. YMMV.

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  4. That’s interesting that you found time for writing only after you had children. Looking forward to seeing the novels in print!

  5. FrankC says:

    Will publishers/editors accept submissions in e-book format?
    They’ll surely get a better idea of how the book will look than having to read 1000’s of pages of double spaced manuscripts.
    Plus it saves on postage.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      There’s a standard manuscript format, and it’s Courier 12, double-spaced. The submission process is not the stage where anyone worries about how the book will look in print form.

  6. Al Terego says:

    First of all, let me say that while I am no penmonkey, I would be interested in those ebooks of yours, should they become available for purchase.

    Second, I can’t help but wonder…if you think of the three writers you most admire – not necessarily the most “successful” but rather the ones you aspire to be like – would those writers have been likely give a rat’s ass about “career metrics” at the time they created your favorites?


  7. Tam says:

    I shudder to think how many words I’ve just sprayed into the ether over the years…

  8. john b says:

    I’d love to see some of Tam’s homemade Snark in e-book form.

  9. Jon says:

    Ifin you need an Alpha reader, I hereby donate my time an attention to Terms of Enlistment and any other MilSF you kick out 😉


  10. libertyman says:

    Marko, check with Robin, but perhaps having two more kids would help your writing output.

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