2021 Year of Writing in Review

2021 Wrap Up

2021 is almost done. I like to take a look at the past year and acknowledge the highs, the lows, and all of the “I don’t knows.”

I have kept a tracking sheet of my writing pretty regularly since 2013. I use Numbers, but I also use a little book. Yes, I keep the same info in both. But the Numbers spreadsheet does a nice job of helping my analyze my results.

Based on these numbers, 2021 was a better year for me in terms of Acceptances.

I sent out 96 projects in 2020 and less than 10% of them led to publication. But in 2021, I sent out 33 projects and had a 15% acceptance rate! That’s pretty good based on my past results.

In comparison to 2020, I only received 5 acceptances this year, while I had 7 in 2020.

I was thinking I have to add a new column to my tracker because this year I actually turned down two offers.


I said no to a writing project. Twice.

Can you believe it? It felt very weird. I don’t like saying no, I still have the feeling of “say yes to it all, you need it!” But a long conversation with my agent Miranda Paul helped me keep an eye on the bigger picture.

I’m also waiting to hear back from Highlights on some submissions that are still in progress. So this data can change.


In past years, I haven’t always been that productive toward the end of the year, but I did send out three pitches in December. The Y axis on my graph might need to change because I doubt I’ll be sending out 40 of anything in one month in coming years.

I also worked on more longer projects in 2021. I completed two middle grade novel manuscripts. That’s a lot of words – even though one is a graphic novel. I estimated over 60,000 words between the two. I also revised a middle grade manuscript this year (but I had written a few years ago) that was 56,000+.

But how much did I make?

I am working to make writing my career. That means I want to make a good income as a writer. I haven’t shared my income information yet, but author Laura Purdie Salas does an amazing blog post every year detailing her income streams.  I want to get brave enough to share my information sometime soon.

One thing I can share for now is that I made about $200 more last year. A big part of this came from my offering editing services on Reedsy. That has been so much fun, I’m really glad I signed up as a professional there. I am proud of my 5 star rating!

But I spent twice as much on continuing education this year and that was hiring professional editors for several projects. So in the end, I netted about $1,000 less.

I’m so curious to see how 2022 goes!

My 2020 data for comparison:

You can take a look at previous years at these links:

2019 and 2020 Writing Tracking

2018 Acceptances/Rejections

Submissions, Acceptances, and Rejections 2016-2018