|2020 began with research on Campobello Island, New Brunswick|
It's time for my annual summary of writing/work stats. This exercise is useful for me because it builds some accountability into a work life that doesn't have much overall structure or supervision.
My writing/life stats for 2020:
Number of Productions/Readings: 14 (12 productions, 2 readings)
These were of 16 different plays, including 1 full-length script. Most of these were streaming performances.
Number of Performances: 21. This includes published plays.
Previous Years productions and performances:
2017: 48 total. 227 performances.
Estimated Audience for 2020: 1,607 total.
Previous Five Years audiences:
(For published plays I estimate low--40 people/performance. I don't track plays used by students in competition, so the actual number is higher. Companies don't always give me the audience report, so I estimate the best I can.)
Reaching audiences is my most important goal and task, more than making money or getting famous--I want my work to engage with audiences. The number of people my work reached in 2020 was down 90% from the previous year. (2020 sucked.)
|Working to publish these plays was a great way to remember the fun we had in 2019.|
Books sold: 76+
Previous Years of book sales:
This year's number is a little misleading because Mount Auburn Cemetery and I gave away a bunch of copies of the new Mount Auburn Plays book, so more than 100+ copies of my books entered active circulation this year. I'd hoped that with people stuck at home due to the pandemic, they would buy more of my novels to read, but the uptick was disappointingly small.
Total: 56 (down from 64 last year)
queries for plays: 0
play scripts submitted: 56 (Last year I sent 62)
I'd hoped to send out 100 scripts but didn't even come close. As soon as things shut down in March, it didn't make much sense to make submissions, because most places were struggling to stay afloat. A bunch of streaming-only opps came up later in the year, but few of them were of interest to me. I was also really busy working on commissioned plays. More and more of my time is spent on Plays in Place projects these days.
|I got to spend a week at the National Winter Playwrights retreat in Grand Lake, CO, right before the pandemic (with many cool writers, including Molly Horan and Bess Welden).|
- Wrote a lot in my journal.
- Wrote Beloved Island: Windows on Campobello, a new site-specific one-act
- Wrote the first draft of Scipio's Balcony, a commissioned full-length site-specific play
- Wrote a short adaptation on commission for New Rep
- Wrote Echoes, a new audio play commissioned from the Huntington Theatre Company
- Wrote the first draft of a new audio play for Lyric Stage
- Began research on a series of new plays for the National Park Service
- Edited and helped publish The Mount Auburn Plays book.
- Wrote an article on the Seven Devils New Play Conference for American Theatre
Plays watched: 30 (saw 39 in 2019)
Movies/TV series watched: 44 (30 in 2019)
Plays read: 14 (23 in 2019)
Books read: 24 (19 in 2019)
I saw a lot of plays before March and watched some streaming shows. I have to confess that I find it a challenge to go back to my office in the evenings to watch a play on my computer, after spending most of the day at my desk. I'm more likely to watch a show on Netflix or something on YouTube down in the living room with my wife.
Patrick's writing $$ for 2020
Gross Income: $14,162
published plays performance royalties: $351
play production royalties: $175
film projects: $0
play commissions: $11,350
my books: $80.34
Plays in Place: $0
misc. (essays, panels, editing, other): $100
Expenses: about $5,822 (includes mileage expenses)
Net Income: $8,340 (before taxes)
2016: Gross Income: $25,857 Expenses: $11,472 net: $14,385
2015: Gross income: $8,662 Expenses: $4,979 net: $3,682
2014: Gross income: $7,974 Expenses $5,580 net: $2,494
2013: Gross income: $7,767 Expenses: 5,758 net: $2,029
2012: Gross Income: $3,844 Expenses: $2,808 net: $1,063
2011: Gross Income: $2,638 Expenses: $4,665 net: $-2,027
Clearly 2020 was a rough one, with my lowest net income since 2015 (though I don't have to look back far to see when my writing made very little money). If I compute my net hourly wage, it was about $6/hr. Which is a reminder to take on projects that I enjoy, because otherwise that money could easily be replaced by a minimum-wage job doing just about anything else.
The audio production of Echoes by the Huntington was one of my highlights of 2020.
Here are my time stats for 2020:
Total working time: 1,882 hours total transit time: 218.5 hours
Time spent on writing : 1,382 hours
- actual writing and research: 580 hours (new record!)
- reading for work (not project research): 21 hours
- play attendance: 55 hours
- rehearsals/writing meetings: 189 hours (includes teaching/consulting.)
- marketing and admin: 176 hours
- Seven Devils Board Work: 36 hours
- Dramatists Guild: 106 hours
- Plays in Place: 200 hours
- Transit time for writing projects: 78.5 hours
Time spent on Home Renovations/Real Estate: 519 hours
- Renovations and repairs to current house: 230 hours
- Fixing up place in Northampton: 289 hours
- Transit time for these: 140 hours
Here's how my time was spent in past years:
2019: 2,119 total work hours. 1,619 writing hours (394 writing/31 reading/83 play attendance/375 rehearsing/210 marketing/11 New Play Alliance/79 Dramatists Guild/437 Plays in Place. 294 hours in transit. 500 hours on home renovations/real estate.
2017: 2,018 total work hours. 1,338 writing hours (371 writing/23 reading/468 rehearsing/347 marketing/129 New Play Alliance and Dramatists Guild)+680 hours on house renovations
2016: 2,096 total work hours. 1,223 writing hours (416 writing/28 reading/438 rehearsing/274 marketing-admin/67 New Play Alliance)+873 on house renovations.
2015: 1,596 total work hours. 1,035 writing hours (262 writing/52 reading/295 rehearsing/303 marketing-admin/123 New Play Alliance) + 561 on moving and house renovations
2014: 1,556 total work hours. 1,426 writing hours (452 writing/109 reading/342 rehearsing/396 marketing/127 New Play Alliance) + 130 hours farming.
2013: 1,898 total work hours. 996 writing hours (394 writing/308 rehearsing/294 marketing) + 902 hours farming
2012: 1,630 total work hours. 896 writing hours. (386 writing/278 rehearsing and meeting/231 marketing) + 734 hours farming
2011: 818 writing hours. (I didn't break out rehearsals from desk writing time in 2011). My kids were a lot younger back then.
Setting a new personal record for writing/research time was a big boost. You can see that my rehearsal and production (Plays in Place) hours were dramatically lower this year, by hundreds of hours. The work on the houses provided some important mental balance and tends to be paid back in the long-run, when the properties are sold (my net hourly return on this kind of work is typically more than $25/hour).
I worked as hard as I could and tried to say as safe and sane as possible. It's painful to ponder some of these stats, but I feel like I did the best I could. I'm curious to see what the next year or two brings--when I look at my slate of committed and potential projects, it's actually a little overwhelming. I think some good, big things might lie in the future.
I hope you all have a productive and prosperous 2021! Happy New Year!