The Writing Excuses crew talked about this but I can't remember who they cited when they brought it up. Maybe it was Kevin J. Anderson. Dunno. The basic gist of it is that if you want to get published, you have to write a million words before any of it is good.
I hope that's the case. I also wish someone had told me that sooner because I'm way past a million. To the best of my recollection, here's my bibliography of complete works from seventh grade onward, which doesn't include the amorphous pile of syntax that I threw into a Word doc when I was 10, mostly because I had no idea for the story and no clue what the hell was actually going on.
I'm also not including the Donkey Kong Country fanfic that I wrote in third grade. Because I'm not.
(I've posted a similar list in the past, but this one is more thorough).
1996: There was no title, but I drafted a short story for a Goosebumps contest in Disney Adventures! magazine, and ended up winning one of 75 third-place prizes, including a video game.
1997: I also wrote a long and wandering Beast Wars: Transformers fanfic, because in 7th grade that was pretty much the coolest thing ever.
1998: I remember starting a couple of stories but never finished any of them. Pieces of those stories would show up later in the year...
1999: FATE'S HAND was the name for a series involving aliens that sent a probe to our planet which accidentally turned three teenagers into cyborg war machines. When the aliens and their enemies came to Earth, the cyborgs were the super awesome weapons that killed all the bad guys. The MC may have been a Mary Sue. May have.
2000: SILVER was a short story about an Air Force base in the 1950s that had been taken over by werewolves. Despite the entire base going silent, the Army sent in maybe four soldiers, who enlisted the help of (for who knows why) three local farmers to go with them and check the place out. It had plenty of dry humor moments, including a soldier opening a closet door, only to have a cow's head fall out, and the farmer Billy Bob cried when he recognized the cow, and another (senile) farmer said it was a fine head of cattle. Yes. I wrote this. Plot twist, the senile old guy was a werewolf.
Also in 2000, whilst on a Halloween kick, I wrote PHOBIA, about a generic fear-based monster that attacked a car full of frat boys on a rainy Oregon highway one night. It had giant ninja rats with bladed claws, a dragon, an electric chair, and a car accident. I was 16.
2001: I rewrote FATE'S HAND. This would go on for a number of years, and it was bad.
Between drafts I wrote a mopey emo UNTITLED short-story about a white-knight kind of guy who worked as a mechanic. The problem was back then I knew less than I know now about cars. For example, you don't bolt the supercharger to the hood. (This was not the worst problem that story had.)
2002: Finished two books in an intended series called STORMCROW. I have blogged about this series. You may remember me mentioning it...
2003: I rebooted FATE'S HAND as a thinly veiled retelling of my senior year of high school, though the alien cyborg-making probe still showed up. The new title was RED KNIGHT. A few people read it and liked it. My friends who read it did not like it. I wonder why...
For two years I didn't really write anything, since I was on my mission in Spainn.
2005: The first thing I wrote when I returned home was THERO, which I intended as a single scene that I would add later to a larger book. The entire mess came out to twenty-five thousand words. One action scene, yet nearly a third of the length of most YA novels. I have never over-written anything as badly as I did that scene.
2006: The very firstest ever-ever version of SIDEWINDER! And it will never see the light of day!!! I also participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time, with an unfinished novel called KINGS AND PAWNS.
2007: I wrote over seventy thousand words in the sequel to SIDEWINDER, which will also remain dead and buried, never to reach your eyes, because I like you.
2008: SILENT KNIGHT was about a serial killer who did tech support at a cell phone company called Veritas. He used his job to hunt down adulterers and then brutally murder them. (Side note, I use the word "knight" in a bunch of titles, and now I work for a company with that name. Weird.)
BLOOD MONEY was another Mary-Sue project based on a fleeting idea I had for a war between plasma donors and blood donors. It took place in Provo. No good stories take place in Provo.
SPECTER CELL: the non-YA forerunner to my Ghost Machines series, this one was more akin to an epic fantasy technopunk, with no ghosts in it. At 148,000 words, it is the longest single book I have ever written.
2009: I went back to the drawing board on SIDEWINDER and did a much better version.
LUNARATUS was an historical fantasy intended as the start to a series, and I won an award at Storymakers for the first chapter.
GHOST MACHINES was the reboot of SPECTER CELL.
2010: SIMON SERAPH (unfinished), my first attempt at YA paranormal romance. Ha! Die.
SUGAR & SPICE, a short story about gingers versus vampires, two soulless races who hate each other.
BROTHERS-IN-ARMS, a military sci-fi set in the future. Basically a last-man-standing zombie fight. The two main characters were Mormons--I wrote and published this story in the MONSTERS & MORMONS anthology.
2011: PRIME CALIBER: (unfinished.) A post-WW3 story that I intend to reboot. This year I signed with my agent, so I also rebooted GHOST MACHINES and SIDEWINDER again.
The first version of TECHNOMANCER came into existence as well.
2012: This year saw yet another reboot of GHOST MACHINES and SIDEWINDER, the latter of which began to frustrate me exceedingly. For fun, I wrote a paranormal battle royale called THE ULTIMATE QUESTION, and I also wrote my best novel yet, RESOLUTE.
2013: So far? I finished a full-length novel, THE HERO NEXT DOOR. I also did a short story for a proposed anthology, JIM TUCKER, JERK TRUCKER.
And I finished one novella which shall remain untitled. I am halfway through a second. There will be a third. Then there's whatever I end up writing for NaNo this fall.
It was fun to put this list together, and doing so kind of helped me see how much I've gotten done in the past decade. If you write or produce stuff regularly, keep track of it--you'll see what kind of ruts you get stuck in (GHOST MACHINES!!! SIDEWINDER!!!) as well as what new threads you decide to run with.
Don't you have some work, to which you must be getting back?