As hockey fans know, few organizations keeps better statistics on the game than the NHL. Listen to TV or radio play-by-plays and you’ll inevitably hear something like “and that was his 352nd goal, breaking an all-time goal-scoring team record which was previously achieved by so-and-so on the February 23, 2002 game against the Penguins, at 18:22 in the third period.” Commentators must have computer screens full of stats at their fingertips because they’re great a rattling off every player and team history going back fifty years.
Personally, I’m awestruck by the amount of time and energy spent accumulating stats on goals, assists, wins, losses, draws, injuries, shut-outs, hat tricks, and on and on. Thanks to years of watching the Canucks, I’ve learned to keep pretty detailed stats myself which are tucked away in a red binder, for my eyes only. The binder includes a year-by-year record of published work, the magazines that have accepted my work, money earned or complimentary copies received. I also keep a record of all submissions, acceptances and rejections. I keep a page for numbering newly completed projects, contest recognition, blogs and reviews written, book royalties paid, and so on.
Why go to all this trouble, you ask? Well, the answer is partly for practical reasons. Since I file a business statement every year and claim expenses, Revenue Canada Agency likes to know what I’ve been up to. Also, I need to remember what I’ve published or submitted when and where. I want to know who keeps rejecting me and who keeps buying my work. It’s just good business.
But my red binder also represents years of accomplishment and inspiration to see how much further I can go. Will I publish more next year than I did this one? Will I earn more? Have I submitted enough or have I slacked off? Can I do better next year? Sometimes, in order to understand and appreciate hard work and effort ... and especially in order move ahead, you need to know where you’ve been. Thanks for the lesson, NHL.
To read excerpts of Taxed to Death and Fatal Encryption visit www.debrapurdykong.com