2019 kept me busy. Between my dayjob, my own projects, and helping friends and family with their projects, I was, as always, completely overbooked.
As with 2017 and 2018, I may not have ended my year with a signed agent, but I didn’t just sit around.
I attended 2 writing conventions, wrote 21 short stories, 33 poems, got a mentor who is helping me revise my 1st novel (my 8th time), and revised my fourth novel.
Between Balticon and WorldCon, I hit 39 panels, 7 shows, 4 readings, 2 yoga classes, and helped run 2 parties. Outside of cons, I attended 3 different writing groups, joined the #authortube community, and became a regular at my local open mic nights for writers.
This year, I did a lot more interacting in person, versus all the virtual interaction I’ve done in the past, but I love comparing numbers, so let’s look at them.
My Writing Goals Last Year
I made sure to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound) goals.
- Blogging/Vlogging – don’t break my streak. Maybe add a picture post.
- WIN: Well, no new picture posts, but my streak is still going strong.
- Read at least 26 books this year.
- WIN: I blew this one out of the water with 41 books this year!
- Revise Manuscript (MS) #1 in February, MS #2 in April, and MS #3 or #4 in June.
- PARTIAL CREDIT (50%): Instead of 3 revisions, I’m halfway through a revision with my mentor of MS #1, but I did finish a revision of MS #4. It’s now off with my alpha-reader.
- Once MS #1 has been revised, starting in March, query 3 times a week for 4 months.
- Um… I’m still revising it. I didn’t query At All this year. 😦
- Beta-Readers – after revisions, send MS #2 and MS #3/4 to <8 beta readers.
- Partial Credit (25%): My alpha-reader’s sitting on MS #4, and MS #2 was never revised.
- Attended Balticon and WorldCon as planned.
- Did NOT get on any panels, but that’s fine. This coming year’s looking good 😉
- Writing. Do OctPoWriMo and if I don’t have a great idea by NaNoWriMo, rebel and revise something.
- I did OctPoWriMo – October Poem Writing Month – a themed poem a day for all of October.
- I didn’t rebel by revising, but instead by writing short stories. I hit 50,000 words, so I count that as a NaNoWriMo win.
- And give myself a pass if I don’t get anything accomplished in December.
- Wait? That was on my resolutions? *whew* Thank you, Past-Morgan. You were 110% correct on that front.
Things outside this list I achieved, though?
- Got a writing mentor from The Broad Universe in January
- Set up my own newsletter
- Networking – became a regular at Open Mic Night for writers
- Got asked to read slush for “The Oddville Press” – an online magazine.
- Got asked to help with Balticon programming — due to my extensive panel viewing, I’ve got insight on which panels worked and which panelists I’d love to see again.
- Beta-reading for friends. At least 2 full length novels and 5 shorts.
- Setting up Trello for me (and for a friend on her blog tour for her book release)
Top Lifetime Post
My sleeper hit, 10 Questions To Ask Your Beta Readers, from 2016 is still tops with 2,134 lifetime hits (and is published here). But, it’s way down from its peak, one of 2019’s posts beat it out for popularity.
Despite being less popular than my regular posts, I’m keeping my Query Corner — where I rewrite queries with authors preparing to enter the query trenches, and my Author Spotlight — to help promote friends works. I’m not hustling for entries, but will share them when I have content for them. (If you’d like to participate, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
My Top 10 Posts of 2019!
- Morgan’s Complete Guide For Attending A Convention
- So You’ve Decided to Write A Novel – 7 Tips To Get Started
- Making the Asexual Textual
- Introduction to Hopepunk
- Done To Death: The Art of Killing Characters
- How I Finally Gave In and Set Up My Own Newsletter
- The Future of Podcasting
- Advancing the Story Without Traumatizing Your Characters
- What The Writer Needs to Know: The Brain and The Body
- Picking an Agent (or #PW Mentor) To Query
My Top 5 YouTube Videos! in 2019
Not all of these are from 2019, but here’s what was popular on my feed this year. (I’m still not sure where all my Mythology viewers are coming from, but I’m happy to have them.)
- How To Create a New Mythology (old)
- Sex, Sexuality, and World Building (tons of immediate hits, few watches after they figured out what the actual topic was…)
- 10 Questions To Ask Your Beta Readers (old)
- Intro To Hopepunk
- Tips For Writing Characters With Agency (old)
My Top 3 Posts of 2018
- When you Ask For Someone To Read Your First Chapter
- Agents and Editors Share–Pitches They’re Sick Of!
- So You’ve Decided To Write A Novel – Here are 7 Tips to Get Started
My Top 3 Posts of 2017
- PitchWars is Coming! #PimpMyBio
- Top 10 Tricks For a Better Query Letter
- Confession: I’ve Been Struggling
My Top 3 Posts of 2016
My Top 3 Posts of 2015
Social Media Stats
I like stats and tracking progress, so here are my numbers for 2019. I tried to be both engaged and engaging, while still invested in upping my content creation in all mediums.
First off, I worked on getting more followers for my Youtube channel and Instagram. I was sporadic in my Pinterest and Reddit usage. Having hit the Twitter follow limit, I can only add people as people add me.
Between all my social media accounts, I added 5,970 followers, more than double last year’s! Twitter was, of course, #1 for number of new followers, but percentage-wise, my facebook page, facebook profile, and Youtube channel were the main areas of growth. Plus, I added LinkedIn to this chart and removed GooglePlus.
This year I maintained my streak of blogging at least once a week and kept up with the vlogging. (My Goodreads stats are books added to my library, the last 2 years are the books I’ve read.) (My FB page wouldn’t give my year stats and stopped letting me scroll in mid-2016, so, those stats are incomplete, but I can compare to the last 2 years.)
As targeted last year, I maintained my average of posting on Instagram twice a week. And started posting at least weekly to Pinterest.
Account Break Down
- WordPress – I started this blog in April of 2015.
- I took a bit of a dip in the blog category, although some of it is just plain not posting as much. I had a lot of Query Corners, Author Spotlights, and a blog hop last year. This year, I didn’t do as much. Actually slightly below 2017’s numbers, in views and likes.
- Twitter – MorganHzlwood – I joined in March of 2016.
- I could be more engaged. But, I think I’m comfortable with my level of engagement. I’ll ramp it up if needed. I’m still just posting and responding to my notifications. It’s a good way to avoid the drama that twitter can be prone to.
- Tumblr – MorganHazelwood – I joined in June of 2016
- I mastered queuing things, in spurts. Grew a bit organically, but I think the platform is dying.
- Instagram – MorganHazelwood – I joined in 2015.
- I may try posting on an actual schedule. Or not. You never know when something pretty will happen. I’ve been trying to be more intentional in my posts. Making 1 text post for every 2 image posts. (or reversed in OctPoWriMo). And making sure to vary the types of images.
- Pinterest – MorganHazelwoo – I joined in 2015.
- I’m sharing my video post weekly, but not much else. I should join some group boards? Or something like that. I did make that inspiration-board for my middle-grade novel, though.
- Facebook Pages – MorganHazelwoodPage – I joined in 2015.
- I invited all my friends once. A lot of them followed me, and I’ve been trying to post semi-regularly. Since I bother to alt-text most of my reshared content, “Writing About Writing” often reshares me — and brings in MASSIVE readership for those posts. Otherwise, though FB still often shows my posts to fewer than 10% of my followers. It’s annoying, but I’m not paying. I’ll just keep reposting on my personal page as well.
- Facebook – MorganSHazelwood – I joined in 2013.
- I got a lot of new followers when I posted a tribute to the Mars Rover Opportunity. (The post went VIRAL) It was a roller coaster for me and as heartbreaking as a robot could ever be. </3
- Google+ – Morgan S Hazelwood – I joined in 2013
- GoodReads – Morgan Hazelwood – I joined in January 2016
- I read 41 books this year, beating my target of 2 books a month significantly!
- I rated all of them, but don’t think I reviewed them.
- Reddit – Morgan Hazelwood – I joined in January of 2017.
- I slipped on this, but my karma is 510.
- I had 7 posts, mostly reshares from my blog.
I didn’t do as much as I’d hoped.
Some of that was external. People who are reading your work out of the kindness of their hearts and working around their own schedules aren’t necessarily going to adhere to your schedule. My paying job got very busy for the summer, plus personal travel.
Some of the issues were the consequences of decisions.
- I’m still running 2 Facebook PitchWars support groups and administering another SFF writer’s group. Plus, stepping up as part of the #authorTube community. That takes time, energy, and spoons.
- I decided to do my best to keep up with at least 5 different types of social media.
- I really like 9 hours of sleep a night, even if 7 is more standard.
- I still have scheduled social time with friends Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights. Add in my blog post writing and uploading Wednesday nights and full weekend social schedule…
I’ve been prioritizing keeping up with my self-imposed schedule over actually writing. I’m still a bit burnt out, but I have goals. This year, I’m going to take intentional breaks. EVEN if I haven’t achieved my target for the previous working-stretch.
I DID do a lot of writing, more revising on my first novel than anticipated, grew my vlog, critiqued novels for friends and family, and read an average of 3.42 novels/novella’s a month.
I may have fallen short, but you know what Les Brown says about that?
How well did you do on your goals?
Had you given up on them in January, did you rock the BLEEP out of them, or did you do okay but think you might do better with concrete, SMART goals?