As 2022 comes to a close, I like to look back at the goals that January Morgan thought she’d accomplish and laugh. Or maybe cry? Either way, I’ll definitely be eating more of the chocolate truffles I was gifted over the holidays.
Despite kicking off 2022 with a short story sale, I found myself completely de-motivated from putting myself out there for much of 2022. Between the failed Simon-Schuester merger, the news that a significant percentage of agents and publishers were leaving the industry, and my form rejection pile, I took more breaks than not.
But, that’s not to say I ignored all of my goals for last year. I attended 5 in-person conventions, revised last year’s NaNoWriMo project, rough-drafted a new novel, and even wrote some poetry.
Between various writing groups, RavenCon, Balticon, Imaginarium, WorldCon, and CapClave, I was ON 23 panels/presentations, attended 25 panels, and won a cosplay competition. Outside of cons and panels, I attended 3 different writing groups, participated in the #authortube community, and hit my local open mic nights for writers almost regularly.
Live conventions kept me hopping, but I didn’t completely neglect my writing. I love comparing numbers, so let’s look at them. NOTE: This year, I’ve broken out my Social Media stats, so check back later for those.
My Writing Goals Last Year
As always, I made sure to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound) goals — focusing on things I could actually control. As always, ordered by priority.
- Revising – Do a quick edit on my Space Fantasy, get it to my Alpha Reader in time for her Spring break. Do a revision, then send it to beta readers. And revise 2 short stories from 2019. Bonus for revising the middle-grade school play story.
- PARTIAL CREDIT (66%) – I got the Space Fantasy to my Alpha Reader, she got it back quickly. The revision took a while, and was out to betas in the fall. But I didn’t revise anything else.
- Reading – Read 52 books, with at least 12 being physical.
- WIN – While I didn’t read that many physical books, I knocked that target out of the park and then some. GoodReads is sitting at 139 books, and that’s definitely not all of them.
- Querying and Submitting – Submit 3 polished shorts stories quarterly, unless accepted. Consider sending out my YA again, or retooling as adult.
- PARTIAL CREDIT (33%) – I submitted 3 pieces all year and queried my YA Fantasy 6 times.
- Writing– Write something new for NaNoWriMo, 1 short story, and at least 6 poems.
- WIN – I drafted probably the first half of something new for NaNo (winning), no short stories, but 18 poems. Between the poetry and the blog essays, I feel the ‘short story’ requirement got fulfilled.
- Blogging and Podcasting – Don’t miss a week for the blog and the vlog. Only take one week between seasons for podcasting, and only skip 1 livestream a quarter, unless at a con.
- WIN – I didn’t miss a week with the blog or vlog, had my podcasts ready to go (although occasional audio tech delays – but considering I’m paying him in sushi dinners that have yet to actually be scheduled, I can’t complain too much), had 45 livestreams, and did 10 query rewrites live with Patrick Hopkins. Plus, an anniversary post and a live stream with a new Authortuber. AND? I made Twitch Affiliate!
- Conventions | Writers Groups – Be on panels at 3+ cons, attend 6+ open mic nights, 4+ monthly writer meetings, and 3 NaNoWriMo events (kickoff, 1 write in, and the all-nighter till 11pm). Plus? Staff Balticon and maybe another virtual con.
- WIN: Paneled at 5 cons, attended 8? 9? open mic nights, 6 (I think) monthly writer meetings, the NaNo kick-off and end party, plus 3 November Friday write-ins (although there was no scheduled all-nighter), and I staffed Balticon. Additionally! I presented virtually for 3 additional writers’ groups.
- Beta-Reading – Read no more than 3 fulls for others, and get some beta readers for your own short stories.
- WIN?: I read maybe a couple of shorts. But did find a good batch of betas for my Space Fantasy.
- And give myself a pass if I don’t get anything accomplished in December.
- What was that whole Vlogmas thing, Morgan? Again? And the December Author Spotlight Flood?
- EXTRA CREDIT!!
Things outside this list I achieved?
- Became a Twitch Affiliate!
- Published 60 Author Spotlights! That’s over an author a week. And the weekly round-up was, while not always on time, a regular new feature.
I didn’t do as much as I’d hoped. As always.
Some of that was external. Publishing didn’t return to normal, including an anti-monopoly case and a boycott.
Some of the issues were the consequences of decisions.
- I’m still running multiple Facebook writer groups and a part of the #authorTube community.
- I helped run one convention and paneled at 5 cons, 2 online groups, and 1 Authortube event.
- 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 on Tuesdays. Add in my blog post writing and a heavy Author Spotlight backlog and uploading Wednesday nights and con meetings…
As always, I’ve been prioritizing keeping up with my self-imposed schedule over actually writing. While I made a point of not trying to work every convention this year… I paneled at more. After my focus issues escalated, I reached out this summer and got an ADHD diagnosis. We’re still working on finding the right treatment options for me.
I DID get some writing done, finished first-round revisions on my Space fantasy, drafted 50k of a new story, grew my vlog and podcast, worked one convention, paneled at 5 conventions, and read an average of 11 books a month! Plus, you know, there’s that short story I sold.
I may have fallen short on some things, but… as I quote Les Brown every year: “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
How well did you do on your goals?
Did things opening back up affect you?