Morgan’s 2021 Resolutions

Now that we’re firmly into January, it’s time to determine what my goals for the year are.

Last year was intended to be a year of querying/submitting, revision, and networking.

Thusly, I listed my goals:

  1. Revising
  2. Querying and submitting
  3. Blogging/Vlogging
  4. Reading
  5. Writing
  6. Beta-reading
  7. Conventions

As I shared last week, I did great on everything on that list — except my revisions and querying — you know, the parts of the list that actually get me closer to publication. Does anyone else see the problem here?

This year? This year my focus is on writing, revisions, and querying/submitting.

As always, I like to set SMART goals –

  • Specific – you’ll see numbers and dates!
  • Measurable – you’ll still see numbers and dates
  • Achievable – I set goals for things I have influence over. I’m aiming for an agent, getting something published, but unless I self-pub, I have no control over that.
  • Relevant – I’m keeping my exercise goals and healthy eating off this post. These are all about my writing, the relevance should be clear.
  • Time-sensitive – Obviously, these are intended to be completed in 2021, but some items may have specific dates associated.

So? Let’s take last year’s list and put it in a new priority order.

Morgan, a long-haired brunette, is laying on a carpet, legs in slippers kicked up behind her, writing in a notebook.

Behind her is a table and a bookshelf.

1. Writing

Finish my NaNoWriMo space fantasy! Preferably by April. At least the rough draft.

I’m not sure if I want to do OctPoWriMo again — writing a poem a day for all of October. I skipped it last year. But, I really like participating in NaNoWriMo — writing 50,000 words in November. If I’m really stumped in November, I’ll rebel and revise either 5 shorts or a full manuscript. But, knowing me, I’ll probably make new words.

2. Revising

I managed last year’s goals to finish my revisions before Balticon! And then was query-shy in the wake of the 2020 querying climate. And I managed to at least edit my middle grade fantasy.

Remembering, of course, that rewriting IS writing, this makes revision half of my writing goals. But? The final goal is publication and I’ve got 4 manuscripts, 21+ short stories, and 30+ poems just waiting for a home.

So much to polish!

This year’s goals? Revise three of the short stories I drafted during my NaNo-Of-Shorts back in 2019.


3. Querying & Submitting

I’ve talked a lot about the differences between querying and submitting, but basically — one is to get an agent to sell your book, and one is to publishers to buy your stories. Typically, writers submit their own short stories, but publishers usually want agents to submit full length manuscripts.

Querying is a intro-letter and first chapter or so that you send to a literary agent. Once you have an agent, they often make you do revisions, before submitting your work to a publishing house.

Submitting a manuscript/short story/poem is what you can do to any editor/publisher who is open to it: publishers (who are open to unagented work), literary magazines, anthologies, etc.

This year, for my short stories and poetry, I’m going to try to actively submit at least 6 short stories to at least 3 markets each markets. Plus? At least the first round of the submissions needs to be by March (for the stories that are already prepped). And query my YA fantasy 3 times a month, unless revising.


4. Blogging/Vlogging/Podcast

You are my supporters, my community, my friends. You cheer me on and watch me learn and grow. As always, blogging helps keep me out there, keeps me accountable, and gives me a way to give back to the community.

Plus? I haven’t missed a week on my blog since February of 2016 (although, I have done reruns) nor a vlog-post since I started vlogging on June 27, 2017. Since we all know how much I hate ending a streak, I’m going to keep at it. You’ll be seeing my a new blog/vlog every Thursday with writing tips or writerly musings.

I’ve also started a podcast and weekly live-stream. I plan on taking a week or so off between seasons, and no more than one live-stream off a quarter (unless double-booked with a convention).

Morgan taking a selfie while sitting near the front of a room full of chairs. (She's at a writing panel at a convention)

5. Conventions | Writer Groups

My goals here are: to panel at 3+ conventions, 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..

Ravencon pushed out my panelists dates from last year to this, I’m staff and panelist for Balticon again (May), and — if everything works out — WorldCon (August) in Washington DC. My panels were well received last year, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be accepted back. (All of my panels were topics from this blog that I feel I can talk competently on, where my unpublished perspective won’t be a detriment to my authority on the subject).

Plus, I’m running social media for Balticon’s parent group. So… there’s another time suck!

What does being on panels net me? Why do I want to do this?

First, it’s a greater reach for my blog/vlog/podcast that’s supposed to lead to a larger audience when I do get published. It’s a great way to network and meet more writers and readers who like the same stuff I do. Plus, a chance to talk about all the stuff I obsess over on my blog and on my vlog in person with actual people.

But how does attending conventions count as a writing goal? Isn’t it just fun? Or part of your social media addiction?

Well, if you’ve been following my blog, you’ve probably noticed that over half the content is actually write ups from notes at convention panels! I attend the panels, for those who can’t (or don’t). Also? My sister teases me that I act like a teacher, trying to get her recertification credits, all in one weekend.

And? Well, I talked about it in my post on attending conventions, but, of course, there’s the networking aspect. The science-fiction and fantasy conventions I prefer are full of readers, writers, and even some publishers and agents!

Quote on a grey board on a brown shelf with books behind it.
“And to think, some of life’s best stories haven’t even begun”

6. Reading

Thanks to this year being what it was, I managed to read 46 books, with 35 of them being physical and nearly all of the physical books being from the pile that moved into the house with me.

So? I’m upping my goal from last year of reading 26 books – to 36 books! Three a month is less than I’ve achieved the last couple years. Plus, half of them should be physical and already on my to-read bookcase.

7. Beta Readers

This year, again, I’m going to try not to beta-read more than 3 full manuscripts for others.

I will need the short stories I’m preparing for publication beta read. As always, I like to keep my beta reader pool to no more than 8 readers, typically from different backgrounds. I usually give them separate copies, so that their feedback won’t influence each other.

I’m still a contributing editor to The Oddville Press, an online literary magazine of odd, but not really fantastical tales.


In Summary

This year, I’m starting off with my focus on drafting, not my usual revision, but plan to do a lot of querying and submitting. The middle of my year will be rather convention heavy, but by October/November, I should be back in the writer’s seat. Plus, I’ll be reading and blogging and vlogging and podcasting throughout the year.

Except December. I’m not a writer in December — everyone needs a chance to breath.

We’ll have to wait until next January to see if I had 2021 foresight.


What does your plan look like for 2021

Did you build in flexibility?

And, how SMART are your goals?


See my previous years resolutions and reflections:
2017 Resolutions | 2017 Retrospective
2018 Resolutions | 2018 Retrospective
2019 Resolutions | 2019 Retrospective

2020 Resolutions | 2020 Retrospective

Author Spotlight: Christiane Joy Allison

  • a multi-award-winning author, activist, and public speaker from the great state of Alaska.

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Christiane Joy Allison!

Christiane Joy Allison is a multi-award-winning author, activist and public speaker who now serves as President of the Alaska Writers Guild. Her disability and life-long battle with chronic illness, hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS), inspires the characters in her cyberpunk series, The Infinitus Saga. Sometimes she walks with a cane, sometimes she rides in a wheelchair, and sometimes she goes without. Her disability is as unpredictable as her life. In activism, she fights for criminal justice and prison reform and aspires to give prisoner families a voice.

Christiane, thanks for agreeing to be here today. While most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

If I could have any pet in the world, I would probably have a bat. I’d love a large fruit bat like a flying fox. Of course, bats make terrible pets in real life as they are very social creatures, but with no limitations that would be my honest first choice. That is probably why my main character has a pet bat in my cyberpunk novel series.

And what’s not to love about bats? They’re incredibly soft with adorable faces. They fly and feed themselves (usually fruit or pesky insects). Bats are also important pollinators, and they’re facing a threat that’s making them disappear, just like the bees! You can support bats in your local ecosystem by putting up bat houses. Just search for “build a bat house” on the internet and you’ll find all kinds of resources, including bat houses you can buy.

Bats are pretty awesome. I love taking evening walks and watching them swoop by my street lamps — I mean, the local buffet.

What do you write? And how did you get started?

I’ve written science fiction, children’s picture books, essays, poetry, romance, spiritual works, and I’m working on a memoir. I grew up in a home of storytellers. I believe I started writing my first book in the seventh grade, and participated in writing classes and clubs in middle school, high school and college. After entering the workforce, I took a break from writing for a few years before I realized I could no longer live without it.

My current novel series, The Infinitus Saga, is dystopian science fiction, specifically cyberpunk. Cyberpunk worlds tend to be dystopian and futuristic by nature, and they include a global or regional computer system that manages or controls aspects of day to day life. One of the things I love the most about it is that a couple of main characters have the same chronic illness I do, hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). The stories are written in first person, present tense so the reader can experience facing the challenges of the
adventure from within a body that’s working against you. I also love my colorful cast of chimera characters, born as animal-human hybrids because of genes that are reemerging from earlier generations of genetic experimentation.

I also have an award-winning series of children’s picture books dedicated to children who are facing the adverse childhood experience (ACE) of the incarceration of a loved one. Why Can’t Uncle Come Home? is the first children’s picture book to address the subject of wrongful conviction for very young children. And then in Timmy and Kate Go To Visit, we go with a couple of young children to visit their uncle in prison for the first time. My family was impacted by a wrongful conviction and I watched the effect it had on all the children. The books in this series draw directly from those experiences.

I love cyberpunk stories. We need more stories with characters whose bodies aren’t in default working condition. I know from loved ones that Ehlers-Danlos and other chronic illnesses can have such an impact on one’s life. Like most chronic conditions, for now, the only treatment is for the symptoms, not the disease.

Thank you for writing stories for young children dealing with incarceration.

What do you like to read?

I love to read romance, but the stories never follow the characters far enough through life for me. That’s why the romance that you’ll find in The Infinitus Saga will span across the entire series. I also love thrillers and suspense which I write heavily into my stories. If these elements are included, I’ll read anything in science fiction, dystopian, and fantasy. The Infinitus Saga is a cyberpunk story.

It sounds like your series is right up my alley!

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.

Outlining

I am a “pantser” versus a “plotter” if using National Novel Writing Month terms. This means that I do not write by planning out story elements in advance. I learn and discover the story as I write it, and my characters often surprise me. The challenge in this is I often do not know an element of the story until after I’ve written it. Sometimes, I have to write additional scenes that will never be published simply because I need to know what other characters are doing behind the scenes, and I have to rewrite what I’ve already written because I discover an element while writing that changes something fundamental to the story. I often still attempt outlines in the beginning, but by the end the story looks nothing like it did during that attempt.

People who are full pantsers are like magic to me. I recently tried my first exploratory novel writing experience, and realized it’s not for me. I usually ignore my outlines, but that doesn’t mean they’re not in the back of my head.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.

First drafts don’t have to be perfect.

First drafts are crap and that’s okay! Silence your inner editor and power out that first draft in all its ugly glory, staying as true to its heart as you can. Then you can go back, reorder, revise, and refine to your (or your editor’s) heart’s content. Think of the first draft of your story as the bones, not the full body. Layering on the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin takes time and effort that doesn’t belong in that first skeletal draft.

So true! I know many people who really like their first drafts, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we can make better. We have high standards for ourselves, and what comes out in that rough draft doesn’t look like we intended in our heads.


Shameless Self-Promotion time!


In the cyberpunk series, The Infinitus Saga, Earth was once in chaos, divided between hundreds of warring nations. Now, united in peace and maintained through a worldwide computer system known as the GRID, the Global Fellowship provides all citizens free access to food, housing, education, and medical care. In return, citizens allow the GRID to use their brains as temporary servers. Those who don’t contribute are the disconnected, shirkers who live destitute and on the edge of starvation in a world where GRIDcoin is beyond their reach.

Among them are the Mallorey’s who are forced to live outside the GRID to hide their genetic disability, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, or risk being never seen or heard of again.

HE HAS NO CHOICE.
SOMETIMES, DOING WHAT’S RIGHT
MEANS RUNNING AWAY.

After his parents’ sudden death, Arthur Mallorey, a severely disabled teenager living in the largest shirker camp in Central Continent, knows he has to find a way for him and his sister to survive. Battling pain and exhaustion, he looks for salvation in the very heart of the Community he was raised to fear. The Global Fellowship is the prelude novelette to The Infinitus Saga.

THE COMMUNITY NEEDS CONFORMITY.
THE SQUIDS ARE OUT TO DISMANTLE IT.
NOW BOTH WANT WHAT’S IN HER HEAD.

Gina Mallorey is a young freedom-loving tech dealer living in the Dregs on her own terms, hiding her disability from the Community. When an explosion forces her into the GRID, powerful forces make her a target. The Community operative sent after her hides a genetic secret of his own, but only time will tell if he’ll choose to be friend or foe.


Timmy, and his little sister Kate, struggle to understand why Uncle can’t come home despite all the hard things that are happening. Momma helps explain that it’s not Uncle’s choice to stay away. Uncle was wrongfully convicted, and sometimes people are punished for things they didn’t really do. This story is designed to help address the hard questions of children who are struggling with the wrongful conviction of a loved one.

Kate, and her big brother Timmy, have not been able to see their uncle in a long time, and are excited to visit him at the jail. Auntie and Momma help them face fears like: whether there are monsters at the jail, walking through the metal detector, and whether the guards are the bad guys. This story is designed to help address the fears and questions of children visiting a loved one in prison.


Check Christiane Joy Allison out across the web!

Website | Facebook | Amazon | Instagram | Twitter | Alaska Writer’s Guild

Week In Review: January 8th

Welcome to 2021.

Maybe you only see a post of mine on occasion. Maybe you only follow my blog.

Well, I can tell you, I didn’t earn my burnout just by making blog content. I’m EVERYWHERE! So, welcome to my new feature: my week-in-review, with all my latest content, plus updates from old guests!

Read on if you want to know more.

If not? See you next week with more writing tips and writerly musings.

Coming up this week:

On Facebook’s Concellation Group: I’ll be helping hosting the text-only AMA (ask me anything) with Joe Haldeman! The author best known for The Forever War. Friday at 3pm EST.

On Youtube: As always, (since August), I have my Lazy Sunday afternoon livestream write-in from 4:30pm-6:30pm EST. Come, hang out, and we’ll probably even do a few productivity sprints.

Content Around The Web:

On Youtube:

On the Podcast:

On The Blog (In Case You Missed Them):

Events:

None scheduled, yet. But watch out, I’m sure they’re coming.

Mass Market Paperback How to Paint a Cat Book

What I’ve Been Reading:

I enjoyed a cute little cat cozy called, How To Paint A Cat by Rebecca M. Hale. (from my to-read bookcase). [1/36]

New Works By Previous Guests!

Since this is a new feature, I’ve got a few to catch up on, but after this week, you’ll just have brand new releases here.

Dead of Winter Break (A Cassandra Sato Mystery Book 3)

Kelly Brakenhoff is up to Book 3 in her Cassandra Sato Mystery series with: Dead of Winter Break.

And for younger readers, featuring Duke, the deaf dog (an ASL series), she has Farts Make Noise.

* * *

In D.C. Ekphrastic: Crisis of Faith, you’ll find Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt‘s thought provoking poetry and Ethan Meurlin’s evocative street photography.


Well, that’s all for this week! See you later.

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup and indoor
Happy New Year!

Morgan’s 2020 Retrospective

Despite “unprecedented times”, 2020 kept me busy. Between my dayjob, my own projects, and helping with conventions, I was, as always, completely overbooked.

Yet again, I may not have ended my year with a signed agent, but I didn’t just sit around. Okay, I literally sat around, but there’s a lot one can do in front of one’s computer these days!

I attended 3-5 writing conventions, wrote 1 short story, finally finished a very long revision, and edited my fourth novel.

Between Balticon, WorldCon, Imaginarium, and couple of Authortube Virtual Retreats, I attended 25 panels, 1 shows, 2 readings, and was ON 11 panels. Not counting all the training sessions and tech orientations I ran for the staff, participants, attendees, and my own local NaNoWriMo group. Outside of cons, I attended 3 different writing groups, participated the #authortube community, and attended my local open mic nights for writers.

This year, I did a lot more interacting in real-time virtual spaces. 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.

2020 Goals

  1. Revising – Finish the mentor-led YA rewrite. Edit my middle-grade fantasy. Prep some shorts and poetry for submission.
    • PARTIAL CREDIT (70%): Got the YA and MG done and wrote/posted a short on my blog, but didn’t edit anything else new.
  2. Querying & Submitting – Prep 5 short stories for submission, and submit to at least 10 markets — half before July.
    • PARTIAL CREDIT (90%): Submitted 9 stories, 4 before July! But, only had 4 pieces prepped.
  3. Blogging and Vlogging – Don’t lose my posting streak. Maybe add a weekly Authortube check-in.
    • WIN: Kept up with the blog/vlog, and started a podcast. I tried a few zoom checkins, and ended up with a weekly livestream write-in that’s relatively popular. And did Vlogmas!
  4. Reading – Read 26 books (at least 2 a month) with at least 10 of them physical and ALREADY on my bookshelf
    • WIN: Like WHOA win. I read 45 books (4 more than last year) and a mind-boggling 35 of them were physical, with only 2 of those not from my to-read bookcase.
  5. Writing – OctPoWriMo and NaNoWriMo
    • PARTIAL CREDIT (50%): I skipped OctPoWriMo this year. But I did a lot more prep and ‘won’ NaNoWriMo. And drafted a short for Christmas.
  6. Beta Readers – Reach out for my middle-grade novel, don’t commit to more than 3 fulls yourself.
    • WIN: Got feedback from my alpha and 3 beta-readers on the MG. Only beta’d 3 shorts (including chapter 1 of a graphic novel). Working on one longer beta right now.
  7. Conventions/Writing Groups – Hit 6 open mic nights, 4 monthly writer meetings, try a critique group, and attend 3 NaNoWriMo events. Plus, be a panelist at 2 conventions and staff Balticon.
    • PARTIAL CREDIT (110%/70%): 5/6 open mic nights, 3/4 monthly writer meetings (but I hit 4 meetings for a different group!), tried a critique group, 2/3 NaNo events (but with it all being virtual, maybe I get full credit?), and I definitely paneled 5/2 conventions and staffed 4/1 cons.
  8. And give myself a pass if I don’t get anything accomplished in December.
    • What was that whole Vlogmas thing, Morgan? And read 4 more books? And wrote a short story?
    • EXTRA CREDIT!!

Things outside this list I achieved, though?

  • Started a podcast
  • Staffed 3?4? conventions and became a Zoom and Discord trainer/operator.
  • Vlogmas
  • Started a weekly livestream
  • Hit 10k views in one year here on the blog.

Blogging!

Top Lifetime Post

My sleeper hit, 10 Questions To Ask Your Beta Readers, from 2016 is still tops with 2,850 lifetime hits (and is published here). After a year as my number two hit, it has returned to prominence.

My Query Corner — where I rewrite queries with authors preparing to enter the query trenches, and my Author Spotlight — to help promote friends’ works — are sticking around, even if they’re not my most popular posts. 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 morgan.s.hazelwood@gmail.com)

My Top 10 Blog Posts of 2020!

  1. How One Writer Uses Trello To Track Her Creative Process
  2. They Want What? The Difference Between Blurbs, Queries, and Synopses!
  3. Querying and Agents: Now I’m Confused
  4. Everything You Need To Know About Convention Panels
  5. How to Self-Edit That Lousy First Draft
  6. What’s In A Name? Characters in Fiction
  7. Top 11 Ways NOT To Respond When Getting Feedback
  8. What Cons Are Looking For In Panelists
  9. Choices To Make With Beta-Readers
  10. Black Lives Matter

My Top 5 YouTube Videos! in 2020

Unlike last year, most of this year’s top 5 are actually from this year! Not sure why Youtube likes to push my Mythology post, but I’m not sad.

  1. Querying & Agents: Now I’m Confused
  2. Better Beta-Reading – A Virtual AuthorTube Retreat Panel
  3. Morgan’s Lazy Sunday Afternoon Write-in (Dec 27th edition)
  4. How To Create A New Mythology (old – a perpetual favorite)
  5. Novel, Novella, or Short Story?

My Top 3 Posts of 2019

  1. Morgan’s Complete Guide For Attending A Convention
  2. So You’ve Decided to Write A Novel – 7 Tips To Get Started
  3. Making the Asexual Textual

My Top 3 Posts of 2018

My Top 3 Posts of 2017


My Top 3 Posts of 2016


My Top 3 Posts of 2015


Social Media Stats

While this isn’t really writing related, I know I like to see how other people do it, and I like stats and tracking progress, so, probably more for me than you, here are my numbers for 2020. I tried to be both engaged and engaging, while still invested in upping my content creation in all mediums. As always, some weeks were better than others. Honestly? Some MONTHS were better than others.

Followers

First off, I really dove into the #AuthorTube community on Youtube. Most of the other stuff was automated though, so far less engagement on my part.

Between all my social media accounts, I added 3,068 followers, about in line with 2018, and about half of 2019! This year? My Facebook Author Page grew the most, followed by twitter. Percentage-wise, though, my Youtube channel did the best — and has the most interaction — I no longer feel like I’m shouting into the void there.

Content

This year I maintained my streak of blogging once a week, and almost hit twice a week, plus I kept up with the vlogging and started turning the vlog into a podcast. (My Goodreads stats are books added to my library, the last 3 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 3 years.)

As targeted the past two years, I maintained my average of posting on Instagram twice a week. And started posting at twice a week to Pinterest – mostly automated from my blog and youtube channels. Tumblr content is just Instagram and blog reshares, and LinkedIn is just blog reshares.

Account Break Down

  • WordPress – I started this blog in April of 2015.
    • This was my best year yet on the blog! For the first time ever, I hit 10,000 views in under a year! I grew at a steady pace.
    • Some of it was consistent content and regular Author Spotlights. But? When I look at my source referrals, this was the year that Google search results were my number one, rather than links from my own social media. While my search results referrals have been steadily growing, the bump 100% corresponds to a link from prowritingaid.com referencing my perennial favorite “10 Questions to Ask Your Beta Readers”. So, yeah, the importance of bigger sites referencing you actually do matter a lot for SEO (search engine optimization).
Activity on the blog
Blog referrals
  •  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.
  • Youtube – MorganHazelwood I joined in April of 2017
    • I definitely stepped it up this year and my stats show. I got 7,677 views, added 154 followers (for 352 total), and hit 689.7 watch hours. (Yay! They started giving annual stats!)
  •  Tumblr MorganHazelwood – I joined in June of 2016
    • I basically stopped using except for resharing my blog and pinterest.
  •  Instagram MorganHazelwood – I joined in 2015.
    • I continue to attempt 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, and my blog post but not much else. I should join some group boards? Or something like that. I did make that inspiration-board for my space fantasy NaNoWriMo project, though.
  •  Facebook PagesMorganHazelwoodPage – I joined in 2015.
    • “Writing About Writing” continues to reshare my alt-text added reshared memes — bringing me 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 think most of my growth was from the conventions I worked this summer and facebook suggestions.
  •  Google+Morgan S Hazelwood – I joined in 2013
    • Dead.
  •  GoodReads Morgan Hazelwood – I joined in January 2016
    • I read 46 books this year, beating my target of 2 books a month significantly! Again!
    • I rated all of them, but only reviewed 1. I try to review indie books more, because they don’t have a following.
  • Reddit – Morgan Hazelwood  – I joined in January of 2017.
    • I got 5 karma all year.
    • I had 1 post, and commented on a 6 discussions. If I want to be active here, I need to be more active
  • Discord – morganHazelwood#1975 –
    • I’m on like 5 convention discords, 4 active writing discords, my voice acting group’s discord… Not really tracked here for any good social media use, but it is somewhere I spend in chat rooms. And writing sprints.

In Conclusion

I didn’t do as much as I’d hoped.

Some of that was external. I don’t think anyone expected 2020 to look like it did. When other people are helping with your revisions, you can be limited to their pace and availability. I was wary of the conditions into which I was considering querying.

Some of the issues were the consequences of decisions.

  • I’m still running 3 Facebook PitchWars support groups and administering another SFF writer’s group. Plus, stepping up as part of the #authorTube community. Helping out with Concellation AMAs. That takes time, energy, and spoons.
  • I helped run two conventions and helped staff another 3. I paneled at 3 virtual cons and 2 authortube events.
  • 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 Tuesday and Thursday nights. Add in my blog post writing and uploading Wednesday nights and con meetings…

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. Last year’s intentional breaks turned into working conventions — except December. This year, I’m going to take intentional breaks. At least two weeks off of everything TWICE but the blog/vlog/podcast (not including December).

However…

I DID get some writing done, finished revisions on 2 books, grew my vlog, created a podcast, helped make virtual 3 conventions happen in a year unlike no other, staffed 3 others, was on 12 panels outside of my own vlog, and read an average of 3.8 books a month.

I may have fallen short, 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 quarantine side-track you or free up your time?

The Attempted Coup

I try to stay apolitical on here.

But I can’t not acknowledge the events of yesterday and what led up to them.

When the courts, the governors, and the auditors find no widespread fraud, to encourage your base to attack the government is beyond the pale.

Telling his base about widespread fraud Before Even The First Ballot Was Cast clearly was riling up Trump’s base in anticipation of claiming any loss was someone else cheating.

We are a nation divided, but the numbers shouldn’t be that surprising. Trump knows he’s been been very divisive. But when people live in a bubble too long, they start to think people outside the bubble don’t exist.

I hope we can find a way back from this and heal, but I also hope those who inspired and committed these atrocious acts are punished to the full extent of the law. Especially since so many of them tweeted their activities.

Here’s to hoping for no more loss of life as we had toward Biden’s inauguration.

Trump, please accept the election results as legitimate and tell your base to go home.