SWAGr – December 2015 Check-In

Every month we gather here to discuss what we’ve achieved and commit to making more progress in our creative lives in the coming month. We call it our   Serious Writer’s Accountability Group or SWAGr, for short! (We’re serious, not sombre!)

What people are saying about StoryADayMay 2014

Leave a comment below telling us how you got on last month, and what you plan to do next month, then check back in on the first of each month, to see how everyone’s doing.

(It doesn’t have to be fiction. Feel free to use this group to push you in whatever creative direction you need.)

Did you live up to your commitment from last month? Don’t remember what you promised to do? Check out the comments from last month.

And don’t forget to celebrate with/encourage your fellow SWAGr-ers on their progress!

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Examples of Goals Set By SWAGr-ers in previous months

  • Write a story a day in May – everyone!
  • Revise at least 10 short stories – Iraide
  • Write two short stories. – Jami
  • Attend one writers’ conference – Julie
  • Write fable for WordFactory competition – Sonya
  • Re-read the backstory pieces I wrote in May and see if I can use them within my novel – Monique
  • Research the market – Jami
  • Focus on my serial – Maureen

 So, what will you accomplish this month? Leave your comment below (use the drop-down option to subscribe to the comments and receive lovely, encouraging notifications from fellow StADa SWAGr-ers!)

(Next check-in, 1st of the month. Tell your friends. )

A Month Of Writing Prompts 2015
Don’t forget, if you need inspiration for a story you can still get ALL THE PROMPTS from StoryADay May 2015 and support the running of the StoryADay challenge at the same time. Give a little, get a little :) Click here.

14 thoughts on “SWAGr – December 2015 Check-In”

  1. My November objectives were as follows:
    Plan out a number of short stories over the coming months and look for some competitions to enter.
    I found some competitions to enter over the next two or three months, I just need to think up one or two stories to kick off now. I managed to enter two competitions by the end of the month, by judicious tinkering with two of my earlier stories. This seemed to work well, I was much happier with the revised versions and they seem much stronger now.

    On the writing front I wanted to produce a first draft of my new first chapter my novel. Whoop, whoop, I achieved this with over a week to spare! Now I’m getting my head round a first draft of the second chapter.

    I thought I may kick off a short story, but this was a second priority, and has not happened.

    However, I attended a writing workshop day early in the month (four short workshops and a couple of speakers) which was very motivational. I also provided a ‘Write on Wednesday’ guest prompt as well which was fun.

    December objectives:
    First draft of novel second chapter.
    Draft at least two short stories for submission to competitions in January 2016, start the year with a bang!
    There are a couple of mentorship schemes I’ve been looking at which I may submit an application for.
    Finally, I think I will try to formulate a 2016 plan to give me some slightly longer term objectives to work towards.

    1. Sounds like you’re really making consistent progress, Malcolm. You’re such a good example!

      And thanks for the writing prompt. It was a good one! 😉

      Let us know how the mentorship schemes play out. I don’t know that I was aware they even existed in a formal way…

  2. Hi, all!

    Hope you had a good month.

    For November, I said I would:
    *do Nanowrimo — And I did! Yeah!
    *work on some short stories as time permits: — Mostly, I gathered story ideas, with a few just started.
    *post to blog every Sunday — I managed 2 Sundays, 1 Saturday, and 1 Monday, so that was okay 🙂 I think that committing to a specific day was a good idea.
    *finish the Electronic Literature MOOC — I dropped it instead, as it wasn’t really meeting my needs (nothing against the course, it was just a distraction for me, rather than as helpful as I hoped it would be).
    *sign up for: Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction near the end of the month (https://www.coursera.org/learn/historical-fiction) — I signed up for this on the weekend, so far it looks great.

    For December:
    *focus on developing 4-5 short stories to the point of submission
    *post to blog every Sunday
    *continue with the historical fiction class

    1. I love that you were willing to let a commitment go when you realized it wasn’t for you. Very sensible. The new course sounds interesting (or maybe that’s my inner history grad coming out!)

      It does look like the very specific goal of posting every Sunday is working well for you. I wonder if I might add a specific ‘write fiction on these days’ angle to my process. hmm…

      Let us know how it goes!

  3. I found out about this site and challenge yesterday when some of my region’s NaNoWriMo writers were in a chatroom talking about how we did and what’s next. So, you guessed it, last month I did NaNoWriMo:

    I originally set out to do a little bit of everything except my usual novelling–be a rebel–so from that start I got five blog posts (basically essays the way I do them), a poem, a flash fiction, a micro fiction, and a serial that was supposed to be a short story.

    Later I found several of my short story ideas could easily roll into one novel, so I started that midway in November. This project is also the first I’m trying on Scrivener.

    In December I want to continue two blog posts a week, seriously find a freelance gig and test out that writing market, continue my novel, and write a few short stories with contest prompts in mind. Schedule-wise I strive for 500 words a day and rotate each project.

    1. Welcome, Leah! Glad you found us.
      What kind of freelance work are you looking for?
      Sounds like you have a lot on. Do check back in with us in Jan and let us know how your month went.

  4. In November I participated in NaNoWriMo and finished. That was my sole goal for November as I had a number of non-writing things on the go.

    For December, while I finished NaNo, I did not finish the story therefore my December goal is to continue the story and have it ready for the first round of serious edits in the new year. For December, I have also set a goal to shake the dust off my blog and start building content for the new year. I may or may not work on some of my short stories on the editing pile.

  5. November was a very up-and-down month for me. I finished NaNoWriMo and I’m actually cautiously please with what I’ve written so far – but I’m still only about halfway through that story, I didn’t complete my other goals and I’m feeling kind of discouraged. Part of it might just be getting a story rejected from several places, but I feel like the other couple short stories I’ve written/partially written are terrible, and I haven’t been able to work on my serial at all because it’s been too stressful. Ugh.
    So in December I’m hoping to take it slow and try to recharge my creative batteries. I’m going to:
    – write every few days on my NaNo novel; I want to edge it along towards completeness
    – Gather a few new ideas for short stories
    – take notes for some novel ideas that were bothering me during NaNo
    – possibly write a bit of fanfiction, if I feel like it.

    Hopefully by January I’ll have a little of my strength up again. 🙂

    1. Well done on getting to 50,000 words: that’s 42K more than I wrote!

      Rejection stinks, but it does mean that at least you’re putting your work out there.

      Even if you hate those stories you wrote, how about putting endings on them, just for the sake of the exercise and what yo can learn from it?

      Also, in case you’re up for more unsolicited advice: why not build a ton of reading into your December plan? Read voraciously and it should help build up your enthusiasm for writing. (see this post: http://storyaday.org/help-im-drowning-in-ideas/) Your comment inspired me to add ‘read a lot’ to my December plans, so thanks!

      Good luck!

      1. Thanks! Yeah, I’m going to try to read more than I have been lately. And maybe at least run the short story I feel awful about past a beta reader to see if they find anything redeemable.

  6. Well, NaNo did not work out for me mostly because this was the year I discovered that we are not simpatico. But, I did start my two novels, and have ideas for both, so I consider that a good deal of accomplishment!

    December, I’m planning to take the month off from forcing myself to do much work. I had originally planned this to be the month I dive into Oz lore and immerse myself in everything, but after the stress of NaNo (and school; yay, finals….), I think I’m just going to take it easy. I have three fanfics I need to write for fic exchanges, but other than that I’m not putting any definite “musts” down.

    1. Good for you. Keep that writing ticking over, but recharge your batteries. The three fanfics for fic exchanges sound like a perfect way to do that.

      Tell me more about fic exchanges. I didn’t know about these…

  7. Here’s what I promised to do last month:
    — Get to the half way point or novel, if not further. – DONE
    — Write at least 10,000 words of fiction: 8500 WORDS DONE, but lots of planning for the next part, so I’m calling that a win.
    — Write sample chapters for NF book proposal. Give to someone to critique – DONE
    — Polish up book proposal and get out of the door by the end of the month. For reals – DONE!!!
    — Create and present workshop on Conflict – DONE and it was great fun!
    — Write 2-3 more Christmas stories. Put Christmas ebook together – NOT DONE left this too late and got frozen. Make a note to start this project in August next year!
    — Write four Write On Wednesday prompts for StoryADay.org (unless anyone wants to guest post a prompt…email me!) – DONE, If I allow for the fact that I got a freebie from our very own Malcolm Richardson. Thanks, Malcolm, it was a good one!!

    DECEMBER GOALS
    — Tweak the book proposal based on feedback and ready to send out again in Jan.
    — Write towards the climax of the novel.
    — Write some awesome end-of-year content for this site
    — Lots of StoryADay promotional task including pitching ideas to magazines and conferences. Time to grow this baby!
    — Review January/Feb contest/anthology deadlines at Duotrope to drive my short story writing.
    — Read short stories for inspiration and post a batch of Tuesday Reading Room posts here.

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