SWAGr for July 2020

Welcome to the Serious Writers’ Accountability Group!

Post your goals for this month and let us know how you got on with last month’s goals.

SWAGr logo

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!

Download your SWAGr Tracking Sheet now, to keep track of your commitments this month


Examples of Goals Set By SWAGr-ers in previous months

  • Finish first draft of story and write 3 articles for my school paper. – Courtney
  • Write on seven days this month – Clare
  • Extend my reading and to read with a ‘writers eye’- Wendy
  • write 10,000 words – Mary Lou

 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!)

31 thoughts on “SWAGr for July 2020”

  1. Update on my goals for July: Finished revision of draft for children’s book – hurray! Goal was to write 6 days a week, but only averaged 3 days a week. It is an improvement but will be repeating that goal for August. Need to research best options for where to submit children’s book & get that first query or submission out. Did write, revise & submit essay to contest. For August, plan to revise 2 short stories to ready for publication. Also plan to check the postings here & add comments-want to support our community!

    1. 3 days a week for writing is good. 6 days is a lot and I wish you success. I find the researching where to submit quite challenging and time consuming but satisfying once some headway is made. All the best to you, Audrey, for August!

  2. Yikes, almost 1/3 of the way into the month…
    In June, I
    – finished revising my MG synopsis & 1st 20 pages, & sent them to an interested agent. Got a pass, but with good comments & openness to see other work.
    – wrote 12 pieces from prompts, & input most of my pieces from May
    – submitted 6 flash fictions & 7 short stories to competitions (was longlisted in a previous contest)
    – didn’t finish PB revision or YA revision (hadn’t gotten editor’s notes back – best excuse ever, eh?)
    In July, I will
    – query 50 agents with my MG
    – finish & submit my collection of lockdown flash
    – revise my YA, & send it to agent who wanted shorter, tighter version
    – revise PB
    – enter competitions & submit to literary journals
    – continue using prompts

    Thank you, Julie, for providing this framework!

    1. Congrats on getting all this done in June. Glad to hear you got nice comments from the potential agent. That’s always encouraging.

      Good luck with your outreach this month. Do you have a list of agents ready to go, or is that part of the task?

      Go, go, go!

  3. Late to the party also-but understand that the best day to start anything is today & the best time is now! My goal is to revise first draft of children’s book & write 6 days a week for remainder of the month. Ready, set, go!!!

  4. Sorry I’m late to the July party, but we did a vacation (week at the beach) that ended July 3 … so just now getting caught up.

    Everyone’s doing so well! Congratulations on your progress!

    I would give myself a solid “C+” for my June goals … I revised half the story I wanted to, and wrote one of 2 drafts of new stories.

    For July, I’m planning to finish the revision, draft one story, and start revising the story that I drafted in June.

    Fingers crossed!

  5. Note, this comment is being posted too late on July 4th even though it’s been on my ToDo list for four days. See why I need help?

    I’m in the midst of working on a short story collection (Twilight Zone/Black Mirror sort of horror/SF stuff.) I have 26.5K words completed (four stories). All four are in submission to various online & print magazines. When I hit 40K words (a total of six or seven stories?), I’ll also start looking for an agent. (I am pursuing traditional publication only.)

    I’ve been stalled, blocked, whiny, stressed out for all the usual reasons along with some chronic personal stuff that’s getting especially triggered by current events. I don’t mind being weird, but I do hate not being productive. This is me rededicating myself to the task. Goals for July are:

    * To write (or outline, or edit) at least two hours a day, every day
    * To keep the four completed stories out on submission [Assuming none of them gets accepted!]
    * To finish the rough draft of an additional story by the end of the month

    Here goes!

    1. I’m so glad you posted…and that you’re writing Twilight Zone/Black Mirror-ish stories. Yay!)

      I like your plan for getting to a certain point then looking for an agent. Do not second-guess this decision. This is what you’re doing now. (Life will be easier if you just surrender to this, I promise!)

      Searching for an agent can be a disheartening process if you don’t kiss the right frog straight away, but stick with it. Do your research, approach agents who represent people writing short stories and stuff similar to yours. Be professional and persistent. Keep doing your research and finding new names. This is so much like dating, it’s ridiculous. It’s all about chemistry. And remember that the world is in a weird place at the moment and agents might be feeling as insecure as you. They are people too. I think this is a fine time to be a little less formal (still professional, but I think it’s OK to be ask them how they’re doing!)

      And yeah, stalled, stressed out, whiny and blocked? Sounds like you’re a writer, to me 🙂 But then there are those times the writing is going well, right?

      Looking forward to hearing how you get on.

    2. As a New Kid, I’m listening to some of the old podcasts. Here’s my attempt at a Twitter Story, as mentioned in Episode 150.

      I probably won’t be posting much.
      The dog found the body.

  6. -Finish my copy cat story
    -Poem a day
    -Edit my play
    -Read short sections of mentor texts and write in the same vein (20 minutes)
    -Listen/read as many short stories as possible
    -Continue to build a writing community
    -Read and comment on my writing group’s submissions

  7. -Finish copy cat story
    -Poem a day
    -Continue to read and comment on my writing group’s work
    -Read short sections of mentor texts and practice writing from these texts (20 minutes every other day.)
    -Listen or read as many short stories as possible
    -Re-read my play and take notes
    -Continue to seek out and build a writing community

  8. Hello Everyone – I’m so new to the group that yesterday I couldn’t figure out where to post my goals! It was hard not to be overly ambitious, but here goes:
    July – maintain a writing habit 3 days/week with the aim of producing a short story; write at least 3 blog posts for my personal blog, actively participate in a writing community (suggestions welcome) by reading and commenting on at least 2 other writers’ work.
    I’d also love more ideas for writing prompts. One of my go-to’s is The Write-Brain Workbook by Writer’s Digest.

  9. I’m still pretty new at this, so I’m in the trying-to-build-a-habit stage, so my goal for July is to write for at least 30 minutes 5 days per week.

  10. I don’t really remember what I said I’d do last month, but WHATEVER, IT’S A BRAND NEW MONTH!!!

    Top Goals:
    Finish exchange fics
    Work on novel some more (I switched what I was working on for the 6 Month course, so that’s been interesting)
    Remember that writing is fun!

    That’s pretty much it for this month. I wrote a ton last month, so I’m hoping to keep that momentum for July. And Camp NaNo, woo!

  11. Here are my July Writing Goals
    – Edit my three stories from the 3-day Story-A-Day challenge I completed in June.
    – Choose a short story and a contest to submit it to -> then actually submit it.
    – Decide if, how and when I may proceed with a novel that is in the early stages.
    – Read 5 creative nonfiction essays (from a writer’s eye).
    – Find and sign up for an online writing group (or two since I write fiction and nonfiction) – suggestions welcome!

  12. – Send out 4 stories to 20 different journals/venues
    – Finish “Hero” story
    – Finish “Door” story

  13. In June I did identify the stories from May that I want to pursue. I did get two of them past first draft and submitted one for critique week. That story (revised after critique) went to StoryFest.
    I worked a teensy bit on my YA Urvan Fantasy. Nada on revising my other YA novel.

    In July:
    Get serious about revising the Elementals novel.
    Work on two short stories that are almost ready for publication (IMO).
    Submit said stories somewhere.

  14. My goals for this month are
    Finish first draft of C.C.
    Make editing corrections on Gloria
    Read two chapters per week of Consider This… for my critique group
    Finish first draft of Wisp.

  15. Reflection
    In June I participated in Critique Week and StoryFest. I also resubmitted a batch of poems that had been previously rejected by other markets. I got a nonfiction article published and drafted a new poem.
    July 2020 Goals — in no particular order
    • ☐Get to the end of the tentative timeline for my novel.
    • ☐Request the pamphlets and books that might help with my research.
    • ☐Earn enough points on Scribophile.com from critiquing other people’s work to post six of my StoryADay May 2020 stories for critique.
    • ☐Post the six stories on Scribophile.com for critique.
    • ☐Watch Julie’s workshop on the stages of writing.
    • ☐Find homes for the six stories.
    • ☐Email the library for help with my research.

  16. In June, I submitted 3 stories (all rejected already!), worked on a couple of longer stories that I’ve been overthinking for a while, and outlined my next steps for my current novel in progress (including breaking it down into scenes in a spreadsheet a la Story Grid). I also did critique week (which was so useful).

    July is Camp Nanowrimo and I have a schedule for working on the next draft of my novel (beginning with re-reading the whole thing & deciding on big picture issues). I also want to squeeze in work on a couple of short stories that are close to submission quality.

  17. I am a teacher whose last day in my classroom teaching a class was March 13, 2020. I had no way of knowing that this would be my last day and with the state considering starting the 2020-2021 school year later, this will be the longest period of idleness since I was a child. The benefit is that I have written over 50K words, mostly short stories which I plan to get ready for publication.

    My goals are a story a day (3000 word minimum) until they decide what the next school year will be like.

    1. Hi George,
      Congratulations on creating a great body of work during this time. I am also a teacher and find that this time has provided me with a lot of time to write and get myself organized with writing goals and routines. I like how you organize your website and the content; it is welcoming and thought provoking.
      Good-luck on your goals this month.

    2. George,
      I visited your website. It’s awesome. Congratulations on getting so much writing done while you wait for your next assignment.

  18. In June in managed to edit my third draft short stories and enter two of them in competitions. I read one of the two books recommended by the tutor of our local writers group and half begun the other, as well as reading several other books ‘with a writer’s eye’. I have worked on POV’s through my Creative Writing Course handbook and completed one of the existing chapters of my novel.

    I feel I made big commitments in June which I want to follow through.

    * Continue to identify gaps in my novel and work on building the back story of main characters.
    * Enter two competitions
    * Sort my writing out! Get files and organise them ( I started this months ago!). Set up a coherent system to record which competitions I have entered. Sort out story outlines to keep.
    * Read two books from my writing group list.
    * Continue to expand my other reading.

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