SWAGr for August 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.

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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 August 2020”

  1. Thanks for your response!
    I like the simplicity and determination of your goals (not that reaching them is simple) as well as your easiness with what you did and didn’t do. That’s all inspiring!

  2. In July, I queried 11 agents with my MG – will query 12 more in August
    I finished putting together my collection of lockdown flash fiction – will start submitting it
    I wrote 2 pieces from prompts – will leave new writing for the fall
    My editor got comments on my YA to me on July 27; started revision on July 28 – have already ruthlessly but correctly reduced the manuscript by 8,000 words, and will be more than halfway through the revision by September
    As always, thank you!

  3. Returned to a twenty year old story based on Billy the Kid. Love historical fiction. So far I have completed eight chapters.

  4. For July, I finished my first pass edit / light revision of my Elemental novel. Tanked on revising two short stories and submitting them, but I did start reading some books about the business side of writing and have a fairly decent query letter.

    In August:
    1. Start writing again. Been doing lots of editing/transcribing/reading about writing.
    a. possibly returning to YA Angst & Magic (novel, working title)
    b. possibly writing a short story about shoes
    2. Go for a second pass on Elementals, incorporating notes I took on the first pass and making sure the entire work in divided into chapters!
    3. Submit something, somewhere, before the end of the month. Definitely.

    My August goals are coming in late, but I am glad to have a place to post them. It’s out thre in the universe, not I have to at least try to get them done! 🙂

  5. Reflection
    The novel I’ve been working on for a while was on my mind in July, so I shifted my focus away from the short stories to that project. I read three booklets for research for that project. I also made a commitment to going back to reading more fiction. I’d been reading nonfiction for a while. I also did some outline and character work. Oh, and I almost forgot — I wrote my Writer’s Manifesto.
    I’ll have a lot more work related to my non–writing job this month, so my goal list is short, but I wanted to commit to specific things that I thought I would be able to manage.
    August 2020 Goals
    • Keep reading novels, especially ones with the genre ties to what I’m working on. Read them thoughtfully, considering structure, technique, and other craft elements as I read.
    • Work on something related to my novel for thirty minutes each day

    1. Writer’s Manifesto! Good for you, Lisa. And I really like how you make thoughtful reading part of your commitment. Best August wishes for your goals.

  6. Write at least 500 words using my journals with past meetings ideas to start drafting a series of essays for a collection.

  7. Hi All!
    My August goals:
    – Read “Writing & Selling Short Stories & Personal Essays” by Windy Lynn Harris to further develop my skills and increase my knowledge. (Thanks to Julie Duffy for the suggestion!)
    – Submit a short story to a contest.
    – Sign up for an online writing group.
    – Complete four 500-word memoir pieces (for a class I’m taking).
    – Read “Write. Publish. Market.” by Jodi Brandon for ideas to support my consulting business with a book.

    My completed goals for July:
    – Edited my three stories from the 3-day Story-A-Day challenge I completed in June.
    – Chose a short story and a contest to submit it to.
    – Decided to proceed with a novel in its early stages (but continue to intentionally move slowly on it).
    – Read 5 creative nonfiction essays (from a writer’s eye).

  8. For August, my goals are:
    – finish Chad story
    – work on secret story
    – work on meteor story
    – send stories to 15 venues

    Progress on my July goals:
    – Sent stories to 7 venues, not 20 as I aspired to. It turned out many journals were not accepting submissions in July, but August looks promising.
    – Finished my hero & door stories.
    – The Chad story needed more time for me to think about its resolution.

    1. Sounds like very realistic goals, Fran. Bravo to you for recognizing when a story needs more time to percolate. Those journal entries might give you more sparks, too. Good luck this month!

  9. Wrote 20 short stories in a collection entitled “Road from Niflheim” These stories from 3000-5000 words each are based on sci-fi and fantasy writing prompts in a book I got.

  10. I entered my revised version of Flast fiction on July 30th for a July 31st deadline and it was accepted which means only that I made the deadline and not enough people had entered that the contest was closed. My August goal is to revise another flash non-fiction story on Gloucester for FanStory, and possibly another with a deadline Aug 10th, a fiction including a detective or police officer showing up at my front door. It’s non-fiction but I can embellish the story.

  11. I didn’t leave a July goal, I was pretty swamped with some other life goals and didn’t get to focus much on my writing.

    This month, though, I want to publish at least four blog posts and finished the brainstorming/development stage of my current fiction project!

  12. Hi, all!

    My July plans were to do Camp Nanowrimo, editing the first draft I wrote in April, and work on a few short stories. I did both (although there was less editing and more restructuring on the novel than I had planned on!) and also submitted 3 short pieces.

    For August, I plan on finishing a story for a submission call at the end of the month, write/edit a chapter a week from the novel, and submit a couple of already completed stories. If I have extra time (ha!), I have two other short stories I want to work on.

  13. July goals: Met! I did some exchanges, wrote some more on my novel, and remembered that writing is fun.

    August goals:
    Finish five pieces.
    Finish long fic.
    Put aside novel for now.
    Write for fun!

  14. Congratulations to Wendy and Kell on your July reports, both were inspiring to me! July was my first SWAGR commitment. The dozen writing days (3x/week) to produce a short story did not happen, but I did write and publish 2 out of 3 blog posts. My posting schedule is every two weeks, so that third blog post goal was my attempt to get ahead. I do tell slice of life stories on my blog (it’s purely for entertainment, not business) and in thinking about StADa prompts was able to brainstorm a list of topics for future posts. I also met the goal of reading and posting feedback to 2 writers in some writing community; one was a friend from my church writing group who asked for my feedback on a piece she published for her blog, and the other was a complete stranger who posted a wonderful poem (and I don’t really “get” poetry) on a literary writers site I read. I also fired up my podcast app and subscribed to the StoryADay podcast; I listened to 8 episodes.

    Goals for August:
    *Keep the goal of 3 days/week writing habit to produce short stories.
    *Try writing to a monthly word goal. I’ve never done this, so 5000 words seems achievable.
    *Writing community – read and post feedback for 2 writers in some writing community
    *Think seriously about committing to the StADa September and canvass for accountability partners.
    Thank you all for sharing your struggles and successes; so very encouraging to me!

    1. Your July successes are inspiring to me. July was my first month too. sending the best for your efforts in August.

    I achieved all my goals:
    I wrote a back story for 3 of the characters in my novel.
    I entered two short story competitions .
    I have made folders for all my digital writing and similarly physical folders with a hard copy of pieces I have sent to competitions., pieces I have read or pieces that have been critiqued at our Writing Group and pieces I’m currently working on. I’ve also separated all my story Outlines and ideas and popped each into a separate pockets in a ‘Folder of Ideas.’ I’m able to lay my hands on what I need now, either on my PC or at my desk.
    I’ve completed my reading goals.
    * Enter two short story competitions.
    * Create a writing routine .
    * Write at least 750 words a day.
    * Focus on having a consistent POV when writing! (I get so confused! Look at how it is achieved by my favourite authors.)
    * Explore my use of POV in my novel. ( look at how other authors use it for best effect).

  16. The good news: I did about ten hours more work in July than I have in the previous ~3 months.
    The needs-work news: I only put in 12 hours of work in July. I did do substantially more reading (not part of that tally), so I am getting better at focusing on what I want to do. I’m strictly scheduling and limiting my internet media time (I don’t own a TV), and I think that will help, too. It’s not just about time. Current events have been sucking up too much of my energy. I’ve set up news alerts, etc. so I’ll know if aliens land on the White House lawn, but other than that, I’m turning off, tuning out and staying in. (Extra points if you’re under 25 and get that reworked reference.)
    Some of my other goals, i.e. keep up submissions, have changed because I’m going to be doing rewrites on two of those stories. I’m also keeping notes on a novel percolating in my head, but not so much it interferes with the anthology goals. I did spend about an hour consolidating my Ideas spreadsheets/notes, aka. “sparks.” Been meaning to clean out that closet for a while now.
    I’m keeping Two Hours a Day as a goal on the horizon, but mostly I want to put in more time in August than I did in July. So, here are the goals for August:
    * Aim for 2 hours a day and, especially, more than 12 hours for the month!
    *Reformat MO (1.2K story I’m pulling out of the sock drawer) and revise for submission
    *Revise TD and TPA and resubmit
    *Print out hard copies of all new versions for The Vault (I’m ex IT. Never trust computers.)
    *Work on new anthology story
    *Dabble with SE (novel) notes

    1. (I should have said “collection” rather than “anthology.” I read someplace that an anthology is a collection of works by more than one person. Oops.)

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