SWAGr for September 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!)

40 thoughts on “SWAGr for September 2020”

  1. October goals: Fine tune the final drafts of two short stories. Send them in to my online critique group. Check out possible submission sites and try not to lose my mind at the thought of sending my darlings out into the cold cold world.

    Begin working on second draft of another story.

  2. In August, I entered 6 stories in contests, and revised more than half of my cli-fi novel.
    I didn’t send any queries (not a good time of year for it, anyway) but got a partial request for my MG novel from an agent I’d queried in July.

    In September, I sent the requested pages to the agent, and switched to another revision of that novel so that the full is ready to go. Except for searching for overused expressions, that’s done!
    During the rest of September, I’ll finish revising the cli-fi novel and send it to an agent who said he was willing to reread, submit my collection of lockdown flash fiction, query more agents, and enter more competitions.

  3. I am late with this. I was exhausted at the end of August and not doing much.

    For August, my goals were:
    – finish Chad story. I worked on this but don’t have a satisfying ending.
    – work on secret story. I am pretty close to finished with this one.
    – work on meteor story. I didn’t touch this story. I am not sure it is short story material. It seems to have a longer arc to it.
    – send stories to 15 venues. Sent to 9 venues.

    For September:
    I had intended to do the Story-a-Day, but with my level of tiredness, it felt beyond me. However, I did attend a fruitful writing retreat and completed the first draft of a story and got about halfway through two others. So, for this month:
    – Focus on completing those 3 stories (Czech story, shrink story, & martial arts story)
    – Send out stories to 5 venues
    – Journal twice a week.

    1. Fran, sounds like you got a lot done despite a hectic August! And good for you to know your limits about StoryADay Sept. Looks like you crafted some achievable Sept goals – good luck with those! It’s my first time doing a StoryADay month, and my goal was to write every day and finish 2 stories per week. Writing daily has been a challenge, but I’ve done it so far (although yesterday I only had 69 words). I’ve got four stories started but haven’t finished one yet – I’ll be cheering you on to finish the ones on your list as I work on mine. (Julie, I’m going to try plugging what I’ve got into the Short Story Framework and see if I can figure out where I’m going with these.)

  4. Hi Everyone – I’m inspired already by your successes last month and plans for this month! August was busier than planned at work and we managed a 10-day trip to Alaska to visit family (and fish) so my writing routine was quite disrupted (hard to write when the boat is rocking…). Here’s how I did:

    First time trying a monthly word goal, aimed for 5000 words, got 1250. So, 25% success on this goal, but I published two blog posts with the writing I did.
    Read and give feedback to two writers – DONE
    Work 3 days/week on short stories – HA! What was I thinking?

    Attempt my first StoryADay – my goal is to write a minimum of 20 minutes/day and produce 2 finished stories/week.
    Read and analyze at least 2 short stories each week (already downloaded a couple Best American Short Stories editions on my Kindle)
    Track word counts and collect story sparks

  5. For September, my goals are:
    – Finish the last few scenes for my current WIP (will be part of my StoryaDay writing)
    – Review novel timeline to be sure all scenes are in order and make sense.
    – Finish five stories to post to my blog. (part of my StoryaDay writing)

  6. So not sure what I’m doing. Actually forgot about signing up for Story A Day. But I think I should be able to manage at least a story a week.
    Also already set goal of finishing my July NaNoWriMo camp story.
    The I’m signed up for a poetry class later this month.

  7. Hello,
    Like Dani I’m new to this Swagr so I don’t have anything to report from last month.
    For September 2020 I would like to write and finish two short stories a week (in prose form).
    If I have a difficult week, my minimum target is two stories in outline/STAD short story framework per week.
    This matters to me because it will give me the confidence I need, teach me about how I write, and will give me 8 stories in draft form providing me with material to edit. But most importantly, it will mean I tell myself the stories I need to hear.

    1. Welcome, Petrina! Those are great goals – good luck. I appreciate you sharing why this matters to you; often I don’t stop long enough to consider why my goals matter, and yet that is the crux of the motivation to keep writing. Thank you!

      1. Thanks Kathy! Im glad you found it useful too. I need to keep reminding myself of the “whys” as the month goes on, and celebrate each win! Happy writing to you!

  8. My plan for August was:
    finish a story for a submission call: I’m about to submit this (final, final edits right now)
    write/edit a chapter a week from the novel: 3 chapters done (was hoping for 4 or 5)
    submit a couple of already completed stories: I did this (piling up the rejections here!)

    My day-job work was very busy in August, so I’m pretty happy I got so much done.

    For September, I have a story to write/edit/submit for another submission call, then back to the chapter a week of editing the novel. I’m going to try to write a very short but complete piece most days for Story A Day (goal is 20 for the month).

    1. Good for you, Monique, the steps to your August goals. It’s tough when day-job work turns busy, and admirable you got so much done in the face of it.

  9. Hi! I’m new so I didn’t have goals for last month.

    September Goals:
    1. Establish 1 hr per day (or more) to write.
    2. Participate in Story A Day for 30 days.
    3. Write at least 500 words for each prompt.
    4. Finish at least 1 short story at 5000 words.
    5. Prep for NaNoWriMo

    1. Sounds good.

      My question is: what will you do on days when you don’t make the 1 hr goal? Do you have a backup plan? Is 15 minutes better than noting? Is “opening my journal” enough?

      We hope for the best but I’ve found it’s good to have a minimum goal that keeps me from feeling like I’ve failed.

  10. I wrote 5,521 words toward my memoir in August (in the last week).

    For Sept I have to hit 7K new ones by the 17th (I send them off to be read). I’d like to hit 10-15K. I’d like to use the StoryADay prompts to switch my brain on a different way and see what happens. Also, 3 blog posts a week? Previous goal lists have included reading a book a week, and I’ve hit that, by listening to audiobooks. PS. Recent fave is Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Listen to it. I’d also like to get my broken laptop back, but that’s another list. Happy writing, all!

    1. This sounds like a full list, but I bet you can do it.
      I keep hearing people talk about that Glennon Doyle book…

  11. Hi all! I’m new here, so didn’t have goals in August.

    In September, I will:
    – write with Story A Day every weekday, 22 stories
    – edit 4 of my Grandmothers’ Storyworth stories (I’m the co-editor on her Storyworth memoir and am falling far behind!)

    So excited to join this community!

  12. This is my first month, so I didn’t have any goals from last month to compare. This month with StoryADay is simply to write every day. That’s it. Maybe it’s a story, perhaps not. Should probably poke around on the site and find out what a “drabble” is…

  13. Goals for September:

    -Complete final draft of novel; hand off to two readers

    -Use StoryADay September and sprints as writing time to begin stories/essays

    -Learn Scrivener basics by using it to gather notes/ideas/sparks for second novel

    -Submit first I, Writer story

    -Like Fleet, do NOT sign up for anything else!

  14. Goals achieved in August:-
    *Two short stories sent off to competitions.
    *I wrote at least 750 words each day, often much more.
    * I researched guidance on how to achieve a relevant and consistent POV.
    * I rewrote a chapter of my novel in a consistent POV.
    *Commit to always calling myself ‘a writer’ ( thank you Julie for the push).
    *Continue the habit of collecting story sparks each day in my pocket book.
    * Continue to write daily and identify my most productive time of day.
    *Read everday.
    *Write with StoryaDay and edit two for entry into two competitions .
    *Complete another chapter of my novel.
    * Follow the Writer’s Code to improve my writing. Thank you Julie for those workshops, they really helped me.

  15. September goals
    Story a Day: 31 interconnected drabbles or micro
    Finish and post 2 I, Writer stories and respond to other pieces by Sept 10th.
    10 blog posts
    Finish health writing class and start herbal one
    Attend a few lectures at Salem LitFest

  16. Good morning from England! The first of September, already. I’m not sure if I set goals for August other than to enter one or two flash competitions, which I achieved with one one story. Firstly I submitted to a 100 word competition and my story was long listed but didn’t progress to the shortlist. I then resubmitted the story to a 101 word story, by addition of an extra word although I rewrote one sentence to include an additional word. Results are out mid September.

    Anyhow, for September I intend using as many of the prompts as possible. Some may end up being zipped off to a competition and others may metamorphose into a longer story. Some may just rest a while and pop up again at a later date.

  17. Well, I hit every one of my goals except the “big” one of working 60 hours a month. Revised and resubbed three shorts. Started two new shorts, both for the collection I’m putting together and one for a themed issue submission later in September. Worked on world building for SE novel series. Completed 26 hours, more than last month (12). Cut one gadget out of my daily life (a 12″ smartpad that I was using too much like a television. Getting more reading and writing done (and more sleep!) as a result. (The pad’s still around — stashed in my pantry — but I pull it out only for special viewing occasions. I used it to watch one of the conventions, and it was amazing how much of a time sponge it was that week.) Also using phone alarms throughout the day as a reminder to put in some work time. Goals for September: 1) finish & submit the short story for the themed issue. 2) Continue notes for novel series 3) Work on an additional story for the collection. 4) Complete more than 26 hours of work, with the Big Goal still being 60 hours a month eventually. Onward!

      1. Aha! I figured out this AM why I like using phone alarms. It’s my Catholic background coming through. I think I’m “Writing the Hours.” A bell rings at Noon, you pray the Angelus. A phone beeps at 11 AM, I go write for at least half an hour. Hey, it works, so I’m not fixing it.

  18. August goals:
    Finish five pieces.– DONE
    Finish long fic.– NOT DONE
    Put aside novel for now.– EDITED
    Write for fun!– DONE

    Well, I got about 3 for 4, so I count that a win.

    September goals:
    Finish 5 exchange fics.
    Finish fun fic.
    Do some of Story a Day.
    Try not to sign up for anything else this year.

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The only qualification to be a ‘Superstar” is a desire to write and support your fellow writers.

A supportive group of committed writers, who meet virtually, support each other’s efforts, and inspire each other.

Registration for 2024 open now-June 8, 2024

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