SWAGr for October 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

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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!)

21 thoughts on “SWAGr for October 2020”

  1. September was an important month for me in that I quit 95% of my social media activities, leaving a veritable vacuum of freed up time for writing.
    My October goals are to fine-tune two short story second drafts, send them in to my online critique group, and get them ready for submission…while trying not to lose my mind at the thought of my poor darlings out there in the cold cruel world 🙂 I also plan to work on a second draft of a story that’s been in my unfinished file for at least a year.

  2. In September, I finished revising my MG and sent 50 pages to the agent who requested, sent my collection of lockdown flash fiction (all written during the May Challenge!) to 3 literary journals, and sent 11 other submissions to competitions.

    In October, I’ll finish revising my YA and send it to the agent who’s willing to reread, enter more competitions, send 10-12 more MG queries, finish and get a critique on my & my son’s PB, and possibly enter PB Pitch with it.

  3. For September my goals were to
    – Focus on completing 3 stories (Czech story, shrink story, & martial arts story) [I did finish the Czech story and worked more on the other two.]
    – Send out stories to 5 venues [Did it.]
    – Journal twice a week. [Most weeks I did write once, and am pleased.]

    October goals:
    – Complete 2 stories that are in process
    – Send out 5 stories.
    – Journal twice a week.
    – Read once a week (20 minutes) about writing & incorporate what I’ve learned into my writing.

  4. I did not post goals for September, and to be honest I barely remember what I did, except 17 of the 30 Story a Day Retro Prompts, and kinda sorta finished reading/note taking on “The Business of Writing” by Jane Friedman
    October Goals:
    Post goals here and then weekly in the SWAGR channel on Slack
    Read at least a chapter a day of “Save the Cat Writes a Novel” by Jessica Brody
    Finish the reread on YA Angst
    Continue edits on An Elemental Girl – Wednesdays, Fridays, one hour minimum, two if I can swing it
    Sort through StADay Shorts into viable/not viable, pick one for Critique Week
    Pick three more shorts to go from draft to polished this month
    Attempt to find four places to submit stories, submit three to four before the end of the month.
    Two hours minimum butt-in-seat time, Tuesday – Friday, other days negotiable

  5. Bad enough the pandemic sent life into a tailspin and then my husband came down with a trifecta of serious health issues the beginning of June and, while back home, still isn’t close to healthy. However, I am beginning to feel a lift from creative juice shutdown and am planning a project to tackle during NaNoWriMo: a not-quite-cozy murder mystery. I’m also working on setting up the regional calendar of virtual events (I’m our ML for NNWM).
    So, that’s my October. Here’s to hubby getting better.

  6. This is my first month trying this and I’m happy to have found the blog.
    October goals:
    1)Finish editing a book of limericks for my aunt
    2)Send limerick book to BookBaby to be printed
    3)Submit 3 of my stories (I’ve been submitting all year, with a goal of one a month, but didn’t submit in August or September)
    4)Revise one of my stories – I have 2 in revision phase, but not sure which one I will work on. Maybe I will work on both of them.

  7. Hi, all!

    My plans for September were to:
    *write/edit/submit a story for a submission call (I like the story, it’s mostly done, but it didn’t end up really fitting the theme)
    *then go back to the chapter a week of editing my current novel (I did not have time)
    *Story A Day-wise, I hoped to write a very short but complete piece most days (I did 12 stand alone stories & 13 segments of a 15K story)

    I’m hoping to have more time to write in October. I want to finish this longer story and return to my current novel. That’s vague, but I have to do some thinking first on where I want to go with the novel (which is thematically similar to this 15K ‘short’ story).

  8. Reflection
    I forgot even to post on the SWAGR page last month, but I did read two books that have genre elements in common with what I’m working on. I also thought about my book a lot, and I started reading How to Write Black Characters from Salt and Sage Books.
    October 2020 goals
    • vote early.
    • Finish How to Write Black Characters
    • draft a Halloween poem
    • work on character profiles for at least fifteen minutes a day and ideally thirty minutes a day beginning at 4:30 PM. I’ll experiment with this different writing time.
    I’m realizing that her reasons that neither writing first thing in the morning or writing at the end of the day are ideal for me. I’m too restless about everything I need to get done for my day job first thing in the morning, and in the evening I’m too tired. I just want to zone out in front of the TV.
    I’ve also made an effort this month to set more specific goals because the more specific the goal is the more likely I am to achieve it I was not specific enough with my August goals. I knew better than to write such a general goal, (Do something related to my novel for thirty minutes every day.) but I stayed general anyway.

  9. I met all my goals for September:
    Added ‘writer’ to my email signature
    Daily story sparks…..they are such a brilliant idea Julie.
    Wrote daily on storyaday.
    Entered two competitions
    Completed a chapter of my novel.
    Followed Julie’s writers code
    Read daily.

    Goals for October:
    NaNoWriMo prep tasks for next month
    Read daily.
    Write daily.
    Daily story sparks.
    Enter two short stories for competitions
    Check in at least twice with my writing buddy.

  10. I’m newish to writing (at least in my adulthood). Last month I took the plunge and completed a draft of a short horror story. I’m at the 2500 word mark, which is the most fiction I’ve ever written as an adult. I have a handful of close friends providing feedback and it is starting to feel like I’m *actually* writing. So, hooray for me!

    I found this site and boy do I love this idea! So, this month I plan to complete my story and hopefully begin several more. I’d like to write at least 10,000 words this month and I think that’s accomplishable.

    October and the Halloween season has always been a special time for me and I’m looking forward to this month being the month I became a proper writer. So wish me luck and thanks to all for such a fantastic community.

    P.S. I *totally* just stole that Drawlloween idea. What a cool concept!

  11. So! I totally signed up for more exchanges (you knew I would, Tammy!), BUT, I also dropped a big one to let me do several smaller ones I’m more interested in.

    October goals:
    ~DRAWLLOWEEN!!! Every year Ido this art challenge as writing prompts because I can’t draw to save my life, but I can write, so yay!
    ~3(?) exchange fics due.
    ~2 Big Bangs to work on.

    That’s actually plenty right there, because yikes that’s writing daily.

  12. I finished Story A Day September! I overcame the belief that I couldn’t write and finish short fiction by writing a complete flash fiction piece everyday! My goal was to have a repertoire of pieces that I can revise and polish and submit on a regular basis. I couldn’t be happier. In my writing life, this was life-changing. For October, my goal is to choose one (or more) of those pieces to work on and send out.

  13. Finished my first StoryADay month! Met my goal of writing every day for at least 20 minutes, and tracked word count (over 7500 for the month – proved to myself I can do it even when only writing a few paragraphs a day, so this month I’ll increase the goal). Read a few short stories but not the quota I set, and didn’t produce 2 complete stories per week. I learned a lot about myself as I pushed to write every day, though. I’m not a strong plotter and tend to give up on a story when I don’t know how it will end, and I’m still too aware of my self-editor critiquing me as I go.

    So this month:
    10,000 word goal
    Write daily but at least 3 sessions/week of 45 minutes or more
    Use one writing session per week for brainstorming story ideas and plots
    Finish Hello Puppy story
    Connect with two writers in community

  14. So, that’s a wrap on the StoryADay challenge. I got side-tracked by an exam towards the end there, but, other than that, I‘ve mostly managed to keep up. None of my stories are exactly worth writing home about—most don’t even have a real ending—but there are snippets and characters there that I might want to develop further. More importantly, though, I think it’s been good for me to take a step back and rediscover the joy of writing for the sheer hell of it.

    As for October … I still haven’t decided what my next project is going to be. I’ve been thinking of giving NaNoWriMo a go, so I might want to prepare for that. On the other hand, I might want to focus on putting together a couple solid short stories. Then again, it might be good to take a step back from writing and focus on creating a bunch of characters and ideas that I could use as a basis for future pieces.

    I’m not really sure what my next step ought to be, but as soon as I’ve got the time to figure it out I’ll definitely post about it.

    1. Having given the matter some thought, I’ve decided to focus on short stories for now. This October, I’m going to:
      • Read: Creating Short Fiction by Damon Knight
      • Outline and write one to two short stories

  15. Well, last month wasn’t entirely a hot mess in a dumpster fire about to become part of a train wreck, but it was close. I worked (on writing) only 8 hours in September. (Some health issues. Election work. 30+ work hours spent on personal banking issues. Short version: life and stuff.) I missed the deadline for the themed issue submission, but found a similar call for stories that’s open through December 26th. Some good news is I did prep a useful outline of that story (horror with a monster). Once written, it will also fit into the collection I’m working on. So, goals for October: complete Monster Theme story, work at least 26 hours, work on more simultaneous submissions for the five stories I’m marketing. (I usually have avoided simultaneous submissions even if the publishers were OK with them, but I need to up the turnover. I have one story that’s been out to a major market for almost a year. This is ridiculous.) When I get to the point (not necessarily this month) where the story and submission goals are met, I’ll work on the “final” horror collection story (dunno what it is yet) before looking for an agent and also add to my notes for a cozy mystery series. I’m not sure how much work I’ll get done between now and mid-November (I’m probably going to be a poll observer on processes that will be ongoing from ~10/3 through 11/6.) But, I’ll do what I can. Tracking goals and time worked is helping, though, because it helps em gauge what the schedule will bear. Onward!

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