SWAGr for April 2018

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!

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


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. )

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16 thoughts on “SWAGr for April 2018”

  1. In April I submitted two short stories to competitions, recieved one rejection for an earlier submission, began the process of applying for a fellowship, and I signed up for Story-a-day.

  2. Hi Julie, apologies for not being visible these last few months. Back in September I joined one of FutureLearn’s online courses ‘Start Writing Fiction.’ I’d actually started writing fiction some years before, but it seemed like a good refresher into the basics to get me back on track. It worked. Great course, six weeks, a few hours a week. The best bit is the interaction with the other students, who were worldwide.
    As the course drew to a close, a Facebook group had been set up (independent from the course) that a number of us joined. The group’s main interest has been various flash fiction competitions. This has been great for building confidence and with members critiquing stories and offering support, success has come.

    There have now been a number of flash competition wins and placings with other stories being accepted for publication. I have contributed to this with a win and a second place in a weekly 500 word flash competition in successive weeks. My winning story will also be published in the websites monthly magazine.

    I’m now trying to resurrect my novel, so that I can finish the first draft and I’m finalising some short stories for competitions in the next month. I’ll no doubt be tempted to knock out some more flash entries.
    I’ll keep an eye on your Story a Day in May prompts, and will try to post occasionally during the month.

    1. That’s awesome, Malcolm. So glad to hear the course was valuable, and the community, too.

      Glad you hear you’ll be checking in and cheerleading at StoryADay too.

      Good luck with the novel. Keep us updated on how it’s going.


  3. March was odd. I changed my goal about corrections, so I could do some rewrite for CampNaNo, so I finished in less time than expected; I barely wrote. I was… distracted.
    But I also got a few interesting ideas I need to work with.

    APRIL is full of little projects; writing in several unrelated stories, finish a collection of short stories… do something with those ideas from March. But there is only one main goal:

    · 30 hours of rewrite.

    Also, of course: better use of my time. I’m still getting used to bullet journaling.

    1. Good luck! I love the idea of the short story collection. (But then, I would, wouldn’t I?)

      Do you find the bullet journalling helps you keep track of what you’ve actually achieved?

  4. Ok, here’s what I promised to do last month, and how I got on:
    * Finish current short story in first week of March – YES, might have bled into the second week, but it has already had its first rejection and is out again, one step closer to finding its home!
    * Draft a new short story (perhaps shorter than Feb’s) – YES, this was also part of the NYC Midnight Short Story Contest, 2000 words this time. There’s nothing quite like a deadline…
    * Rework non-fiction proposal and send out – PARTIAL, reworked it a bit, created a new, short query to interest editors/agents before they see the full proposal
    * Blog, writing prompts, podcasts for StoryADay- YES, blogged prompts and Reading Room posts and podcasted in between construction-worker visits, including three mini-episodes containing prompts
    * Plan my April writing workshop – PARTIAL, I’ve been wandering around talking to myself a lot, which is the start of this process
    * Re-read novel and send to at least one agent – PARTIAL, started re-reading and reviewing feedback. Didn’t die. Calling this a win.
    BONUS STUFF – wrote a 100 word story, I have three recent stories out doing the submission rounds, I’m making progress on the current novel, I’m working on a couple of interesting collaborations for StoryADay and have been taking phone meetings, I’ve interviewed three writers for podcasts and blogs (some on this site, some not) and my next Writer’s Digest article should be out soon.


    * Prep for StoryADay – get prompts and guest posts ready, figure out if I’m going to start using Patreon and launch a different community platform this year (that’s probably a yes). All The Other Things (runs quietly screaming from the room. A-hem. I’m better now.)
    * Write one short story
    * Keep several stories out on submission at all times
    * Add some words to the novel
    * Read four short stories and review them for StoryADay.org
    * Give a workshop (Want to join us?)
    * Get a haircut and maybe a massage, and keep eating healthily!

  5. This month, while I was letting the rough draft of my novel manuscript rest before I begin revisions, I started a couple short stories that I didn’t finish. They didn’t spark my interest. I’ve been writing just to put words down on a digital screen. Maybe it was more than a couple short stories, maybe not. I’ve lost track of what I started. I did manage finally to make a blog post yesterday after working on the draft for a week.

    This month I plan to: post to my blog on the 14th and 28th.

    Read at least one page of my rough draft each day. I don’t even know where to start with the revisions. I know the plot needs major overhauling and probably the characters too. I also need to do a lot of research, as it is historical fiction, and I need to go back and look up information I didn’t anticipate prior to writing. I’m not sure where to start with any of the revision process, considering that my project needs so much work. Ah! The price of being a panster by nature. I tried to plan before I started drafting. I really did. Then the story did its own thing. It was so pleasant just to be able to focus on meeting a word count during the drafting process. Now the hard work begins.-

  6. I’m a newbie at writing started mid-January this year. Entered my first competition, flash fiction in March. Finished first draft on a short story yesterday for another competition. Another flash fiction comp coming up this Friday, get 48 hours to finish that. I’m on a discovery tour, learning the craft and loving it.

    1. Welcome, Charlotte! You’re making a great start on your journey!

      Glad you’re throwing yourself in to contests. There’s nothing quite like a deadline for keeping you productive…

  7. March didn’t really go anywhere writing-wise. I wrote a handful of things, only one of them useful for now, so I’m back to wallowing in despair.

    BUT! It’s Camp NaNo time, and that means getting back into the swing of things because Camp time has always been good to me. I’m doing hours instead of wordcount (I think), so that’s less of a pressure for me. Hopefully this month will be better in terms of getting writing to actually happen.

  8. Good morning, all, and happy Easter for those of you who celebrate that.

    My main plan for March was more novel editing (I’ll spare you the excruciating details), some of which got done. I am hoping, with the help of Camp Nanowrimo, to finish the editing by the end of April and then begin fretting over whether it’s ready for beta readers.

    I also managed to write/edit/submit two short stories in March, so that was unexpected and awesome.

    Good luck and good writing.

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