Serious Writers’ Accountability Group Check-In April 2016

Breaking News
The StoryADay Warm Up Bootcamp is back, live!

  • Audio and PDF lessons to help you jumpstart your story writing
  • *New* A super-secret Facebook group, for easy community-building
  • Free access for anyone who’s taken the course before or bought the home-study version. (Just email me at julie at storyaday dot org to tell me you want in.)

The course runs, LIVE, from April 4-25, 2016. Find out more now.

Now, on with the SWAGr post!

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!


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. )

A Month Of Writing Prompts 2015
Don’t forget, if you need inspiration for a story you can still get ALL THE PROMPTS from StoryADay May 2015 and support the running of the StoryADay challenge at the same time. Give a little, get a little :) Click here. Now only $2.99

24 thoughts on “Serious Writers’ Accountability Group Check-In April 2016”

  1. I’m either very late for April, or just early for May! It’s been hectic this month. I’ve been out and about and doing all sorts of things and I even managed to write a few words as well. For my March objectives I completed the free online Screen writing course (Futurelearn), it was only a two week course, but really useful information on story structure and how to pitch a film or story.
    I intended to plan out and write first draft of Zeitgeist story, it didn’t happen!
    I was hoping to plan out the next two or three months for competition short stories, again this didn’t happen but I still need to do it.
    I managed to write another chapter for my novel, about 3,500 words. I’ve done just over 2,000 words of the next chapter but still have a very important scene to write to finish it.

    After my screen writing course, I signed up for a six week introduction to genealogy course, which I completed today. I’d made a start researching my family history a year ago and it seemed like a good time to find out how to do it properly.

    And so to May; I’ve just signed up for Story a Day in May and downloaded the book of prompts to my Kindle. This will be helpful as I will be away from home for the first part of the month, but I will endeavour to manage at least 100 words a day. Later in the month I may be able to write some longer stories. I must write at least one mire chapter of the novel, ideally two. Phew!

    1. Great to have you back!

      I think I’ve scheduled the SWAGr May post for the last day of April, since so much else is going on around here on May 1, so let’s call you “early for May”.

      Thanks for the support. (Tell me, does the text look tiny on your Kindle edition? It seems to, on some versions of the machine, and not on others. Is a mystery…)

      1. Thanks Julie, the text looks fine on my Kindle, in fact I think it is better than before. I’m gearing up for tomorrow’s story, it’ll be later on in the day but I want to get off to a good start.

  2. Woohoo! I’m on the downslope of finishing up my graduate degree which frees up some bandwidth to take part in the NaPoWriMo challenge, and I’m looking very much forward to writing a poem each and every day.

    And catching up on some serious-needed-to-be-done housework. The dust bunnies are getting vicious.


  3. I didn’t have a single writing goal for March other than try to find my creativity again. I had back surgery on February 29th and was on serious pain medication for quite some time after. I wanted to write but every time I tried my concentration flew away.

    I can’t begin to explain how much I hate strong pain pills. I always have. The way March went is exactly the reason. I didn’t feel like myself and I couldn’t find me in all the mess of pain and fog. Then something changed. I was on two different meds and decided it was time for the really big one to go. The mid-morning pill went first. It sucked because I was still in pain but after three days of not taking it at 10:45 am I had a random idea for how to fix a story I’ve been working on for a while (about a witch) so I quickly wrote everything that came to me. It didn’t go further but it didn’t matter. My muse peeked out at me.

    Then I cut out the 3:00 dose. After another couple of days I had the idea to flip flop two characters in the witch story. As with the first idea I could only jot down everything I was thinking at the time but I was thrilled.

    I stopped the last dose and finally called the doctor and asked if I could just switch to Advil and get off the other medication. He said absolutely. I’m still in the process of getting off that one since I have to do it slowly. The best part is with each dose I cut out I’m finding more and more of my muse, my me.

    So, for my April goals all I want to do is write. It doesn’t matter to me which story or if it’s plotting, or polishing or new stuff. I just want to do what I do. I have hope because I’ve managed to write a few longish blog posts, and this long comment. If I can do that I can write at least a piece of flash fiction (I hope).

    I know I’m going to try my best to get myself writing again and reestablish my daily habits. I can’t wait to have something to post!

  4. It’s Camp NaNo time for me, which will hopefully be perfect prep for Story a Day. I’ve started with just a small wordcount for the month in the hopes that it will be a more manageable goal. This time, it’s just finishing up some old commissions and maybe starting something new.

  5. My goals for March were

    to write the 31 part WhoDunIt, The Stacked Deck – Completed!
    write 8-10 poems for chapbook- only managed to write 4

    My goals for April are

    to write 26 Science Fiction Flash Fiction stories for the A2Z Challenge
    write 30 poems for the April PAD Challenge
    write 30 poems for the NaPoWriMo
    do 30 days of journal writing with the NaJoWriMo
    write 8-10 poems for chapbook

  6. Hi, all!

    For March, I planned on:
    *writing and/or editing 3 short stories for submission: I finished and submitted one; wrote a ridiculous amount of another (~6000 words) before realizing it wasn’t a story I wanted to write; and have a third finished and in need of editing.
    *deciding on Camp Nanowrimo for April: I’m editing the mystery novel I finished during Nanowrimo last year.
    *really, truly finish the historical fiction class DONE!!!! yeah!!
    *2 week online screenwriting class DONE (This class: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/screenwriting – they’re offering it again at the beginning of May. I really enjoyed it.)
    *one day in-person screenwriting workshop DONE (also really good)
    *and post to my blog weekly: Nope! Posted twice. I need a new plan.

    So, for April, obviously my big thing is Camp Nanowrimo and editing all 244 pages (in 10 point) of this book. I have a plan (10 pages a day). We’ll see!

    *try to post to my blog
    *online class on dialogue through the Guppy chapter Sisters in Crime
    *in person workshop on writing from personal experience (It looks interesting, but I mostly signed up because it is through our local writers festival and they have so little for writers, rather than readers, that I try to encourage them when they do.)

  7. Here were my March goals. I haven’t set any for April, although I do hope to write a poem a day and build on some of my March goals. –Chris


    • To attend the Gathering of Writers on March 26
    Achieved. I had a good day at the event and picked up some good advice that will help me with my poetry and my fiction. I wrote some prose and some poetry lines for exercises that day, but later in the day, while back in my own world, I wrote a fantastic poem that really seemed to dip into a lot of what I gained that day.

    • To send out my letter about giving my leadership presentation about 101 Leadership Lessons From Basketball’s Greatest Coaches
    These have been written and will go out on April 1. I picked 15 places throughout Indiana, and I’ll be happy if I heard back from four or five of them. I can learn from the experiences I do earn and then work toward finding more places to go to give a presentation.

    • To write and enter a story for the Key West Flash Fiction contest for a chance to spend three weeks in a Key West writing cottage, including 10 days in Ernest Hemingway’s private study at his mansion (deadline: March 31)
    I accomplished this. I wrote a really fun story, and while I don’t expect to win, I enjoyed the challenge. But maybe I’ll get lucky.

    • To write and submit a poem for the 100th Indianapolis 500 contest (deadline: March 21)
    This proved harder than I imagined, but after an ugly first draft, I wrote and revised a much improved second poem. The winner will be announced on April 1. I don’t expect to win, but I do have a really good poem that I’m proud of.

    • To revise at least 25 pages of one of my novels to submit as part of a scholarship application for the IU Writers’ Conference in June (deadline: March 31)
    I spent several days throughout March revising my NaNoWriMo novel from 2011. But the more I worked on it, the less and less I liked the story. It has many flaws. I did, though, come up with a way to save that manuscript and make it a better story, but I decided at almost the last minute to revise the first three chapters from my 2015 NaNoWriMo novel because I knew it was a little more fluid and, on the whole, better written than others novels. I submitted my chapters and my application, and I should find out soon if I earned a scholarship.

    • To collate some of my better jokes and submit them to Reader’s Digest
    This was not a top priority, but I did submit some of my jokes. Maybe I’ll get lucky and have one accepted for publication.

    • To submit poems to several poetry magazines
    I submitted poems to almost two dozen magazines. And now I get to wait to hear from them. I haven’t sent out many poems this year, so it was fun to put together some submissions and then send them out into the world.

  8. OK, here’s how I got on in March:
    * write summaries and synopses to help me figure out how to attack the fiction I’m stuck on – YES and this definitely helped.
    * write 10,000 words of said fiction – ahem. I DID write more than in Feb…
    * Actually write a story to submit to the anthology by the end of March – Still working on this.
    * Read short stories weekly, novels daily and (b)log them – Sort of forgot about this
    *StoryADay Stuff (undisclosed) 🙂 – YES
    * Put together the writing prompts for StoryADay May 2016, ready to release the ebook in April – STILL WORKING

    *Big focus on StoryADay May including working on prompts, guest prompters and running the Warm Up Course
    *Submit short story to above mentioned anthology
    *Read and critique stories for writing buddies including whole novel critique.
    *Write a bit on the novel, regularly if not a lot.
    *Keep playing with the Anchor audio app, including posting prompts and stories there.
    *Work on strategic partnerships
    *Release the hounds “A Month of Stories 2016” writing prompt ebook.
    *Write a few stories during the Warm Up Course

  9. I didn’t share my goals for last month, but they were to break a TV pilot concept and to write a short story. I’m about 1/2 done on the first (these things DO take a lot of head work) and I completed the second — it even won a prize in our little writers’ group.

    This month my goal is to fully break that TV pilot and to write two short stories.

    1. Excellent! There’s nothing like a little recognition to feed the creative fires. Good for you.

      Good luck with the pilot. A big project certainly can demand a lot of brain…zombie project!

  10. Last month I said I’d outline a novel. Well. I’m hoping it stays in novella territory, because that is less intimidatingly large a writing project, but Inherit the Flame is outlined!

    This month, it is Camp NaNoWriMo. My goal is 30K words in 30 days. I have 771 words down and it’s not even an hour and a half into the first of April. \o/

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