SWAGr – Accountability for April 2017

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. )

Don’t forget, if you need inspiration for a story you can still get ALL THE PROMPTS from StoryADay May 2016 and support the running of the StoryADay challenge at the same time. (I’m really proud of last year’s collection!) Give a little, get a little :) Click here. Now only $2.99

18 thoughts on “SWAGr – Accountability for April 2017”

  1. Hi all!

    I just read about this in Writer’s Digest and found the concept fascinating. Do you need to be a member to join?

    In case there’s no membership needed, my writing goals for April:

    – I run a blog about books for a news website in my home country. I hope to post there once a week, every Thursday
    – I’m taking part in a short story workshop that requires me to write one 1,000-word story per week, also in my native language. I hope to use the weekends for that since the course runs on Tuesdays.
    – I also hope to submit my work to at least one short story competition in English this month—maybe more if I have time.

    All while taking care of a lovely 4-month-old baby. Wish me luck! 🙂

  2. How is it already April???

    I kept my March goals small, since it was a busy month (busier than I thought originally, even), and while I didn’t make them all, I made some very important progress. I posted two book reviews, including one for an ARC I received; I posted some snippets to my Patreon and reorganized my page; and, although not writing related, I’ve been able to create and stick to daily to-do lists, which has brought my anxiety down considerably, enough, in fact, that I decided:

    April Goals

    Camp NaNo! For some reason, I sign up for every NaNo event, even though I have my own issues with them. This time, however, since they’ve started offering lines and hours to be counted, I’m much more confident about it. My goal is 30 hours of writing, so 1 a day. These first few days haven’t been writing-productive (WonderCon and recovery from WonderCon have taken up my time and energy), but I know I can catch up. I’m not making any plans about what I’m writing, but I am gearing up to join a big bang, so hopefully it’ll mostly be fiction.

    1. Somehow I’ve never really got to grips with what CampNano is about (probably because I’ve been getting ready for StoryADay every year since before it started). Must get more informed!

      Question on Patreon: Do you find it worthwhile? I think I might find it quite anxiety-inducing. Or I might find it exhilarating to know people were waiting to hear from me…How do you like it?

      I find goal-setting-sessions and to-do lists invaluable for reducing anxiety about All The Things hanging over me. Actually that’s a good reminder…I’m off to do some planning!

  3. April is the month I write a poem a day, which is a worthy warmup for Story-a-Day May.

    Meanwhile, I’m still writing at least a couple of stories a week and hope to finish revising (my most difficult skill) my first story collection.

  4. I know March has 31 days, but it seemed to vanish in the blink of an eye! Well, I managed to finish a chapter of my novel, which was a hangover from February. I finished my two online courses which technically had nothing to do with writing, although the film making one was good at seeing how stories can be told in so many different ways and gave me further insight in writing scripts. I re-worked another of my earlier short stories and submitted to a competition. I started the next chapter of the novel but that is currently on hold. I’ve sketched out each of the remaining chapters so I know where it’s going, I just need to write them now.

    I think for this month I’ll start the next chapter and leave the current one in the ‘too difficult’ basket. It may work out easier when I’ve written more. I’m also planning a new short story aimed at another competition for the end of May, so I have some time to think about it.

    1. Sounds good.

      Did you, by any chance, take the FutureLearn Digital Storytelling class? I did part of that a while ago. It was interesting.

      I definitely advocate leaving chapters and scenes in the ‘too difficult’ basket. Sometimes it turns out you’re resisting them because they are difficult, sometimes it turns out that you’re resisting them because they can be replaced with something else (which becomes clear when you’ve written more of the story). Keep ploughing forward!

      1. Thanks for the support Julie. I’ve not come across the FutureLearn Digital Storytelling class yet, I’ll keep an eye out for that one.

  5. March:
    My goals included working on my writing process and devoting more time in the evenings to writing. I mostly succeeded. Creating a writing process is a lot of fun. I now have a much better sense of who I am as a writer. There were a few days and even an entire week when I didn’t write very much, but my process allows for flexibility (something I didn’t have in the past and resulted in a lot of angst) and recharging my creativity.

    I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo by participating in National Poetry Writing Month, with a goal of writing a page of new poetry every day. After I’m done writing for the day, I’ll select one poem to self-publish on my blog. I’m planning to read a lot of poetry this month as well as a book about poetry forms.

    If I have time, I’ll also continue rewriting a science fiction/horror short story. I wrote it back in 2015 but I recently reread it and saw how it could be improved with a different approach. The rewriting has been going well and I would like to continue even though my focus is on poetry this month.

    I hope everyone has a successful month of writing!

    1. Sounds great!
      I’m glad you’re finding a process that allows for flexibility. I’m a bit of a binger and a sprinter, myself!

      Isn’t it amazing how different stories look a couple of years later? 😉

  6. – I’ve written several short stories and numerous pieces of flash fiction during the past two months. One of my goals in April is to edit, revise, and submit a few of those pieces for publication.

    – I’m intrigued by flash fiction and have enjoyed exploring different genres within that sub-category of fiction including literary fiction, mystery and science fiction. This month I’d like to continue visiting sites that publish flash and accept flash fiction submissions.

    – My physical and electronic shelves are overflowing with books that I’d like to read. In April, I’d like to spend time reading stories in Junot Diaz’s short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her, as well as a novel by Eliza Kennedy, I Take You.

    – Last month, one of my goals was to create a list of topics for May’s story-a-day. I didn’t put together that list but found an easy way of creating topics if my brain runs dry and that is to use rock lyrics and titles from music genres that I listen to including psychedelic 60’s, one hit wonders, garage bands, grunge, and metal genres, to spur ideas.

    – I can’t wait for May 1st to roll around. Am looking forward (probably naively) to trying my hand writing a story-a-day.

    1. That sounds like a great plan for building (reading and) writing into your life. Good for you!!

      Yes, you’re naive, but that’s a wonderful thing. I’m old and jaded and STILL excited for May 🙂

  7. Hi, all,

    My March goals turned out to be reasonable.
    *Working more on the novel: I did this. I redid the scene by scene based on the plot class (see below) and it was super useful. I added in subplots, as well as some substantial plot changes.
    *Another short story to keep on track for #12for12stories: Did this, too. It needs editing before submission, but it is not terrible (it’s a crime/mystery thing).
    *I signed up for a short online class on plot with Sisters in Crime. This was excellent; it helped with the month’s short story, as well as the novel. (For anyone with an interest in crime/mystery writing, the Sisters in Crime Guppies chapter is *so helpful.*)
    *AND also! My #12for12stories from January that was being considered for an anthology? It was accepted! I just have a few, pending final edits and it will be out (fingers crossed) next year! *and* if that wasn’t encouraging enough, a story I had published in a small Toronto-based literary magazine in 2014, is being re-printed in an ‘editor’s picks’ issue before they go on hiatus (the original printing of the story, called Swimming Lessons, is here: http://www.wordsonpagespress.com/parenthetical/issue-four-november-2014/ if anyone is interested).

    And for April:
    *Camp Nanowrimo: My focus is continuing to work on the novel. I have set myself a goal of 50 hours. It’s a combination of editing (what I already wrote) and writing (things I need to add, mostly scenes for the subplots).
    *For #12for12stories, I will write another short SF piece. There are a couple of submission possibilities that I am considering (one on optimism and the other on global dystopia, so I guess it’s going to depend on my mood!).
    *I signed up for another short course through Sisters in Crime. This one is on writing historical mysteries. I wrote a story a day story (last May, I think) inspired by one of my ancestors (a multiple-great aunt who was a nun in Montreal in the early 1700s) as an amateur detective and I think it could work in novel/series length.

    Best of luck to everyone!

  8. So… my brain looked at my March goals and was like ‘how ’bout we have a depressive period instead’. Aside from sending out ‘featherweight’ again, to a place that told me it was clichéd. Ouch.
    Only really good thing I did (aside from doing my best on the job transfer, which is taking frustratingly long) was join on online writing group with my new housemate that’s had a really positive energy so far. I just had my first good writing day in a while, so fingers crossed it’ll continue! This month I’ll try to:
    – write a bunch on my main novel project; I’m aiming for 30k with a stretch goal of 40k
    – get some feedback on my almost-finished short story to see if I can get rid of my writer’s block on it
    – keep looking for another place ‘featherweight’ might fit.

      1. Agreed! It’s so easy to put your writing last, or think it doesn’t matter. When you have writing friends, someone’s always going through a good spell that inspires you, or is asking for advice, and you find you know the answer…it’s just encouraging to be with other writers.

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