SWAGr April Check In 2015

So, what will you accomplish this month? Leave your comment and get some accountability!

What did you write last month? What will you do next month? It’s time for the  Serious Writer’s Accountability Group!

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.)

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

  • Finish novella – Maureen
  • Write two short stories. – Jami
  • Write 10,000 (fiction) words this month. – Julie
  • Work on a series – Brick
  • Track my time and see what’s getting in the way of my writing – Alex
  • Research the market – Jami
  • Writing the synopsis for my novel – Misa
  • Finish one story draft each month – Carol

 So, what will you accomplish this month? Leave your comment below:

(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 2014 and support the running of the StoryADay challenge at the same time. Give a little, get a little :) Click here.

21 thoughts on “SWAGr April Check In 2015”

  1. My goals for March were to write one short story first draft and write my daily pages every day. I completed my short story on March 31! 5478 words. It feels like a good one, my best one yet. I did double daily pages once in March, but I did complete 93 pages total, so that is a success for me.

    In April, I have set the same goals for myself. Write the first draft of one short story and write 90 daily pages.

    1. Thanks for your comments. You’ve been very productive as well. The short story sounds good. I’m intrigued by your daily pages. Are these diary entries, an ongoing novel or random pages of writing prompts, thoughts, snippets, etc?

      1. Thanks Malcolm. My daily pages are freewriting, whatever pops into my mind I write down. Sometimes I write like a diary, sometimes I use writing prompts or even work on characters or work out issues in my current story. Twice I have written a first draft in its entirety during my daily pages, those were longer than three pages because I was making up for missing a day. It helps me keep a clear mind.

    2. That’s great!
      I’m a fan of Gretchen Rubin (“The Happiness Project”). Her latest book is called “Better than Before” and is all about habits. One of her “rules” is “what I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while”. Sounds like you’re putting a lot into your writing, every day. A story a month is a great goal and a pace you could keep up for a long time and call yourself a productive writer.

      Looking forward to seeing how you get on this month!

      1. Thank you Julie. It took me years of searching to find daily writing as a stress release tool. Now that I have the habit, my stress levels elevate when I miss it. I set myself a goal last year of writing 52 stories, I was able to complete 6. I have a better idea now of what goes into writing a first draft so 1 a month is a much more realistic goal for where I am at in my life right now.

  2. Well done on hitting your 10k target and completing the first draft! I’m happy to have a go at copyediting the Story a Day ebook. I’ll be signing up to the challenge (do I have to re-register?) again, as last year it really motivated to get writing in a much higher gear. As a result I have written much more over the last year and submitted a number of short stories to competitions and one or two magazines. No joy as yet, but I’m still plugging away!

    In March I finished a 2,000 word short story and submitted it to live lit event. May find out if it’s been chosen in debt few days. I completed another short story (1,200 words) for reading out. I read it out at a local writers event. It was well received; I was asked questions by the audience, and after the event i spoke to a few people. It can be nerve racking, but I was fine and it is a great confidence boost. For the rest of the month, I’ve been doing prep work on my novel. I have now outlined all the chapters and now know where the story goes! For the time being I am leaving the first two chapters as they are, but the other eight that I have written (some years ago) need a hefty re-write.

    I’m signed up for a weeks retreat in the middle of May that I am going to use for a major push on my novel, now that I’ve got it planned out. So I’m hoping to to start the re-write of one or two chapters and hack some of the later chapters this month. I’ve also researched four fairly major short story competitions which I am now aiming at over the next four to five months. So, I’ve lots of writing to do over the coming months! For this month, I’ll target 10,000 words this month, which may be slightly ambitious.

    I’ll be signing up for this year’s Story a day in May, although I may struggle to do something everyday. The first three days in May I will be following a bunch of lycra clad cyclists round Yorkshire and then in the middle of the month I have my five day writing retreat (no wi-fi!). So it will be a challenge, but it is a great way of triggering new stories.

    1. Sounds like you have been very productive. Enjoy your retreat in May! Congrats on completing two short stories in March.

    2. So glad to hear that StADa helped kickstart your writing year.

      No need to re-register. You’re on the mailing list and have a login for the community sections. Consider this your declaration that you’re on board.

      Remember you can make up your own rules so how about ‘every day I don’t have a commitment that’ll make it nearly-impossible, I’ll write a story”? 🙂
      Maybe you can write story starters or sparks or mini-outlines on those days?

      I’ll add you to the list of people willing to look over the ebook.

      Keep up the good work!!

  3. Ugh, last month real life really sat on my writing plans. My room sprung a leak and I had to move all my furniture, then move rooms twice, and didn’t get much writing done overall. I have gotten several chapters into the middle-grade rewrite, though.
    This month I’ve got –
    – My April Camp NaNoWriMo efforts. I’m counting work on my middle-grade towards the goal, but I’m switching between that and the project I’d already picked because I really, really wanted to work on that one. I’m hoping to finish the second draft of the middle-grade (The Stork) and get at least two-thirds into the other project.
    – Figure out when I’m going to carve out time for finishing that one novella and finishing the beats for the other – I got a bit of work done on each, but I need to figure out what’s blocking me so badly.

    Sticking more to a couple big goals this time around.

  4. Well, let’s see. In March, I said I would and because I said I would I dug up some courage, revised and submitted my short story to the group looking to publish an anthology here in our local multi-county regional library spread. *fingers crossed* I also created, recorded and produced my first short audio piece for a grad school class: https://soundcloud.com/user481825178/parent-and-village-mixdown

    For April, in addition to grad school projects and covering extra work while folks are out on maternity leave, I’ll be doing the annual poetry challenge, and writing a poem a day and getting it up on my blogspot. (Learn more about NaPoWriMo here: http://www.napowrimo.net/ )

  5. Well, I hit my 10,000 words by March 24th. It wasn’t all fiction, but that’s fine because this is my big non-fiction time of year, what with the build-up to StoryADay May (who’s with me?).

    I am really enjoying using this spreadsheet that I made to log words (you can take a peek here). I am normally not good at recording my progress for more than a few days at a time, but this seems to be encouraging me to stick to it for two reasons: 1, the box at the top that says ‘Year To Date Total” and 2, this group.

    The fact that I can come here and say ‘yes, I hit my 10,000 words this month’ is really helping me push myself a little more every week. So thank you to everyone who turns up here!

    This was a big month. I finished a first draft of a novel for the first time ever (in a snow storm, no less), submitted it to my critique group and, three weeks later, subjected myself to a round-table critique of it. No, they didn’t tell me it was a work of genius, but they did give me really useful feedback and a few of them were very encouraging. It was such a worthwhile exercise, both FINISHING it and SHARING it. Highly recommended. I’m working on creating some similar opportunities for short stories here at StoryADay, becausee it was so worthwhile.

    I also started writing the next one and am reading a novel for a critique partner.

    I have not yet finished the 2015 StoryADay May writing prompts ebook but I’m close. It’ll be coming out mid-month, so watch for that. If anyone here would like a free copy in exchange for casting a copyediting eye over it, let me know!

    I researched, wrote and submitted an article to Flash Fiction Chronicles, about the Horror Genre, so if you’ve ever wonded about Horror, you can read that. There’s a mystery one coming soon, too, and the series also contains articles on romance, sci fi and more.

    I also cleaned up the StADa mailing list and made it easier for people to get only the emails they’re interested in (more details about that one in the next proper newsletter)

    I will be snowed under with StoryADay Prep and don’t expect to write much fiction. I will:
    * Write, promote and release the 2015 StoryADay Writing Prompts ebook (yes, the prompts will still be on the site this year. This is just for those people who like to plan ahead and have asked for a copy of the prompts up front)
    * Solicit guest prompts from established writers, to go up on the site
    * Clean up the site and open it for registration
    * Spam the heck out of the mailing list (just kidding) before the challenge starts. I will be sending a bunch of announcements, though.
    * Interview writers and guest post on other sites to raise awareness of StoryADay May (our sixth year!!!)

    How about you?

    1. Yay for hitting 10k!

      I’d be happy to copyedit if you’re still looking for someone to do it.

      My big goal for the month: Finish my CampNaNo novella – 20,000 words – and publish a 100-word story every day on the blog (oh the insanity!).

    2. Busy lady!!! Way to go with meeting your goals, finding some tools to improve the accountability curve, and bravely exploring the critique group! I can cast an eye over the writing prompts ebook, if you like. Let me know. 🙂

    3. Your writing log looks great, my husband uses Excel all the time. I have never gotten used to it, but I can see its usefulness.

      1. I’m married to a scientist and now even my non-scientist friends are pushing spreadsheets on me. I am starting to see the value. I like the ‘gold star’ effect of seeing the red boxes turn green and I LOVE the fact that I don’t have to do any arithmetic 🙂

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