SWAGr for Feb 2019

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


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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28 thoughts on “SWAGr for Feb 2019”

  1. This is a belated post as January was a near-fail and February is disappearing fast. I’ve met my post targets but slipped up on my WIP novel. March is the moveable deadline for starting the next edit?

    1. Well done on the posts. Perhaps you can view Jan and Feb as successful experiements in how bony to get the WIP finished. Now, how can you use that data to get the opposite effect in March? 😉

  2. Yes, it is one of her titles. With its help, I think this time I’ll do a much better job than I have in the past at creating complex characters.

    I have a weakness for traditional heroes, so I have a tendency to make my characters too flawless. I’ve also had trouble writing characters that make sense, to be honest. I have struggled to keep character arcs interesting. But I feel less tentative about my characters and their journeys now.

    When I finish my background research books, I need to consult the rest of Ms. Ackerman’s books.

  3. I’m very behind on posting here, but, hey, I didn’t forget entirely. When I posted my goals for January, I made them sound a lot more complicated than they needed to. Basically, my plan was to work for nine minutes each on my novel and poetry every day. I did both.

    For my novel, I did some outlining work on novelsuite.com. That site works for me because, not only does it come with character, seeing, structure and setting templates as well as a word processor, you can access it on any device and any operating system. It also gives you a place to keep your research and its password-protected. I also did some character work thanks to the Negative Trait Thesaurus, then I decided I needed to do more background research before I went any further, so I started reading a related nonfiction book. It’s what I’m working through on the novel front right now. I have submitted three poems for publication and have begun working on three more.

    My goals for February are:
    — Read background research for my novel nine minutes a day
    — Work on poetry nine minutes a day
    — Keep up with the poetry writing class I am informally following along with.

  4. Hi Julie, I have been hanging around the outskirts of StoryADay for a few years now, starting the challenges and making it a few days in but then drifting off track. So, I decided to enrol on a short story writing course, but the first assignment has me paralysed. I have started about 4 versions of a story but nothing will work to fit the criteria. So, for February, I have decided to take a month off the assignment and work through the StADa Warm-Up course that has been sitting, half-completed, on my shelf since 2016! Need to get my brain into writing mode and capture some sparks.

    1. Louise! Of course!

      I hope the Warm Up Course helps gets things moving for you.

      What do you think caused the other course to make you seize up?

      1. I was hoping for a gentle intro but assignment 1 is a 1200-1400 word story with a specific message and conflict, and everything I come up with seems too contrived. I think my perfectionism is the problem. I should allow the first assignment to be awful and keep going but I have gone into panic mode. Change of scene needed for a bit. With you ☺.

        1. Ah! I entered the NYC Midnight Contest recently, and the first round did that to me too. I was determined to write a story in the world of my novel, but the prompt I got was going to force me to write a dark, miserable story and I didn’t want to do that. So I brainstormed a really silly idea instead and told myself it didn’t matter if it was good, it was just going to be ‘written’.

          It was tough, because I got through to the second round last year and I had to let go of the expectation that I would do that again this year, to get anything written at all.

          And of course in the end, I was pretty happy with what I wrote. I’m sure I’ll see plenty of things to change when I look at it again later, but It. Is. Written.

          Good luck with yours!

  5. For January:
    Finish 1st drafts:
    Craving You – YES!!!!! Over 35,000 words for the month, the draft is a bit over 93k
    GH & SF 2 – no, only wrote about 7500 words. This one is a bit slow going

    Finish edits:
    GH & SF 1 – didn’t finish, but made progress
    Law of Choice(once I get it back from critique partner) – still haven’t gotten this back

    For February:
    Write 60000 words between 4 projects:
    Neil & Lin(no title yet)
    Broken Halos(Wyatt & Kaden)
    Build This Love
    Heart to Heart
    finish GH & SF edits
    read through my collection of short stories

      1. Hehe. I know, right. That’s 15k on each of them and a couple are already about halfway there from the bits I wrote during last year’s 2 Story a Days and a few other blog challenges/hops. 🙂

  6. Hello community! I am new here, this is such a fabulous idea, thank you Julie!

    February commitments:

    1. Write one poem a week
    2. Video 4 poetry readings for my new YouTube channel
    3. Find a local open mic spoken word night to do a live reading (eeek)
    4. Finish planning / research for my fantasy novel

    I wish everyone a productive February.

    In joy and gratitude,


    1. Welcome, Natalie!

      I love that your plans include performing poetry both online and in the same air space as actual people. It’s terrifying and thrilling and kind of addictive! Not to mention great for getting a better understanding of your own world. Go, you!

  7. Hi, all,

    My January plans were:
    *edit/finish for a submission date midway through the month. NO BUT. A combination of work interfering with my writing time early in the month and a story that was not working out. However, I switched to working on another story, a re-edit for a February 14th submission date and it is almost finished.
    *work on polishing of the all-but-finished novel. SOME. I’m getting there!
    *get another piece (or two) written for Medium. NO, but I did sign up for the DIY MFA Book Club that started last week and I’ve been posting my responses to the prompts about writing and process and such on my blog.
    *and — this was not on my list — but I rather spontaneously signed up for the NYC Midnight Short Story Contest and wrote and submitted a (horror!) short story for that.

    For February, my plans are:
    *finish that short story re-edit and submit
    *there’s a solarpunk anthology with a March 1st submission date that I would like to submit something for, too
    *more on the novel!
    *continue blogging the DIY MFA Book Club prompts
    *an online class called “Dial Up the Tension” through Loft Literary Center that starts next week. This was partly precipitated by my struggle with explicit tension in my horror story.

    Good luck, all.

    1. Grea stuff, Monique. I love how you are always making progress, always producing, even when you have to tweak the goals a little. I need to get on board with the DIYMFA book club. Sounds valuable.

      Good luck in the NYC midnight challenge. Maybe we’ll end up competing in the second round!

  8. January’s proposed vs. ACTUAL outcome:
    1. Continue journaling and writing fiction every day – YES
    2. I will write one short story every week – wrote 3 out of 4
    3. Inspired by the Ray Bradbury lecture Julie shared, I will read one poem, one essay and one short story every night before bed – YES
    4. Enter our public library short story writing contest, deadline February 15. I have three pieces I am considering – CHOSE A PIECE, AM REVISING.

    This month, I will continue journaling and writing fiction every day, write a short story every week, submit my story to the library writing contest and a new story to my online critique group. I have also signed up for another online writing course.

    Basically, mo’ writing, mo’ writing, mo’ writing.

    1. Love it, Katherine! You really did all that ready for the Bradbury challenge? How was it?

      Sending you good vibes for the Feb 15 deadline.

  9. Here’s what I promised to do in January:

    -Finish and submit Big Article – DONE!
    -Finish novel and share with critique partners – NOT DONE BUT SOOOO CLOSE
    -Complete big, scary back-end stuff for StoryADay – 95% DONE AND FEELING GOOD
    -Take part in NYCMidnight’s Short Story Contest (and therefore write one short story) – DONE
    -Write one further 100 word story – OOPS, FORGOT ABOUT THIS
    -Post writing prompts and a couple of podcast episodes – DONE (ONE PODCAST)
    -Begin to put StoryADay plans in motion for this year – GREAT PROGRESS HERE

    For Feburary I will:
    Run a writing hangout here at StoryADay
    – Post four flash fiction writing prompts/exercises
    – Post 2 podcast episodes
    – Write one short story
    – Do lots and lots of prep for StoryADay May (undisclosed for now!)
    – Keep pushing towards the end of the novel

  10. I’m taking a class, so finishing that is the primary goal.
    Beyond that, revise a story I drafted last month, draft and revise a new short story, take care of a revision request, and send out all three of those. Also keep up with the short fiction reading I’ve been doing.

    1. I LOVE the word you’ve chosen for 2019, Tammy!

      And the format of this blog post is great. Reflecting on what we’re achieving, and what we’re hoping and planning for, is so powerful. Sounds like you have some great connections going on.

  11. Spent the month of January revitalizing with reading, journaling, and starting what might in time work into a novel.

    For February, my goals are to write a new short story each week and revise one chapter of the novel I wrote during November as a NaNoWriMo project.

  12. I spent January reading instead of writing, wgich was very good for me. This month, the fanfiction exchanges start again, so I’ll be writing a lot more. I’ve finished two original flash fiction stories, so I’m prepared for this month.

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