SWAGr – Accountability for January 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. )

28 thoughts on “SWAGr – Accountability for January 2018”

  1. I’m a bit late to join in the party but better late than never.

    I have decided to set myself monthly goals this year, instead of jumping into the unknown on January 1st with a set a good-looking resolutions which turn out to be impossible to achieve. And because I need accountability, I will try to post them here, as well as on my site.

    For January I am hoping to edit and submit two short stories I have written earlier this month and to begin (or at least think about) the edits of another story I wrote last year.

    Thanks for all your work, Julie!

  2. I resolved to write for at least 30 minutes a day during 2018. So far, so good. I have written seven stories as of today, January 13.

    I am also happy to report that between May 1 and September 30, 2017 I wrote 113 stories based on Julie’s 2017, 2016, and 2015 May prompts and the September 2017 prompts. Four of those stories have been accepted for publication. Thank you, Julie!

  3. Hello!
    First time in here.

    Purposes for January:
    -Start with my translation project (an hour a day, including investigation and everything).
    -Start my new writing project, with five characters and five chapters.

    I’m already working on those, but it has been hard to keep the rhythm with the translation.

      1. It is indeed. I’m having a low start, not even a chapter complete, and I’ve already learn a few things.

        Thanks for the good wishes. Same for you… Well, I see you have a really long list, right? Everything going great, I hope!

  4. I’m a recently-retired college professor trying to make the shift from academic writing to something not requiring citations. There are two challenges to this plan: an unfinished academic project that keeps trying to morph into something else, and my schedule, or lack thereof. After a lifetime of being connected to the school year, being retired feels less like freedom than freefall.

    So my goals for January:

    Find a balance between a schedule and spontaneity.
    Reassess the academic project and develop a plan for completion
    Complete a multimedia work, “2017 in Review”, which traces my life as recorded in tweets, Facebook posts, photos, and paper journaling. It’s a sort of scrapbook I am using to learn some new tech skills.

    1. Ah, congrats on retirement…and commiserations, too 😉 Now you’re your own boss and that takes some getting used to.

      I STRONGLY suggest giving yourself a schedule and some monthly goals (small, achievable ones that won’t stress you out, and that you can gain satisfaction from exceeding). It doesn’t have to be ‘write every day’ or ‘write x words every day’, but committing to doing something to further your writing x days a week, and following through, will do wonders for your mental health around writing.

      I also (as a non-morning person, I can’t believe I’m saying this) am a big fan of experimenting with hitting the writing desk first thing, before you tidy up or do any of the other things that you feel like you ought to do before you’ve ‘earned’ your creative time. Nope! Do your creative work first, and the rest of your day goes SO much better. Or find whatever part of the day works best for you, and do your work then. Never apologize.

      Here are my goal-setting and planning worksheets, in case that helps. Also, don’t forget to check in to the SWAGr post every month and make your commitments. We’ll hold them for you!

  5. My writing hasn’t been a priority lately, and this is the year that changes. My goals include:
    *completing 85k challenge
    *finishing rewrite/edit on first book in trilogy (creating a language had me stuck)

    I enjoy the May writing challenge, though the September one kicks my tail every time (beginning of new academic year). I also agree that maybe cutting down on the number of prompts to monthly vs weekly may benefit your own writing progress.

  6. My goals for the year are:

    –Read more classic literature
    –Edit and revise my Nano novel from this past November
    –Edit and revise another Nano novel that I wrote back in 2010, which is a novel I have been meaning to revise and edit for probably the last three years
    –Finish uploading photos to my deviant art account and then try to keep the photos current and upload as I take them.
    –Get back into a writing routine. At the moment, that goal is 3,000 words a day, in the morning, for an hour and half.

    As for this website, the only time I’ve ever on here and use it the most is during May and September. I love the daily writing prompts for those months, as it helps with the short story a day challenge. I also love the e-mails, which is my way for keeping up with things on here.

    I really don’t use much else on here. Maybe keep the forums, SWAGr, and the September/May challenges and just pare down other things on the site. Even getting rid of the September challenge and just going back to the May challenge may help.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts and feedback!

      I’ll be interested to hear how you go about revising those novels. That’s a new-ish challenge for me, and I’m always on the lookout for how other people approach it.

      Also, 3K words a day? Holy moley! Good for you!

    2. Like a couple of other people who have commented on this thread, I write during the September challenge, but do not come close to my goal. It’s also the start of the new academic year for me, as opposed to the end of one, which is the case during the May challenge. I would be fine with monthly writing prompts, or perhaps you would find it easier to continue with the weekly prompts if the September challenge went away. Please keep going with the May challenge.

      I replied to your email on the changes to the site. I’ll summarize my email since other regulars on this forum are posting feedback here. The gist of what I wrote was this: I file away the writing prompts and I post on the SWAGR forum each month. The other features on the website I don’t get much time to peruse.

  7. My resolution for the year is to be more productive. That translates to writing as in I want to write more. I have been very unmotivated lately, not just in writing. I think it’s winter. I’m going to overcome it and so I plan to write more. I’ve been slacking on the writing, so right now, anything counts.

    1. Good for you! Can you make a more measurable commitment? It doesn’t have to be impressive, just something you can measure.

      You might want to check out the newsletter I just sent for some worksheets to help with that.

      Also, this is going to sound weird but I cleaned up my eating habits this year (more veg, no sugar) and it helped tremendously with unfogging my brain. Let me know if you want to know the resources I used to help with that.

  8. I took all of December off from writing (except when I felt like it, obvi) and that was a great stress reliever. The break really rejuvenated me and made it easier to get back to writing today.

    January: I just finished two fics I needed done by the 10th, so that’s out of the way. Now I have one 10,000 word fic to get done by the end of the month, but I’m back to my 750 a day goal, so I know I’ll get that done in no time.

    My main goal this year is to write and write whatever I want without worry, and I’m feeling pretty confident I can get this done.

    1. I definitely find taking breaks pays dividends…as long as you recommit to the writing afterwards! 😉
      I love the goal of pleasing yourself, in your writing.
      Happy new year!

  9. December goals:
    Write at least 396 words each day toward the completion of my novel rough draft.— not completed every day, though I did write 9204 words in December.
    Write a holiday-themed short story for my website.— not completed. When I managed to work up the motivation to reach my goal, it was easiest to continue with my novel rough draft. At least that goal kept me moving forward overall.

    January goal:
    Continue with writing 396 words on my novel rough draft each day.

  10. Hello, all,

    Happy New Year!

    So, my plan for December was to finish the two unfinished stories I had from November and then go back to my novel. I did work on both the stories (and had a bit of an epiphany on the conclusion of one), but decided to focus more on the novel and I did get a good amount done (both editing and working out some plot and character issues I was having).

    For January, it is more novel. I have signed up for a “Finish Your Novel” online class (https://www.loft.org/shop/product_detail/2/classes/1217/finish_your_novel/) that starts next week. I have done a short, in-person workshop with the instructor before and she was great. I’m hoping this will help me work out a straightforward plan for getting the novel finished without overthinking, while I continue with my editing.

    1. “Without overthinking” ha! Isn’t that just the problem. We are writers because we are thinkers, but it can hold us back too. I love your motivation for taking this course. Sounds like a winner.

      Happy New Year to you!

  11. Happy New Year!!!
    I love a fresh start, don’t you? (I know, it’s completely arbitrary, but hey.)

    Here’s what I committed to last month:
    * Research write and submit article under contract (by Dec 18) — DONE and handed in a day before the deadline (WUT?!)
    * Podcast & blog weekly – NOT DONE. I did a lot of thinking about the future of StoryADay though.
    * Write 16000 words on — and finish— the novel (this is a stretch goal, but it could happen — NOT DONE, but I did write 7372 words, and make significant progress, so there’s that.

    In January I will
    * FINISH the first draft of the novel
    * Dedicate 2 weeks to revising the previous novel
    * Write a short story
    * Create writing prompts every Wednesday
    * Podcast at least twice.
    * Read 30 mins a day
    * Play piano every day

    I know some of those don’t seem like writing commitments, but they kind of are. Doing a creative activity that is NOT related to writing is so refreshing. I have other things on my list (including meditation) that I’m trying to incorporate too. Seems like I don’t have time, but also seems to expand the time I have available, if I remember to do it.

    GOALS FOR 2018
    I’m also going to throw in my goals for 2018, here.

    I’m making a personal shift to focus on fiction. That’s going to have some ramifications for StoryADay, but don’t worry, the May challenge, at least, will still be happening. But I’m letting go of any ambitions to morph StoryADay into a massive empire.

    So my theme for the year is “Go Pro”, but that is more about my attitude to my writing than any focus on cash flow.

    I’m not quite sure how that shakes out for StoryADay and I’d be grateful to hear your thoughts on what you like about this place, what you’d miss, what you crave, etc. Because this places started out (briefly, back in March of 2010) about my need to (shame myself to) write more, but within days became about a community of writers giving themselves permission to be creative, to challenge themselves and spur each other on.

    1. Your goals are so inspiring! And yes, definitely need some non-writing creative things to help fight writing burnout.

      I really like StoryADay as a community. I know the monthly check ins keep me motivated, and of course I love the May (and September) challenges. If you want to pare down some of the activity on your end, maybe some prompts for the month, instead of weekly, or just a couple of monthly posts to keep this from eating up too much of your time.

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