SWAGr January 2015 Check In

First up: Here’s what happened here at StoryADay in 2014.

Now, on to 2015.

This month, it’s a special Serious Writer’s Accountability Group: a brand new year is upon us. List your resolutions for the month (or the year) here and check in again next month to update us all!

Remember the SMART acronym: make your goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (remember to build in a ‘when’, for when you’ll do all the writing you set yourself)


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 on previous SWAGr posts.

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

  • Complete a draft of a story – Ashley
  • Write 1 blog post a week – Cris
  • Write 10,000 (fiction) words this month.” – Julie
  • Read a new short story every day.” – Julie
  • Track my time and see what’s getting in the way of my writing – Alex
  • Revise two short stories and research possible markets – Jeannie
  •  Schedule “me time” to recharge my creative juices  – Jeannie
  • Finish one of my other short stories and send it out – Maureen
  • Write at least 500 words a day on any project – Maureen
  • Write 1,500 words a day on my book. On weekends … write 2,500 words a day – Jeffrey
  • Writing the synopsis for my novel – Misa
  • Finish one story draft each month – Carol

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

(Next check-in, Feb 1, 2015. 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.

24 thoughts on “SWAGr January 2015 Check In”

  1. I’m a bit late this month! Meant to reply when I got the email, but you know how it is. I’ve already submitted a 2,000 word short story for a competition this month. I’m working on a short story for a different competition and another one which is for being read on radio, but those are very competitive. Worth a try though. Interestingly, for radio they prefer mostly narrative with fairly minimal dialogue and character description. This means you have to concentrate more, especially through the editing process.
    Slowly I’m getting back into my novel, but I need to give it some serious time.

    1. Oh, I know how it is!
      Interesting insight on the radio stuff. Is that for the BBC? You’d have thought they’d want more dialogue, but maybe they don’t want to hire more than one actor (or one who can ‘do voices’)…
      Good luck!

      1. Julie,
        Yes for BBC, Radio 4. Their guidelines are;

        ‘We are looking for original short stories which work being read out loud i.e. with a strong emphasis on narrative and avoiding too much dialogue, character description and digression. Pay particular attention to how the story opens and closes, the ending needs to link back to the beginning.

        We are interested in seeing stories which cover a broad range of subject-matter but material which explores particularly dark, harrowing themes is not suited to Opening Lines. Stories must not contain defamatory, obscene or any other unsuitable material which is likely to cause offence to a wide audience of all ages.’

  2. I am WA-AY behind on making my January SWAGr resolutions, I’m afraid: bad host. However, my excuse is that life leapt up and bit me on the behind shortly after New Year.

    I think my goal this month is to figure out how to balance my own fiction with my ambitions for StoryADay (prep for May starts NOW!) at the same time as dealing with the inevitable roadblocks thrown up by life-as-a-member-of-a-family.

    I think there might be a whole series of articles for the site, coming up with THAT focus…

    Writing goals:
    *10,000 fiction words
    *Finish the climax of the novel
    *Read & log 15 short stories
    *Write on Wednesday Prompts for the site (and USE them, for fun writing exercises)

  3. Howdy, Folks! Happy New Year!

    For the next few months (through May) I will be concentrating on developing a wordpress blog for grad school assignments, and practicing the art of “powerful persuasion” (i.e., advocacy) for another class. With these two projects, I want to ensure they will be durable and meet my needs outside of just getting the class done and getting my A. 🙂

    Specific month writing activities: In between classes and work (which will involve lots of technical writing in the policy arena area), I am committing to setting aside at least 30 minutes a day for the NaPoWriMo (April), SSaD (May), and NNWM (November) again.

    Long-term project for the year: A very important personal project for me includes writing up my travels and finishing my pictures from fall 2014 in a web-based format. I am thinking I may be a little ambitious, given the realities of full-time work, grad school and family obligations, but I am gonna shoot for the moon.

    Here we go!

    1. Hi Shannon! Well, we know you’re nothing if not ambitious. And busy 🙂

      If I can help with the WordPress stuff, let me know. I have five years of behind-the-scenes noodling to draw on.

      I love the fact that you are writing for the love of it as well as doing your technical writing. Keep up the good work!

    1. Love that!

      Do you have a group you’ve already found? Do you WRITE at the group? I have a great critique group but sometimes wish I had a regular ‘lets hang out and write’ group too.

  4. Oh hullo, from the Ashley listed above! I may have missed a month but totally wanted to share, I DID complete a draft of a story! AND revised it! Whoop whoop <3

    I wanted my goal to be "2015 is the year I get published." But I've since amended it to read "2015 is the year I get a short story to a point where I can submit it for publication." This month specifically, I'm looking at finishing a third version/draft of a story set in Manhattan. It's been living with me for more than a year now, and it needs to be finished this month — so I can MOVE ON.

    Good luck, and catch you in February. With a FINAL draft of my "Manhattan."

    1. Good stuff! I WILL hold you to that resolution.

      Do you have an idea of where you want to submit it? If not, I’d follow Suzanne’s example and sign up for a free trial of Duotrope as you work on your final polish.
      Read their interviews with editors along with the similar series at EveryDayFiction.com, to increase your odds of meeting editors’ needs (or at least not ticking them off!)

      See you next month!

      1. Man I need to check my comments more often. I will have to check out Duotrope. I don’t really have a specific idea of where to submit; that’s always been so far in the future when I’m working on a draft it never really crosses my mind.

        I’ll comment on the February post, but perhaps that’s my goal this coming month…

        1. LOL that’s a fine goal.
          I find Duotrope to be helpful both after I’ve finished a story and when I’m looking for ideas for a new one. I particularly like the ‘upcoming themed deadlines’ section of their newsletter. I don’t often end up submitting to the contests (they’re usually REALLY upcoming by the time I read the email), but just thinking about the contest themes often sparks a few ideas.

  5. Hi Julie, long time no visit, from me that is however I have not been idle this year. I polished two novel manuscripts and have sent them out into the world and have sent stories to over a dozen competitions as well as writing and polishing twelve picture book drafts. I estimate around 200k words this year. My goals for 2015 are to complete the other novels I have begun and to continue to enter competitions and send out flash fiction. I stopped writing to anthologies now that I have 30 with my short stories in them and 13 with my art. Your site was invaluable for assisting me with keeping on track. I used many prompts and pep talks to goad me into action. I will pop back now and then to find something here that will add value to my growing creative career. All the best to you and everyone here for 2015. Keep writing. <3

  6. Write 250 new words a day on any creative project (not my journal)

    Schedule teleconference to spitball screenplay idea.
    Write out logline(s) and/or premises notes for teleconference

    Read, edit, and notate 1st draft Captive Audience

    Read Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction
    Read one flash fiction story a day

    Listen to and make notes on Chris’ Office Hours (2)

    Sign up for Duotrope free trial
    Select short story, research market, submit

    Read Common Errors in English Usage
    Listen to Grammar Girl podcasts Feb-Apr 2008

    1. Those sound like great goals, Suzanne.
      I’ll be expecting to see a ‘submitted short story’ this time next month! (Just do it! What do you have to lose?)
      Good luck!

  7. I have not committed to a story a day so far, this is my first time, and I will commit to post at least one flash fiction story a week on my blog and write four stories a week.

    1. Four stories a week is a pretty huge commitment. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find it hard to keep up. Four stories a month would be a great pace, even if they are all flash.

      Good luck! And don’t forget to feed your muse!

    1. I love this! if you can make it for 15 minutes every day (or even most days), you’ll surely find yourself writing more on many days.

      Do you have a set project you’re working on? A favorite format? Story Sparks ready to go? I’d love to hear how you plan to make this work for you.

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