SWAGr – Accountability for Jan 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!


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. )

A Month of Writing Prompts 2016

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 this year’s collection!) Give a little, get a little :) Click here. Now only $2.99

19 thoughts on “SWAGr – Accountability for Jan 2017”

  1. Last month, I decided to not write at all. Things were very stressful personally, and with two writing exchanges, stress levels were too high. Letting myself not write without guilt was incredibly freeing, and ended up allowing me to start a story in the last days of December.

    This month, I’m trying to get back into blogging, which will hopefully lead me back into writing fiction again. I’m focusing on writing small, trying not to get too broad in scope and overwhelm myself again. Small goals, but ones I can keep.

  2. This is my first SWAGr post 🙂

    My writing goal for January is to post to my blog at least once a week. This is an even smaller goal than you might think. I’ve just started eating low sodium (again – I’ve been off the wagon for years, despite having medical conditions that improve with a lower sodium diet) and plan to post my progress weekly.

    Part of me feels this isn’t a “good enough” goal for SWAGr, but that’s the part of my psyche that doesn’t like me. Down the road I do want to be writing fiction regularly. This blog goal is a baby step in that direction.

    1. Hi Hope, and welcome!

      Believe it or not, I’m a big fan of the tiny goals that let us feel like bigger goals might be possible. I know: hard to believe, coming from the person who came up with StoryADay May! But the rest of the year, I’m a firm believer in achievable goals.

      In my experience, having a list of topics, ahead of time, really helps with getting blog posts out. You might find that having a set time to write it, every week, helps (that doesn’t work so well for me, but you never know). Figure out what works for you, learn from those times when it doesn’t work, and keep pressing on. Good luck!

      Post the link to your blog here, and I’ll come and check in on you >:)

      1. I have a bad habit of turning something I love into a chore, then not wanting to do it. So I have a plan to post every Sunday, but I’m leaving it open when I write and edit the post. I’ve already started on next week’s post, because I’m still excited about it 🙂

        My blog is hopeevey.BlogSpot.com 🙂 It’s super simple, which is all I need right now.

  3. Hi, all,

    I didn’t post at the beginning of December (out of Nanowrimo exhaustion ;-)), but my plan for December was to work on my Nanowrimo novel (which I have spent a lot of time on and am very happy with) and develop a couple of short stories (which I have done and am working on for January 15th and February 15 submission dates).

    For January:
    *complete both short stories that are currently in process
    *work on this novel further: which means, finish re-reading, decide on what subplots need to be added, as well as changes to the main plot
    *2-3 blog posts on my blog (which I have been neglecting)

    For the year,
    *finish this novel
    *finish the screenplay I have been toying with for a while, including taking a more advanced screenwriting class (which begins at the end of February)
    *I like the idea of 12 stories in 12 months. This month I hope to get two done, so we’ll see how this goes. Building a body of work to submit is something I have tried to do, on and off, for the last few years (I have been somewhat successful with this).
    *And, of course, continuing to post regularly to my blog.


  4. Ok, here’s what I promised to do last month

    * Finish a short mystery novel 45,000 words by mid January, which means having the story broken out and about half of it written this month — HMM, I’m stalling on this, which makes me wonder if I’m trying this for the wrong reasons. Taking another look and revisiting this commitment…
    * Record 1-2 more podcasts – DONE
    * Write four blog posts for StoryADay – Didn’t write four but did write three, including one really long one, with worksheets and an accompanying newsletter.
    * Lots of critique reading and commenting – DONE
    * Read ten short stories (You can see my picks here) – Read a lot, but not all from this list.

    For January:

    * Write one substantial short story every month this year. This is a challenge I’m doing with fellow-StoryADay-participant Alexis A. Hunter. You can follow/join us on Twitter #12for12Stories. The idea is to build up the portfolio of stories that we can be sending out to publications (on a rotating basis. Submit, be rejected, send out again, repeat until accepted).
    * Write blog posts on the subject of Habits (this year’s editorial calendar for StoryADay is up. If you want to guest blog, let me know.)
    * Make a decision about the mystery novella
    * Lots of behind-the-scenes StoryADay Stuff (this is a bad example of a goal, because it is so non-specific, but rest assured, I have secret notes)
    * Explore the Scrivener training I bought: 3 lessons a week minimum.

  5. This is my first post on Story A Day/SWAGr, and it largely exists because this is the year I decided to take the plunge and pursue a professional writing career. My first goal is to actually _have_ a professional writing career this year. For January, though, it’s to get my writing blog started, finish the outline to my novel, and get started with freelancing.

    1. Good for you, Todd!

      You’ve got three different strings to your bow, there (although if the writing blog is more of a Show Your Work kind of blog, then it’s not really a different set of muscles). So you’re probably going to need to be disciplined. Maybe you already are.

      For what it’s worth, I’ve tried doing “fiction in the morning, non-fiction in the afternoon” but that doesn’t really work for me. I need to binge all one thing on one day. Don’t be surprised if your best intentions are torpedoed by your natural inclinations. As long as you’re putting in the work one way or another, you’ll be fine!

  6. Well, no progress at all last month. Nothing. Zip. Nada. The day job sucked up every last bit of energy I had. So this month:
    Print formatting for Druid – I’m halfway through it. Should be able to finish in the next day or two.
    Formatting for the box set I’m releasing in mid January. I’m going to try Vellum, which I haven’t used before, so I have no idea how long this will take.
    The Swan novella – plot it out and write at least the first 1000 words.
    (Sorry Julie – I think I might have used a different email address this time because it seems I’m being moderated again!)

    1. Your day job did have some claims on your time, I suppose, after your break.

      What software have you used in the past for formatting? Curious to hear how you get on with Vellum.

      Good luck with the novella!

      1. I usually use Scrivener for formatting. Tried Jutoh but just couldn’t do it so I’m. It sure how Vellum will work out!

  7. Happy New Year to everyone. Not much change from last month, I’ve managed to write another novel chapter in December. I want to speed up the remaining chapters, so I’m aiming to do at least one chapter a month, ideally two but that may be on the optimistic side. For January I’m also going to revise one of my (much earlier) short stories to submit to a performance group for potential reading at their Valentines event in February.

    1. Good stuff, Malcolm. I’ll be sure to ask about that chapter (or two) next month!!
      Good luck with the short story submission. Do they dramatise it or just read it for you?

      1. Thanks Julie, the stories are read out by actors or actresses. I’ve entered several before but not had any of my stories chosen. Each event has a theme, so it is a question of interpretation.

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