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!)
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
- Revise a story for StoryFest – Julie
- 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. )
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 last year’s collection!) Give a little, get a little Click here. Now only $2.99
52 thoughts on “SWAGr – Accountability for June 2017”
This storyaday for May has been a great experience for me. Though I was unable to write 31 stories I did write several and spent time editing them. I have renewed interest in writing thanks to you Julie. I appreciate your encouraging words and all the work you do to help us.
>”I have renewed interest in writing”
AWESOME! I am always so happy when I read this. More stories in the world, yay!
Arrgh. So I am late posting here, which is appropriate, I suppose, since I completely dropped off the radar of Story a Day as well. My day job is interfering far too much in my writing.
Anyway. My goals for May were:
*to work on short pieces that provide backstory for the characters in my novel: I didn’t get one done every single day, but I managed 22/31 so I think that is a success. (And I was pleasantly surprised with where some of my characters went.);
*keep at the general editing/adding subplots work on the novel: I did a bit of this; and
*two short stories to edit: I didn’t get any editing done, but I did write the first draft of another story (for yet another online class, because I can’t help myself: Writing Identities and Social Issues in Fiction and Nonfiction. I am really enjoying it and I *really* like the story I am currently working on).
*continue with the online class (it ends at the beginning of July) & the story I am working on for it;
*finish the backstory pieces that I had outlined but not written for May (9); and
*back to editing the novel, incorporating material/ideas from the backstory pieces as is helpful (I need to think of a more concrete goal in this regard, this may be too fuzzy).
Good luck, all!
You may have dropped off the radar a bit but it seems like you were working on your writing all the time. Thanks for sharing, it really inspires me!
This Story-a-Day May proved both a challenge and a joy. Managed to crank out 21 stories, most of which I believe I’ll be coming back to for a good revision. I hope some have merit. I’ll leave that to the readers and editors to whom I might submit them to judge. (Also to our Story a Day critique colleagues. I hope I connected my story “Heroes” to the Google docs folder correctly.)
For June, I really must do the final gathering and editing of the stories for my first collection. Oh, and of course I’ll be writing something–poetry or prose–every day.
Joe, I really enjoyed reading “Heroes” in a critique-y kind of way (it’s a different reading experience).
Good luck with the collection. Does it have a theme of any sort?
Story-a-Day and post the results to Patreon.–I managed 12 before jury duty and chronic illness leveled me, but I have the prompts for them all down and I’m going to continue working on them.
That was it. That was my whole goal. However, my secondary goal was to not feel bad if I couldn’t get them all done, because I’m trying to free myself of the toxic side of perfectionism, and it worked! I got through it and still feel motivated, so this month was a huge win for me!
Finish rough draft of challenge fic.–It’s only 10k words, which I should hit pretty easily as long as I stick with it. And don’t forget the dates again.
Read.–Not exactly pencil-to-paper writing time, but I’ve noticed that my writing’s been lackluster since I haven’t had the energy to read, so I’m making it a point to really push myself to do more of it this month/year.
Excellent. I should really make April or June a Reading Challenge month, shouldn’t I?
I’m happy I wrote every single day of May! Not every day produced a story, but I was writing. Now my goals are to polish my current novel to send to agents and to send out at least three short stories. I really struggle with figuring out which stories to send and where to send them. Query letters are my kryptonite.
I wouldn’t worry too much about query letters when it comes to short stories. Most of the editors I’ve come across don’t seem to care much about what anyone says in the query letter. It’s almost as easy for them to just read the story….But yes, I agree, finding places to send short stories seems like more work than writing and polishing them. It’s all so subjective. But I guess it’s a gauntlet we have to run until people start inviting us to contribute 😉
Focus your query energy on the novel. That’s worth the effort.
And “Well done, you”, for writing every day!
Oh, I don’t write queries for short stories! No, no, no. I agree that’s not really a thing. But my goal is to publish the novels, and writing a query (and a synopsis) just is a nightmare for me.
I quite like writing queries and synopses. I went to a great ‘how to pitch’ session at the Writer’s Digest conference that contained a sort of formula (I see you rolling your eyes, but for something like a query, it’s not so evil) . I’ll dig out my notes and share it, soon…
Not rolling my eyes! I can see why a formula would be great for this sort of thing. I’m just terrible at condensing my novel into a coherent paragraph. TERRIBLE. I know I should be able to. But trying to write about a novel in such a way takes me back to how I felt when my geometry teacher asked me to write a proof for a triangle. I can see it is a triangle. Please don’t ask me to explain it! Anyway, I realize I have to be a grownup about it and figure it out.
Well, it looks like I forgot to post my goals for last month, but let’s face it it was: post a prompt every day, write every day, submit a couple of things, and some marketing goals.
Given the craziness that was my Spring, I’m astonished that I managed to achieve as much of that as I did. I will freely confess that I didn’t manage to write a story every day this May, but I’m not beating myself up about it because a, I made a video/prompt/podcast for every day of the month, and I had fun doing it b, I wrote some stories and am happy with them, c, I launched myself on a (non-writing related) challenge and am doing well with that too.
This month I’m committing to:
* Writing a short story every week
* Critiquing stories in the mini-critique group before StoryFest, and in my In Real Life group
* Hosting and promoting StoryFest here
* Revising my non-fiction book proposal
* Writing on the new novel (even a little)
* Pitching an article to a magazine
I filled out my SWAGr worksheet, with all my “Why It Matters To Me” and “Coming Up This Month” notes as well. Here’s a glimpse:
(If you’re subscribed to the newsletter and to get notifications about the SWAGr group, you’ll see a link to this file at the top of every SWAGr email)
I can’t believe I wrote 31 stories in 31 days.
I used to write often, editing with a friend, submitting my pieces to various places, but life circumstances last year caused me to slow down to writing next to nothing. This challenge really helped me to reignite my passion.
The prompts were fun and I loved the community here.
I’m out of town for June, but I will not stop creating. My goal is to go back to things I wrote in May and work on at least 2 pieces: either adding to or polishing. Maybe I will do more, but since I’m not home in June, I have to keep my goal small just in case.
>This challenge really helped me to reignite my passion.
THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY!!!
Also, hearing that you’re going to keep creating. That makes me happy too. Woo!
I really enjoyed the Story a Day in the month of May. It is the first time I have ever participated in such an event and would most definitely have to say it achieved what I hoped, that is accelerating my writing habit.
For the month I managed to produce something 31 items, I can’t say it was every day, there were a few gaps that mainly occurred over the weekends, which then put pressure on me to catch-up during the week which I managed to do.
Also having to write every month meant i had to write a few things out of the norm for myself. A bit of poetry, some incomplete, others very short.
So what for the month of June?
– Read a Short Story a Day
– Write up and edit a competition entry due on the 14th of July
– Start working out clarifying a story idea I have.
LOVE these goals, and I’m so happy this was your first (and good) experience with these kinds of challenges.
Are you posting a log of the stories you read, anywhere? (I find it helpful to keep track of the ones I read, myself)
I am still thrilled for having managed to complete the Story A Day challenge. I wrote four other pieces in my native language for a writing workshop, which brings the total number of stories to 35. It’s more than I had written in my entire life prior to last month, so I’m still doing a victory dance because of that.
For June, I have a more flexible goal. I will write 1,000 words every day—it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction, non-fiction, blogging or academic writing. I have several projects on suspended animation and they would all benefit from a massive increase in my writing output.
I foolishly allowed myself to have a day of rest after finishing the Story A Day challenge, so I’m already playing catch up.
Dan, you are a rockstar!
If you find that taking a rest day makes you less productive, then don’t! But if you find you’re more creative with the occasional rest day, consider creating a weekly writing goal (7000 words a week, could be 1166 words a day if you take one day off).
Experiment and find what works for you, but keep writing!
I’m so thrilled to have been part of your creative output. The thought that you’ve written more this month than in your entire life makes me feel like quite the proud mama!
I can’t be trusted with weekly or monthly goals. I know myself: I will end up taking one day off, then another, and suddenly it’s Sunday and I need to write 7,000 words. I’ve been there. If I don’t do it every day, I end up not doing it at all.
I’m serious, by the way: I had finished 10, maybe 15 short stories before coming into the challenge. Now I’ve done twice as much in one month. I’m very happy with the outcome and thankful to you for setting up this website!
Out of interest, what is your native language?
Portuguese! I have been living in the UK for three years, but I was born in Brazil.
Aha! I have a good friend who could chatter away with you in Brazilian Portuguese of her parents!
I wouldn’t doubt it. It’s a language that invites chatting. 🙂
In May I accomplished:
– 34 stories written out of 35 attempted.
– 18,655 words written above and beyond those stories, totaling a little over 70k for May.
– 16 drabbles revised and published
– 1 short story revised and published
– Write 20k words
– Type up all of what I wrote up in April to edit (about 50k)
– Edit 60 pages
– Publish 2 stories/chapters
Raven, you are amazing. I’m exhausted just reading all that. And inspired.
Aww, thank you! I’m rather tired after doing it all, lol. ^^
This was my first attempt at a complete Story a Day May. I dropped in near the end of the September session last year, and got a couple of pieces written in response to a couple of the challenges. Work got the better of me in the latter part of the month, which derailed the progress I was able to make early on.
However, I regained some confidence in doing shorter pieces, and discovered how much story could be packed into a short package. I also rediscovered my love of a universe I had fallen away from writing, because most of my short stories of the month seemed to come out of it.
Goals for June:
1) Finish the letters story, and hopefully get it ready for StoryFest.
2) Finish Mother’s Children, which was a short I meant to finish in a day, and it turned into a longer short story.
3) Get at least one more chapter finished for Exit Dusk, the novel I’m running through my local critique group, but hopefully more.
4) Decide what I’m going to do for the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo.
So glad this was fruitful for you!
I like the sound of your June goals. Good luck!
In May, I wrote 10 story-a-days, in addition to the 2 I wrote in April to practice and see if it was possible. It was going really well until I went out of town for a few days, and then I guess I lost my stride. Even so, this is more fiction writing than I’ve done in months, so thank you Julie and everyone in this group for the encouragement!
1. I’ve been reading some great short story collections, and one of my goals is to study a few of the stories in detail and take notes on aspects of craft and construction I can use for my own stories.
2. I want to revisit the flash stories I wrote for Story A Day and figure out what worked, what didn’t work, and if there are any gems in there I want to grow into longer stories.
Hi Jessica, I am completely unsurprised to hear that a trip around the 10th would throw you off your stride. It’s a dangerous point in the month as it is, but like you said, you got 12 new stories written! I’ll celebrate that!
I love that you’re incorporating reading-and-studying short stories into your plans for June. It’s only my list too. I find it inspiring and useful.
Don’t be afraid to let those flash stories ‘marinade’ for longer if you need to. Sometimes a break can be a good thing.
See you next month!
Am currently preparing a novella for a contest and revising a novel. Hope to get those done by July and, if possible, work on another short story which I have begun.
Good luck with the contest (but of course, we know that having the deadline and getting the work done is already a ‘win’!).
Looking forward to hearing how you get on with that and the novel & short story.
Accomplished in May:
-Story A Day Challenge, I did not meet my goal of doing flash fiction each day because I found it easier to just finish the complete stories without a word limit, and I did not complete 30 stories, but I did complete around 20, some which I am going to edit and submit to literary magazines
-The week focused on novel writing, I was able to finally condense down my ideas into a solid plot line for the novel I’ve been wanting to write, and, started on setting/world building, figured out the main conflict for my character.
-To finish a couple stories and write some(5 poems) poetry for submission to a couple literary magazines.
-Continue to work on World Building for my novel and develop setting/back history a little bit deeper, which I started on during the Story A Day Challenge.
-Edit a story and submit to Story Fest!
Excellent! 20 stories is pretty huge! Lots of material to work with during the rest of the year.
I’m so pleased to hear that the novel-focused week was helpful.
I like your June goals!
Accomplished my goal of finishing StADa again. Planning to finish up the edits on my novel and send it to beta readers this month.
Accomplished my goal of finishing StADa again. Planning to finish up the edits on my novel and send it to beta readers this month.
And good luck with the novel. I love getting feedback when I finish a big project. How about you?
Thanks! I do, but usually after I sit on the criticism for a few days after receiving it haha.
I’m going to revise some of the stories I wrote for Storyaday and submit them for publication the month of June.
Excellent. Let us know how you get on.
In June, I plan to:
— revise a story for StoryFest and then submit it for publication
— revise at least two other stories and submit them for publication
— write at least 250 words of something new every day
Woo-hoo! Good goals.
Keep a chart of how often you stick to your 250 word commitment. It can be really motivating and, even if you miss a day, you quickly see that you have still done more than you would have otherwise. And you’ll want to get back on the wagon and keep adding those check marks…
Hi there – May was a complete fail. I started out fine, but my older son, very unexpectedly, came home to live with us mid month. The chaos he brought with him ground my writing to a complete halt. It has been very frustrating. But, June is a new month. 🙂
My goals for June are to continue to post to my blog 1-2 times per week, finish a story I began in May, and write 15 flash fiction stories. Basically, to get my writing back on track and the ideas flowing.
Ah, life. It does like to kick us in the rear, just when we think we’ve got time to write. Still, if you keep pushing back, you’ll get your work done.
15 flash fiction stories is ambitious, but doable if you’re determined. Good for you and good luck!
I accomplished my May goal of writing a story every Mon-Fri for Story A Day = 23 stories. Whoo hoo! 🙂
In June –
– I plan to revise and submit some of those May stories. I’m saying “some” because I need wiggle room in case I work on fewer longer stories or lots of shorter ones, etc.
– I also plan on doing creative work – whether that’s writing, reading, even walking/exercising – most (not all) mornings before getting on social media. During Story A Day, I found that my bursts of creativity and energy hit earlier, and I want to take advantage of that.
Good luck, everyone! Happy June!
I was so surprised when I realized that I was more productive in the mornings!
Yes, yes! keep that productivity going. There’s a danger that we get caught up in revising/submitting and forget to keep generating material, which is the really fun part (though editing and revising can be fun too).
Happy June, to you too!
Julie, thanks for the time and energy that you spent keeping the May 2017 story a day sprint running smoothly and also thanks for the excellent prompts.
I found that writing every day allowed me to explore several fictional sub-genres that are of interest to me. More importantly, I discovered techniques to make my stories more readable including suppression of my inner editor/critic.
My goals for June include
– Revision and submission of several rough drafts written during May 2017 Story-A-Day (already submitted five stories written in May 2017 for publication)
– Write a few stories that explore areas that I didn’t touch during May
– Continue development of characters, settings, and outline for a possible future novel
Glad to hear you got that inner editor under control.
If you’re interested in joining the mini-critique group this week, to help with those revisions, check your email; you should have one from me about it.
Another 100-word story written during May’s 2017 story-a-day sprint was accepted Entropy2. It can be found at http://entropy2.com/blogs/100words/2017/06/06/attrition/ .
Fantastic! Well done!