Author: DeAnna Knippling (Page 2 of 67)

Enrichment Activities for Writers: Day 27

Enrichment Activities:
30 Days of Stay-at-Home Learning, Business,
and Self-Care Activities for Writers

Fiction writer?

Home?

Bored?

Thinking that you should be getting some writing done but somehow not getting anywhere with that?

First, let me recommend that you take it easy on yourself.

Second, have I got some ideas for you!

If you’re spinning your wheels and want someone to give you the equivalent of a small arts and crafts kit for fiction writing, have I got some suggestions for you.

As a ten-year ghostwriting freelancer, I have been disciplining myself to stay on track and focused for quite some time. I’ve learned some tricks on the business side, and I’m a positive fiend for studying new techniques.

Want to steal some of that? Follow this blog for the next month, and you’ll have 30 different story starts, 30 different journal entries to mine for content, 30 different fiction techiques to add to your toolbox, and lots, lot more.

And best of all? While it’s on the blog, it’ll be free.

Da Rules 

  • The business tip should take you no longer than 10 minutes; if it takes you longer, put it on your to-do list for later (unless you actually feel like doing it).
  • Study projects: literally type in the first 250-500 words (as you like) of the opening of the book, not counting any introductions, prefaces, or quotes, unless it’s part of the book. However you normally type your fiction, do that. If you hand-write fiction, you can hand-write the study projects, but stay on the low end.
  • Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has excellent advice on how to journal. She recommends 3 pages in a spiral-bound notebook. I advise to go for a minimum of 1 page spiral bound or 250-500 words typed.
  • Short writing topics: You can do more than 3 sentences. Stop when you feel like stopping. This is just to try something new.
  • Staying human: If you’re going to pick one thing to do every day, hydrate!
  • Fun with research: it’s best to do your own Internet searches, but I’ve provided a fun link to get started with.

My choices across the board reflect my own personal preferences, not any kind of absolute wisdom. This is a rapid prototype, not a well-thought-out plan of development for fiction writers!

The idea for this project came from a voice chat with some members of the Colorado Tesla Writers Group, who expressed that they were having trouble staying motivated to write.

DAY 27

Business Tip

Look through your “done” list and make a list of tasks which you will need to check up on later, but not “soon.” Add your #1 priority to the top of the list. Add your writing schedule. Congratulations! You now have a minimal business writing plan. If you like, start adding your long-term goals, wishes, dreams, and “if I get extra money in my tax return” information.

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, not Chapter 1, but the part beginning with “Far out in the uncharted backwaters…” Highligh all elements that hint at hopelessness and despair. (Use the Free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about something that made you feel hopeless, and how you might insult, mock, heap sarcasm upon, minimize, belittle, satirize, or otherwise verbally wreck that situation. (Hint: don’t write about specific people. Anyone can write nasty things about their ex. Mock the situation itself.)

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 evil little sentences about a situation greatly in need of being mocked.

Staying Human

Go to your local library’s website and figure out how to check out ebooks, music, and/or movies from your local library. Hint: libraries are often funded based on how much they’re used!

Fun with Research

Watch an episode of a British satire that you haven’t seen before: Blackadder, Red Dwarf, and Fawlty Towers are classics.

If you enjoy these posts, please consider signing up for my newsletter or for my writing-craft project on Patreon. Thanks!

Enrichment Activities for Writers: Day 26

Enrichment Activities:
30 Days of Stay-at-Home Learning, Business,
and Self-Care Activities for Writers

Fiction writer?

Home?

Bored?

Thinking that you should be getting some writing done but somehow not getting anywhere with that?

First, let me recommend that you take it easy on yourself.

Second, have I got some ideas for you!

If you’re spinning your wheels and want someone to give you the equivalent of a small arts and crafts kit for fiction writing, have I got some suggestions for you.

As a ten-year ghostwriting freelancer, I have been disciplining myself to stay on track and focused for quite some time. I’ve learned some tricks on the business side, and I’m a positive fiend for studying new techniques.

Want to steal some of that? Follow this blog for the next month, and you’ll have 30 different story starts, 30 different journal entries to mine for content, 30 different fiction techiques to add to your toolbox, and lots, lot more.

And best of all? While it’s on the blog, it’ll be free.

Da Rules 

  • The business tip should take you no longer than 10 minutes; if it takes you longer, put it on your to-do list for later (unless you actually feel like doing it).
  • Study projects: literally type in the first 250-500 words (as you like) of the opening of the book, not counting any introductions, prefaces, or quotes, unless it’s part of the book. However you normally type your fiction, do that. If you hand-write fiction, you can hand-write the study projects, but stay on the low end.
  • Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has excellent advice on how to journal. She recommends 3 pages in a spiral-bound notebook. I advise to go for a minimum of 1 page spiral bound or 250-500 words typed.
  • Short writing topics: You can do more than 3 sentences. Stop when you feel like stopping. This is just to try something new.
  • Staying human: If you’re going to pick one thing to do every day, hydrate!
  • Fun with research: it’s best to do your own Internet searches, but I’ve provided a fun link to get started with.

My choices across the board reflect my own personal preferences, not any kind of absolute wisdom. This is a rapid prototype, not a well-thought-out plan of development for fiction writers!

The idea for this project came from a voice chat with some members of the Colorado Tesla Writers Group, who expressed that they were having trouble staying motivated to write.

DAY 26

Business Tip

Draw out or print out a one-page monthly schedule for the year. Look through your list of story ideas and start filling in the months. Use your hourly time guesstimate from yesterday. You will do this wrong the first time! Write “review schedule” on your “to do someday” list. Congratulations! You now have a writing schedule–and you will know what you will have to give up in order to jump on a new project.

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins. Highlight every element that points toward a long-term goal, the character’s #1 priority. How does it drive her to take risks in the short term? (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about a setback that was only resolved with someone else’s help: help that you asked for, an ironic lack of help that turned out to be better for you than expected, or help from an unexpected source, as if by coincidence.

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a character who isn’t in the same situation you were, but who is facing the same type of setback. Don’t resolve that setback yet, but hint at a possible direction it might be resolved.

Staying Human

Write down a list of easy 10-15 meals that everyone in your household almost always likes. Tape it to the back of a cupboard door, and make sure you have what you need to make those meals on hand every time you get groceries. Use on days when you can function, but no one wants to. (Note: This is the next more functional “step” than the last meal tip.)

Fun with Research

Dream up a business start-up, and research how to start that type of business.

If you enjoy these posts, please consider signing up for my newsletter or for my writing-craft project on Patreon. Thanks!

Enrichment Activities for Writers: Day 25

Enrichment Activities:
30 Days of Stay-at-Home Learning, Business,
and Self-Care Activities for Writers

Fiction writer?

Home?

Bored?

Thinking that you should be getting some writing done but somehow not getting anywhere with that?

First, let me recommend that you take it easy on yourself.

Second, have I got some ideas for you!

If you’re spinning your wheels and want someone to give you the equivalent of a small arts and crafts kit for fiction writing, have I got some suggestions for you.

As a ten-year ghostwriting freelancer, I have been disciplining myself to stay on track and focused for quite some time. I’ve learned some tricks on the business side, and I’m a positive fiend for studying new techniques.

Want to steal some of that? Follow this blog for the next month, and you’ll have 30 different story starts, 30 different journal entries to mine for content, 30 different fiction techiques to add to your toolbox, and lots, lot more.

And best of all? While it’s on the blog, it’ll be free.

Da Rules 

  • The business tip should take you no longer than 10 minutes; if it takes you longer, put it on your to-do list for later (unless you actually feel like doing it).
  • Study projects: literally type in the first 250-500 words (as you like) of the opening of the book, not counting any introductions, prefaces, or quotes, unless it’s part of the book. However you normally type your fiction, do that. If you hand-write fiction, you can hand-write the study projects, but stay on the low end.
  • Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has excellent advice on how to journal. She recommends 3 pages in a spiral-bound notebook. I advise to go for a minimum of 1 page spiral bound or 250-500 words typed.
  • Short writing topics: You can do more than 3 sentences. Stop when you feel like stopping. This is just to try something new.
  • Staying human: If you’re going to pick one thing to do every day, hydrate!
  • Fun with research: it’s best to do your own Internet searches, but I’ve provided a fun link to get started with.

My choices across the board reflect my own personal preferences, not any kind of absolute wisdom. This is a rapid prototype, not a well-thought-out plan of development for fiction writers!

The idea for this project came from a voice chat with some members of the Colorado Tesla Writers Group, who expressed that they were having trouble staying motivated to write.

DAY 25

Business Tip

Set a timer for ten minutes and write furiously, either fiction or a journal entry, until the timer goes off. Take the number of words written times three. For now, use this to guesstimate how many words you will write an hour. Add an item to your “to do someday” list to recheck this number in three months. (You want to guesstimate a low end word count that you can do on a bad day, not find out your world speed record.)

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, which starts at “I am an invisible man.” Highlight all elements that seem written to help comfort his particular audience (not necessarily you). (Use the Free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

If someone were writing the perfect story to help you through a difficult time, what would that story be like? What genre would it be in? Write one page or less describing this project.

Short Writing Topic

Write the first 3 sentences of that story. (Hint: if you can’t write that story for yourself right now, write 3 sentences of a story meant for a specific person you know well.)

Staying Human

Make your bed.

Fun with Research

Look up the Tulsa Race Massacre.

If you enjoy these posts, please consider signing up for my newsletter or for my writing-craft project on Patreon. Thanks!

Enrichment Activities for Writers: Day 24

Enrichment Activities:
30 Days of Stay-at-Home Learning, Business,
and Self-Care Activities for Writers

Fiction writer?

Home?

Bored?

Thinking that you should be getting some writing done but somehow not getting anywhere with that?

First, let me recommend that you take it easy on yourself.

Second, have I got some ideas for you!

If you’re spinning your wheels and want someone to give you the equivalent of a small arts and crafts kit for fiction writing, have I got some suggestions for you.

As a ten-year ghostwriting freelancer, I have been disciplining myself to stay on track and focused for quite some time. I’ve learned some tricks on the business side, and I’m a positive fiend for studying new techniques.

Want to steal some of that? Follow this blog for the next month, and you’ll have 30 different story starts, 30 different journal entries to mine for content, 30 different fiction techiques to add to your toolbox, and lots, lot more.

And best of all? While it’s on the blog, it’ll be free.

Da Rules 

  • The business tip should take you no longer than 10 minutes; if it takes you longer, put it on your to-do list for later (unless you actually feel like doing it).
  • Study projects: literally type in the first 250-500 words (as you like) of the opening of the book, not counting any introductions, prefaces, or quotes, unless it’s part of the book. However you normally type your fiction, do that. If you hand-write fiction, you can hand-write the study projects, but stay on the low end.
  • Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has excellent advice on how to journal. She recommends 3 pages in a spiral-bound notebook. I advise to go for a minimum of 1 page spiral bound or 250-500 words typed.
  • Short writing topics: You can do more than 3 sentences. Stop when you feel like stopping. This is just to try something new.
  • Staying human: If you’re going to pick one thing to do every day, hydrate!
  • Fun with research: it’s best to do your own Internet searches, but I’ve provided a fun link to get started with.

My choices across the board reflect my own personal preferences, not any kind of absolute wisdom. This is a rapid prototype, not a well-thought-out plan of development for fiction writers!

The idea for this project came from a voice chat with some members of the Colorado Tesla Writers Group, who expressed that they were having trouble staying motivated to write.

DAY 24

Business Tip

Write down the writerly tasks that you have accomplished recently. Add them to the bottom section of your “to do someday” list. Create a “done” list. On the “done” list, you may add any items you didn’t do, but decided not to do. Add notes on how things went. If you haven’t set a reminder to review your “to do someday” list in three months, do it now.

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones. Highlight all elements that speak to subconscious changes or realizations. (Use the Free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about a time that you were horribly stuck a project, and an underlying change that might have caused your creative impulses to lead you in a different direction. (Hint: it can be now.)

Short Writing Topic

Write the first 3 sentences about a character in a time and/or a place that is not here and now, stuck on a similar project.

Staying Human

Write down a list of 3-5 easy, no-brainer meals that can wait in a cupboard or freezer for when you can’t function. Set up or obtain what you need for those meals.

Fun with Research

Research “growth mindset.”

If you enjoy these posts, please consider signing up for my newsletter or for my writing-craft project on Patreon. Thanks!

Enrichment Activities for Writers: Day 23

Enrichment Activities:
30 Days of Stay-at-Home Learning, Business,
and Self-Care Activities for Writers

Fiction writer?

Home?

Bored?

Thinking that you should be getting some writing done but somehow not getting anywhere with that?

First, let me recommend that you take it easy on yourself.

Second, have I got some ideas for you!

If you’re spinning your wheels and want someone to give you the equivalent of a small arts and crafts kit for fiction writing, have I got some suggestions for you.

As a ten-year ghostwriting freelancer, I have been disciplining myself to stay on track and focused for quite some time. I’ve learned some tricks on the business side, and I’m a positive fiend for studying new techniques.

Want to steal some of that? Follow this blog for the next month, and you’ll have 30 different story starts, 30 different journal entries to mine for content, 30 different fiction techiques to add to your toolbox, and lots, lot more.

And best of all? While it’s on the blog, it’ll be free.

Da Rules 

  • The business tip should take you no longer than 10 minutes; if it takes you longer, put it on your to-do list for later (unless you actually feel like doing it).
  • Study projects: literally type in the first 250-500 words (as you like) of the opening of the book, not counting any introductions, prefaces, or quotes, unless it’s part of the book. However you normally type your fiction, do that. If you hand-write fiction, you can hand-write the study projects, but stay on the low end.
  • Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has excellent advice on how to journal. She recommends 3 pages in a spiral-bound notebook. I advise to go for a minimum of 1 page spiral bound or 250-500 words typed.
  • Short writing topics: You can do more than 3 sentences. Stop when you feel like stopping. This is just to try something new.
  • Staying human: If you’re going to pick one thing to do every day, hydrate!
  • Fun with research: it’s best to do your own Internet searches, but I’ve provided a fun link to get started with.

My choices across the board reflect my own personal preferences, not any kind of absolute wisdom. This is a rapid prototype, not a well-thought-out plan of development for fiction writers!

The idea for this project came from a voice chat with some members of the Colorado Tesla Writers Group, who expressed that they were having trouble staying motivated to write.

DAY 23

Business Tip

Check back on your writer bios. Are they written and up to date? Are your website, social media sites, and professional sites all updated?

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Highlight every element that characterizes the narrator of now and the character of the past. What do they have in common? What not? (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about a childood mentor. What made them pick you?

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about your childhood mentor looking back on their childhood. (Hint: it doesn’t have to be their real childhood!)

Staying Human

Write down a list of 3-5 things that you always love, that you come back to time and time again. Now write at least one specific idea that you can do for each of those things. Set up or obtain whatever you need to do those things. Save them for a bad day.

Fun with Research

Do you know how to look up the laws for your stories?

If you enjoy these posts, please consider signing up for my newsletter or for my writing-craft project on Patreon. Thanks!

Enrichment Activities for Writers: Day 22

Enrichment Activities:
30 Days of Stay-at-Home Learning, Business,
and Self-Care Activities for Writers

Fiction writer?

Home?

Bored?

Thinking that you should be getting some writing done but somehow not getting anywhere with that?

First, let me recommend that you take it easy on yourself.

Second, have I got some ideas for you!

If you’re spinning your wheels and want someone to give you the equivalent of a small arts and crafts kit for fiction writing, have I got some suggestions for you.

As a ten-year ghostwriting freelancer, I have been disciplining myself to stay on track and focused for quite some time. I’ve learned some tricks on the business side, and I’m a positive fiend for studying new techniques.

Want to steal some of that? Follow this blog for the next month, and you’ll have 30 different story starts, 30 different journal entries to mine for content, 30 different fiction techiques to add to your toolbox, and lots, lot more.

And best of all? While it’s on the blog, it’ll be free.

Da Rules 

  • The business tip should take you no longer than 10 minutes; if it takes you longer, put it on your to-do list for later (unless you actually feel like doing it).
  • Study projects: literally type in the first 250-500 words (as you like) of the opening of the book, not counting any introductions, prefaces, or quotes, unless it’s part of the book. However you normally type your fiction, do that. If you hand-write fiction, you can hand-write the study projects, but stay on the low end.
  • Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has excellent advice on how to journal. She recommends 3 pages in a spiral-bound notebook. I advise to go for a minimum of 1 page spiral bound or 250-500 words typed.
  • Short writing topics: You can do more than 3 sentences. Stop when you feel like stopping. This is just to try something new.
  • Staying human: If you’re going to pick one thing to do every day, hydrate!
  • Fun with research: it’s best to do your own Internet searches, but I’ve provided a fun link to get started with.

My choices across the board reflect my own personal preferences, not any kind of absolute wisdom. This is a rapid prototype, not a well-thought-out plan of development for fiction writers!

The idea for this project came from a voice chat with some members of the Colorado Tesla Writers Group, who expressed that they were having trouble staying motivated to write.

DAY 22

Business Tip

Reminder: have you been backing up your work? If you haven’t, it’s time to set up some kind of automatic backup of your most important data.

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees. Highlight every element that the narrator loves, and at least one detail that the narrator does not. (Hint: foreshadowing!) (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about your perfect, idealized “home.” It doesn’t have to exist. How big is it? What do you do there? What do you keep inside it? Who else is there?

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a place that’s exactly as you want it. It will eventually get dragged into some drama…but not yet. (Hint: you don’t have to be a character there.)

Staying Human

Take a moment to look “put together,” whatever that means to you. At least take a shower, brush your teeth, and wear clothes appropriate for leaving the house. (Unless you’re having a sick day!)

Fun with Research

Look up memory palaces or the method of loci.

If you enjoy these posts, please consider signing up for my newsletter or for my writing-craft project on Patreon. Thanks!

Enrichment Activities for Writers: Day 21

Enrichment Activities:
30 Days of Stay-at-Home Learning, Business,
and Self-Care Activities for Writers

Fiction writer?

Home?

Bored?

Thinking that you should be getting some writing done but somehow not getting anywhere with that?

First, let me recommend that you take it easy on yourself.

Second, have I got some ideas for you!

If you’re spinning your wheels and want someone to give you the equivalent of a small arts and crafts kit for fiction writing, have I got some suggestions for you.

As a ten-year ghostwriting freelancer, I have been disciplining myself to stay on track and focused for quite some time. I’ve learned some tricks on the business side, and I’m a positive fiend for studying new techniques.

Want to steal some of that? Follow this blog for the next month, and you’ll have 30 different story starts, 30 different journal entries to mine for content, 30 different fiction techiques to add to your toolbox, and lots, lot more.

And best of all? While it’s on the blog, it’ll be free.

Da Rules 

  • The business tip should take you no longer than 10 minutes; if it takes you longer, put it on your to-do list for later (unless you actually feel like doing it).
  • Study projects: literally type in the first 250-500 words (as you like) of the opening of the book, not counting any introductions, prefaces, or quotes, unless it’s part of the book. However you normally type your fiction, do that. If you hand-write fiction, you can hand-write the study projects, but stay on the low end.
  • Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has excellent advice on how to journal. She recommends 3 pages in a spiral-bound notebook. I advise to go for a minimum of 1 page spiral bound or 250-500 words typed.
  • Short writing topics: You can do more than 3 sentences. Stop when you feel like stopping. This is just to try something new.
  • Staying human: If you’re going to pick one thing to do every day, hydrate!
  • Fun with research: it’s best to do your own Internet searches, but I’ve provided a fun link to get started with.

My choices across the board reflect my own personal preferences, not any kind of absolute wisdom. This is a rapid prototype, not a well-thought-out plan of development for fiction writers!

The idea for this project came from a voice chat with some members of the Colorado Tesla Writers Group, who expressed that they were having trouble staying motivated to write.

DAY 21

Business Tip

Find five fictional characters you truly identify with.

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of the earliest-written story in which one of those characters appears. Highlight every element piqued your interest about the character–even if you didn’t yet identify with the character at that point. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about the fictional characters you truly identify with. Are they your favorite characters? What kind of people say this is their favorite character?

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a character who doesn’t like themselves…because they aren’t their own “type.” (Hint: It doesn’t have to be a romance.)

Staying Human

Take a moment to define what should constitute a sick day when you’re working from home.

Fun with Research

Look up McDonald’s around the world. (Two interesting McDonald’s buildings: Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Dinkytown, Minnesota.)

If you enjoy these posts, please consider signing up for my newsletter or for my writing-craft project on Patreon. Thanks!

Writing Craft: Boundaries

(This is a sample from my writing craft series; you can read more on Patreon. Please note that these first posts are about things that aren’t strictly about the craft of writing, but the craft of surviving as a writer, if you will, because I want to get them out of the way first.)

Boundaries

Boundaries are tricky. A lot of advice involves setting boundaries, but seems to assume that everyone knows what boundaries are and how to set them.

What are boundaries?

Boundaries are limits that define what is your problem, and what is not. They vary from person to person, because defining what is or is not your problem depends on individual tastes, risk-taking, and goals, but the principle of “my problem vs. your problem” remains.

Here are some example boundaries that I recommend, though:

  • Your clients’, editors’, and publishers’ problems are not your problem; performing as agreed is your problem. Any changes to an agreement require negotiation—and compromise or reimbursement.
  • When it’s agreed that things aren’t your responsibility, then you are not responsible.  As in, “You don’t get to sabotage my writing time whenever the kids want something.”
  • Other people don’t get to decide how you write or how you run your writing business; you don’t get to make decisions for anyone else. Beware the “shoulds.”
  • You don’t owe anyone else any personal or business information, even if it might be helpful. And they don’t owe you.
  • Other people’s goals do not get to replace your own; if you’re consistently doing other people’s tasks before your own, then that’s what you’re doing.

While each of these boundaries apply in difficult situations, that last one seems to be the worst: if you’re not absolutely clear about what your goals are, then it’s easy to confuse “this is important for someone else” with “I’m doing this to help my career.”

One of the things that happens as soon as you acquire any skill or success at writing is that you become inundated with opportunities, both from people who don’t have good intentions, and from people who do.

People with good intentions will destroy your career. They won’t know they’re doing it, and will feel terrible if the realities of what happens when you are pulled in twenty different directions are pointed out to them.

When something is your problem, handle it. When it is not your problem, think of it as a hobby (at most). You need feel no shame at withdrawing from other people’s problems.

Think of it as a negotiation situation: if they want your help, they can ask. If they really want your help, they can make it worth your while.

How can you handle actually setting boundaries?

(Click here for more information on setting boundaries, and another section on levels of success…)

Enrichment Activities for Writers: Day 20

Enrichment Activities:
30 Days of Stay-at-Home Learning, Business,
and Self-Care Activities for Writers

Fiction writer?

Home?

Bored?

Thinking that you should be getting some writing done but somehow not getting anywhere with that?

First, let me recommend that you take it easy on yourself.

Second, have I got some ideas for you!

If you’re spinning your wheels and want someone to give you the equivalent of a small arts and crafts kit for fiction writing, have I got some suggestions for you.

As a ten-year ghostwriting freelancer, I have been disciplining myself to stay on track and focused for quite some time. I’ve learned some tricks on the business side, and I’m a positive fiend for studying new techniques.

Want to steal some of that? Follow this blog for the next month, and you’ll have 30 different story starts, 30 different journal entries to mine for content, 30 different fiction techiques to add to your toolbox, and lots, lot more.

And best of all? While it’s on the blog, it’ll be free.

Da Rules 

  • The business tip should take you no longer than 10 minutes; if it takes you longer, put it on your to-do list for later (unless you actually feel like doing it).
  • Study projects: literally type in the first 250-500 words (as you like) of the opening of the book, not counting any introductions, prefaces, or quotes, unless it’s part of the book. However you normally type your fiction, do that. If you hand-write fiction, you can hand-write the study projects, but stay on the low end.
  • Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has excellent advice on how to journal. She recommends 3 pages in a spiral-bound notebook. I advise to go for a minimum of 1 page spiral bound or 250-500 words typed.
  • Short writing topics: You can do more than 3 sentences. Stop when you feel like stopping. This is just to try something new.
  • Staying human: If you’re going to pick one thing to do every day, hydrate!
  • Fun with research: it’s best to do your own Internet searches, but I’ve provided a fun link to get started with.

My choices across the board reflect my own personal preferences, not any kind of absolute wisdom. This is a rapid prototype, not a well-thought-out plan of development for fiction writers!

The idea for this project came from a voice chat with some members of the Colorado Tesla Writers Group, who expressed that they were having trouble staying motivated to write.

DAY 20

Business Tip

Think about the kind of people who might like to read your work. Who is your audience? As a starting point, your audience is often people who share your same characteristics.

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of Killing Floor by Lee Child. Highlight every element of the setting that changes the setting from a generic diner to a specific one. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about the inside of an office or government building. No drama, just setting. What makes it unique, even among other buildings with the same purpose? What elements might be used to make it feel “local”?

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about the same setting from the point of view of a character who hates it. The character cannot introduce themselves or talk about people–only that setting and how they feel about it.

Staying Human

Find one thing that you can do to enliven your living space. If nothing else, you can print out a coloring book page, color it with office supplies, and stick it to your fridge!

Fun with Research

Look up pen and ink techniques for doodling. (Either traditional techniques or zendoodles/zentangles.)

If you enjoy these posts, please consider signing up for my newsletter or for my writing-craft project on Patreon. Thanks!

Enrichment Activities for Writers: Day 19

Enrichment Activities:
30 Days of Stay-at-Home Learning, Business,
and Self-Care Activities for Writers

Fiction writer?

Home?

Bored?

Thinking that you should be getting some writing done but somehow not getting anywhere with that?

First, let me recommend that you take it easy on yourself.

Second, have I got some ideas for you!

If you’re spinning your wheels and want someone to give you the equivalent of a small arts and crafts kit for fiction writing, have I got some suggestions for you.

As a ten-year ghostwriting freelancer, I have been disciplining myself to stay on track and focused for quite some time. I’ve learned some tricks on the business side, and I’m a positive fiend for studying new techniques.

Want to steal some of that? Follow this blog for the next month, and you’ll have 30 different story starts, 30 different journal entries to mine for content, 30 different fiction techiques to add to your toolbox, and lots, lot more.

And best of all? While it’s on the blog, it’ll be free.

Da Rules 

  • The business tip should take you no longer than 10 minutes; if it takes you longer, put it on your to-do list for later (unless you actually feel like doing it).
  • Study projects: literally type in the first 250-500 words (as you like) of the opening of the book, not counting any introductions, prefaces, or quotes, unless it’s part of the book. However you normally type your fiction, do that. If you hand-write fiction, you can hand-write the study projects, but stay on the low end.
  • Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has excellent advice on how to journal. She recommends 3 pages in a spiral-bound notebook. I advise to go for a minimum of 1 page spiral bound or 250-500 words typed.
  • Short writing topics: You can do more than 3 sentences. Stop when you feel like stopping. This is just to try something new.
  • Staying human: If you’re going to pick one thing to do every day, hydrate!
  • Fun with research: it’s best to do your own Internet searches, but I’ve provided a fun link to get started with.

My choices across the board reflect my own personal preferences, not any kind of absolute wisdom. This is a rapid prototype, not a well-thought-out plan of development for fiction writers!

The idea for this project came from a voice chat with some members of the Colorado Tesla Writers Group, who expressed that they were having trouble staying motivated to write.

DAY 19

Business Tip

Look at your to-do soon list and think about your #1 priority. Which item on your to-do soon list is most essential to your priority? Spend ten minutes coming up with a plan on how to accomplish it.

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. Highlight everything that hints at the narrator’s attitude toward the house. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about the inside of someone else’s home. Not the person. Just the home. Is it like yours?

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about someone else’s home. It must be an actual home, and you must describe the home–not the events that will happen inside it. What makes it interesting? After you’re done, jot down three plot ideas that would work in this setting…and only a setting like this one! (Hint: don’t look for a stereotypically interesting home for this exercise.)

Staying Human

Take a moment to acknowledge the downsides of one recent change for the better. What did you have to give up in order to succeed?

Fun with Research

Go “house shopping” online!

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