Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 286)

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!

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 18

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 18

Business Tip

Look at the Amazon bestsellers in your subgenre (the one you found the bestseller page for earlier) and pick 5 books that resemble your book fairly closely. Write these down for later!

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of The Hot Rock by Donald Westlake. Highlight everything that hints at something going wrong. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about a writing project that didn’t work out the way you hoped it would. What did you hope to achieve? What went wrong?

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a character who will soon will have something go wrong because of something they themselves did to make things worse.

Staying Human

Take five minutes to do some stretches. Breathe slowly.

Fun with Research

Look up “how to deal with uncertainty and fear.”

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 17

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 17

Business Tip

Compare your current #1 priority with your to-do list. Are you spending the most time on that priority? What needs to be cut so you can?

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco. The manuscript described doesn’t really exist; highlight any elements that make you wonder whether it really does. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about something that you’re unsure of. What steps have you tried to become more sure, if any? Why haven’t they worked?

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a character who is unsure about the same thing, and will be pushed to pick one thing or the other (but not yet).

Staying Human

Unsubscribe from one company’s emails that you don’t want anymore.

Fun with Research

Is it the Berenstein Bears or the Berenstain Bears?

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 16

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 16

Business Tip

Pick one piece of your work that you haven’t submitted (or published, if you’re an indie writer). Write down three ways you might make it public, including traditional, indie, and/or small press options.

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple. Highlight any elements that hint at subtext, or what’s really going on in the scene. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about one physical thing in your life that you know you should fix, but probably never will. What would it take to make you fix it, or get it fixed?

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a character who fixes the thing you probably will never fix in order to avoid an even worse emotional problem. Don’t mention the emotional problem directly, but see if you can convey the emotion.

Staying Human

Find one thing that’s broken, doesn’t fit, or you have more than two of (backups to your backups). Toss or donate it.

Fun with Research

Search for “how to fix things.”

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 15

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 15

Business Tip

All writers need a website. Do you have one? If you have one, does it have links to where people can read or buy your work?

Short Study Project

Pick out a hobby you’ve always wanted to pick up but never have (archery, for example). Now do an internet search for “x novels” (“archery novels,” for example). Pick one of those books and type in the first page. What genre is that novel? Highlight all the elements that reflect or hint at that genre. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about a hobby that you’ve never tried before, but are interested in. What are three ways that you could use that hobby in a story in your favorite genre?

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences or less about a person who is really good at that hobby, and is about to get dragged into more drama than they bargained for (but not yet).

Staying Human

Write down a list of hobbies you always meant to do “someday.” Even if you don’t have the supplies, time, or resources you need, search online for videos for beginners.

Fun with Research

Check out some possible new hobbies!

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