30 Days of Stay-at-Home Learning, Business,
and Self-Care Activities for Writers
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.
- 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.
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!)
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.
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.