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.
Check to make sure your automated process for backing up your files is working. Are your lastest files backed up? Are you able to access older files?
Short Study Project
Type in the first page of Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm. Highlight all elements that point to a character, setting, or plot element that isn’t the first thing you’d expect. (Use the Free Amazon sample!)
Write one page or less about a project you’ve struggled with and haven’t finished yet. Briefly sum up the plot the point where you got stuck. Brainstorm four or more ways that you could move forward through the plot. They don’t have to make sense. Pick the one that makes you smile. (Hint: it shouldn’t be one of the first three ideas you come up with.)
Short Writing Topic
Add 3 sentences to your current (stuck) project, whether or not they fit perfectly with what came before, and whether or not they stick to your outline. (Hint: repeat the journal exercise with the four ideas every time you get stuck.)
Think of one person who gets under your skin. Think hard about your feelings for them—not what they did or didn’t do—and imagine releasing your emotions about that person until the image of that person fades away. This is an exercise in letting go—not forgiveness, but close.
Fun with Research
Research Wilhelm’s Law.