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.
Write down your current #1 priority with writing: becoming a better writer, submitting your work, indie publishing more often, etc. Only one.
Short Study Project
Type in the first page of The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. Highlight everything that seems to come from outside the main character’s perspective. (Hint: if the main character doesn’t notice something, who does?) (Use the free Amazon sample!)
Write one page or less about a time that you had to step back from your initial judgment or opinion about something and change your mind.
Short Writing Topic
Write 3 sentences about a character with an interesting but appropriate name who has doubts but initially refuses to change their mind. (From now on, make sure your character names are interesting and appropriate for their setting–no generic names that could have been used in a wide varieties of setting! I’m looking at you, Michael.)
Take 15 minutes of downtime without books or the Internet, somewhere to relax and stare into space, and possibly soft music. Or take a nap.
Fun with Research
Check out Charles Dickens’s treatment of his wife Catherine.