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Enrichment Activities for Writers: Day 14

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 14

Business Tip

Pick one task from your “to do someday” list and do an Internet search for how to do that thing. Don’t do it yet, unless it would take less than 10 minutes.

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand. Highlight any elements that seem to hint at rhythm. (Hint: look at the lengths of paragraphs, sentences, and words.) If the first page were the opening of a song, what kind of song would it be? (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about your favorite song. Is it slow or fast? Is it melodic, lyrical, or rhythmic? What do you like best about it? How long is it? What is the beginning like? Why do you like it?

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences or less about a setting (not a character!) that feels like the opening of that song.

Staying Human

Find a social media group for writers and join it!

Fun with Research

What is the first rock and roll band? (The answer is more complicated than you might think!)

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 13

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 13

Business Tip

If you could no longer write in your favorite genre, what completely different genre would other people say you should write in?

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of the most popular book in the genre other people might pick for you. Highlight elements that you think “fit” with the way you see the world. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about what made you start reading in your favorite genre, and whether that still applies. Have your tastes matured or changed?

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a character who doesn’t read your genre, but gets dragged into a story from your genre. (A Western reader drawn into a modern romance, etc.)

Staying Human

Clean off your desk! And make sure your monitor screen is finally cleaned 🙂

Fun with Research

Find a best-books-of-all-time list in this other genre, and plan to read one of the books you haven’t read before!

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 12

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 12

Business Tip

Do you understand copyright? Do you own a copy of The Copyright Handbook from Nolo Press? Have you read it?

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. Highlight everything that indicates that there is something different about the time or place than you would expect. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Pick one book, movie, or TV show that was almost perfect, but was spoiled by seemingly minor flaw in the plot. Write one page or less about why that flaw bothers you, whether it wrecks the rest of the story for you or not, and how you would change it.

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a character who makes the change that you would have liked to seen in the flawed plot. They start at the change, and must continue forward. Note: if you finish this, be very careful about the original author’s copyright! Change names and details!

Staying Human

Say “no” to someone today.

Fun with Research

Watch Kathryn Schultz’s TED talk on regret.

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 11

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 11

Business Tip

Start an inventory list, with the name of the work, word count, genre/subgenre, date completed, and a list of times/places it’s been published (including blogs and social media). Start with the work in your portfolio. You may want to separate fiction and non-fiction into different tabs on the spreadsheet.

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, which is a time-travel story. Highlight all the details that hint at the particular time period they will go to. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page about your favorite period/location in history. The future counts.

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about someone you know who really does not belong in the time period you just journaled, who will soon be transported to that time (but not yet).

Staying Human

Think about someone you know but haven’t seen for a while. Phone, message, or email them to check up on how they’re doing. Ask how they’re doing, then say you don’t need anything in particular–but you just wanted to talk.

Fun with Research

Last year, a few flat-earthers came up with a theory that there were no such things as trees. Find out about it.

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 10

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 10

Business Tip

Check your social media sites. Is your “about” information still correct?

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. Highlight everything that might symbolize something else–even if you’re not sure what. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about a recurring dream that you have, and what emotional reason you might be having it.

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a character who has the same recurring dream, but doesn’t think it’s meaningful (even though it is).

Staying Human

Exercise during a commercial. Dance, stretch, touch your toes: it all counts.

Fun with Research

Read about Surrealist Leonora Carrington.

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 9

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 9

Business Tip

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!)

Journal Topic

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.)

Staying Human

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.

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 8

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 8

Business Tip

Write down the names of two or three people you would feel comfortable dealing with your written work after you’re dead.

Short Study Project

Type in the first 2.5 minutes of your favorite movie or TV show, minus any regular series intros. Include dialogue, action, brief descriptions of setting, characters, and any objects used by the characters. If you know how to write in screenplay or stage play format, feel free to do so! (No highlighting today.)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about a routine in your life that you find easy to take for granted. Describe three aspects of this thing that people who don’t have this thing in their lives wouldn’t know about.

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a character (who has to have an interesting but appropriate name, see research section for a hint) who is trying (and possibly failing) to carry out their normal routine.

Staying Human

Quick steps for setting boundaries: State what you see as the other person’s perspective, state your boundary, state what you plan to do going forward–not what you want the other person to do, but what you plan to do.

Fun with Research

Look up cemeteries in your area for interesting names.

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 7

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 7

Business Tip

Write a list of every story idea you can think of, and save it to your files. When you have new ideas, add them to your list–instead of switching from your current project!

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie. Highlight every element that hints toward a solution of a problem. Then, if you haven’t read the book, look up the plot. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page about a difficult success or solution you achieved intuitively or as if by luck.

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a character named Harry/Ariadne who has to deal with an extremely minor version of the same type of problem. This is a foreshadowing technique. (You can write more if you’re inspired!)

Staying Human

Find something small in your living area in need of repair or serious cleaning that you can handle in ten minutes or less, and do so.

Fun with Research

Read Neil Gaiman’s article on having a will, as a writer. Even if you don’t have anything published now, you should make a will.

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 6

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 6

Business Tip

Find the latest copies of your stories and start putting them in a single main folder (subfolders are okay).

Short Study Project

Type in the first page of The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Highlight every element that builds, either directly or directly, the setting’s atmosphere. (Use the free Amazon sample!)

Journal Topic

Write one page or less about memorable weather you experienced, and how it affected your actions. It cannot be good weather.

Short Writing Topic

Write 3 sentences about a character named Bunny who is experiencing the same sort of weather, but is doing something completely different.

Staying Human

Go for a walk without headphones.

Fun with Research

Look up the worst weather in history, pick one event, and do a search for stories of people who survived it.

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

Writing Craft: Negotiations

(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.)

Negotiations 

The specifics of negotiation (which include contracts and other legal matters I’m not qualified to talk about) are involved, tricky, and beyond the scope of this book. The generalities are pretty simple, though.

  • You want something, and can provide something else.
  • The other side wants what you can provide, and can provide you what you want.
  • Both sides should benefit, receiving fair recompense for what they provide.

Writers at all levels tend to get into situations where they provide something of great value (original creative work) for which they are then paid less than what it is worth, while giving more or less complete control to the other party, more or less for the life of the copyright of the piece, without an real legal protection.

I strongly recommend reading The Copyright Handbook from Nolo Press before you embark further on your publishing adventures. I probably won’t stop strongly recommending you do so, either.

You’ll have to consult other sources in order to get the specifics of what you should negotiate for, what constitute the situation’s specific red flags, and what you should absolutely, positively, never do.

But the essence of negotiation—a template, if you will—goes like this:

  • Don’t pre-negotiate. Don’t compromise before you even start.
  • State what you want.
  • Acknowledge the other party’s point of view.
  • State your point of view.
  • Re-state what you want.
  • Know, beforehand, what will make you walk away from the deal, and be prepared to walk.

That’s it.

(Click here for examples and more information on negotiation, and another section on apologies, including ones where you didn’t think you did anything wrong…)

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