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.
Start a writing to-do list with two sections: “to do soon” and “to do someday.” Whenever you find something that’s not done yet or that took you more than 10 minutes to finish, add it to this list! Schedule a reminder 3 months from now to review this list.
Short Study Project
Type in the first page of White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Highlight every element that describes the setting (time, place, and atmosphere), either directly or indirectly. (Use the free Amazon sample!)
Write one page or less about a setting you disliked from when you were a teenager. Make sure to describe the time, place, and atmosphere.
Short Writing Topic
Write 3 sentences about how a character named Art/Arta returns to that same scene, 20 years later. (You can write more if you’re inspired!)
Step away from your computer to eat at least one meal. You can read a book while you eat–but don’t sit at your desk to do it!
Fun with Research
Look up the Tianzi Mountains of China, the remarkable rock formations that are responsible for many stunning fantasy-world locations.