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.
If the big picture is your business plan, then the small picture is your daily task list. Try creating a list with only three items. I suggest: #1. Growth as a writer or business person. (Studying fiction, learning how to write ad text, researching your subgenre.) #2. Writing and/or producing work for publication. (Writing, editing, publishing an ebook, submitting work to markets). #3. Business task. (Writing ads, doing taxes, purchasing business cards.) Too many tasks? Time to start getting rid of writing tasks that don’t serve your #1 writing priority.
Short Study Project
Think of a bestselling author whose work you don’t like. Type in the first page of their most recent novel. Hightlight all elements that hint at what the author thinks their audience wants to hear. (This is called wish fulfillment.)
Write one page or less about what your readers might want to hear. Include what you would want to hear, too, and also what expectations you’d like to subvert.
Short Writing Topic
Write 3 sentences about a ghostwriter who has writer’s block and has decided to subvert the expectations in their latest project. (Hint: start with the expectations.)
Dream up a Halloween (or other) costume.
Fun with Research
Research how to make one element of your dream costume.