Your Writing Life: Writing Related Activities

Your Writing life: Writing Related Activities
By Norma J Hill (aka Pen And Paper Mama) ©2020

In our last series for writers, on “Self Exploration,” you had the opportunity to work through a set of nine checklists/questionaires to discover who you are as a writer. If you missed that series, it starts here.

In this new series, we will explore “Your Writing Life” : your writing and related activities in the past, your present writing and related activities (personal and with your writing community), and your future hopes and plans. This series has five sections:

Tribe, Team, Community
Your Writing Pursuits
Your Writing Related Activities
Plotter or Pantser; Introvert or Team Player
Ideas for Writing From Your Own Life

At the end of each post in the series, there is a link to a downloadable and printable PDF copy on which you can write your responses. Put them in a binder or Duotang-type folder (you can continue to add to your series #1 binder if you wish). Then, periodically along your writing journey, return to your answers, read what you noted previously, and add new thoughts and experiences. Through this process, you’ll end up with a wonderful personal record of your writer’s journey.

3. Your Writing Related Activities

What kinds of writing-related activities are you doing to master your craft, other than what you’ve already listed in the previous post about “Writing Pursuits”? Below are lots of interesting ideas. Put a check mark beside the ones you already do and make a note about your experiences with them. For ones you haven’t done before, but think you’d like to try, put a star * in the margin and choose a date to start—add it to your calendar from the previous post. Finally, in the blank spaces at the end, be creative and add other writing-related activities that would interest you. Remember, we’re talking “writing related,” not just writing itself, so come up with unique, even wild and crazy ideas!

Write short-length e-books on any topic that interests you (think niche, unique, fun topics!) and post them on online bookstores, or post articles or stories or poems on your blog or even on social media sites. Enjoy the response you get before you try out longer writing projects.        
Create chapbooks, brochures, reports, reviews, and other short form writing. Post them online, print copies for your friends or business, share them as gifts, or leave them in offices for folks to read while they wait for appointments. Consider illustrating them with your own art or photography. Create photo essays with minimal writing (just a few captions). Create greeting cards with your own message and illustrations.        
Enter writing contests and/or submit your writing to anthologies, especially ones that aren’t your usual genre or topic-area.        
Write the same article or story several times, but for different age groups, genders, and other diverse audiences. Or first write a story, then turn it into an essay, then into a poem, and then into a play. Take the poem, create music for it, and sing it! Offer to do an activity like this with young folks at a summer kids’ camp.        
Submit to magazines, newspapers, newsletters—even small items like letters to the editor or short “filler” items like jokes or anecdotes.        
Participate in slam poetry, role-play, improv, oral storytelling, and other spoken-word productions in your community. Write plays for children’s groups. Memorize poetry or speeches and perform them. Video-tape your performance and post on YouTube. Take part in related activities such as designing props or sewing costumes for local theatre groups.        
Read stories in your favourite genre—and then rewrite them with a different ending. Include lots of humour, twists, and other surprises in this new version. Illustrate them. Also, try this with popular children’s picture books.        
What else? (Be creative!)          

Putting your notes into practice:

Look through your responses to this exercise. Highlight two or three activities that really appeal to you. Do at least one each month. Mark them on the top of the month on your writing calendar so you don’t forget! Have fun!

PDF LINK (Your Writing Life: Writing Related Activities). Download, print, fill in your responses, and place them in your binder or Duotang.

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