It’s the seventh week of the Summer 2015 Online Writing Group!
We’ve got two weeks left in our online writing group! OH MY GOD!
We didn’t have a guest blogger this week, and a few of you got me posts after Sunday, so I’ve posted this a bit late. Are you disappointed? Too bad, suckers.
Here are Everyone’s Week Seven Updates & New Goals:
- Anne: My goal for this week is going to be something simple: I want to go through my old journal entries and see if there is anything there to add to and improve. I have some things I wrote during my time at Columbia that I want to revisit as well. I’m going to be starting a new job this week so I’m going to have to rework my schedule a bit and see how the writing goes this week. As of right now, it’s up in the air and whatever happens this week, happens, writing wise I mean. (Hope the job is going well, Anne!)
- Anuar: My goals for week seven are the same to add three more chapters to my book and I’m a bit behind but I’ll try to write more often over this last two weeks.
- Bev: This week I’m going to keep a journal of my trip to the little cabin near the Boundary Waters north of Grand Marais, MN for another edition of Bev and Jane’s excellent adventures.
- Bonnie: No update
- Curt: No update
- Donna: No update
- Laura: I want to get two more blog posts done this week — a short one about the play and a longer one about my favorite band that I’ve been thinking about for weeks now. I’ve also got an estimated four to six pages left on the story I’m writing, and I’d like to finish that this week.
- Lisa: Okay, I’m going to say two pages. That’s all I’m shooting for. 🙂 (That’s enough, Lisa!)
- Mary: No update
- Mary Margaret: No update
- Matthew: No update
- Mike: I have the same objectives as last week (to flesh out the first half of the story draft), but not out of total slackerness. I wound up spending more time on the second half of the story and its climactic scene instead, so progress happened.
- Robert: No update
- Samantha: No update
- Steve: No update
I couldn’t decide if I should use this week’s post as a list of links or a list of prompts, so you’re getting both!
The following is a list of links that, as writers and readers, you might find interesting:
- Write Like Your Reader is About to Pee Their Pants (from Business Casual Copyrighting) — it’s good advice!
- How to Find More Content Ideas Thank You’ll Ever Be Able to Create (from Copyblogger) — the author, Peter Shallard, talks about “industry”; but if you’re not writing an industry blog, substitute “industry” for your particular niche (e.g. my niche is lazy people who like Law & Order and macaroni and cheese and have dogs that may or may not have the expected number of legs)
- How to Hack Writing a Personal Essay (from Medium [which is a great site, so check out its other articles) — for anyone who’d like to get into creative non-fiction but doesn’t think she has enough to say (this statement is never true! Joan Didion has written gorgeous prose about the Hoover Dam and migraine headaches, so you can write about your trip to the grocery store or the squirrel that’s currently standing in your back yard staring at you [this is happening right now and it’s weirding me out, man])
- Be a Better Writer in 15 minutes: 4 TED-Ed Lessons on Grammar and Word Choice (from TED-Ed) — because what’s a better route to writing (and writing procrastination) than an inspiring TED talk?!
And now, here’s your list of writing prompts (these are non-fiction, but you could like adapt them for fiction if you wanted to):
- “Write a memoir about a job you have held. Show (and tell) why this job did not lead to a life-long career” (Burroway 250).
- “Make a list of family mysteries or things you feel uncertain about in your family history. Interview someone in your family who might be willing to fill you in” (Roney 105).
- Write about something that’s stuck in your craw — a graduate school professor of mine, Larry Heinemann (who is wonderful and everyone should read Paco’s Story [and every Chicagoan should read Cooler by the Lake]) gave me this assignment once, and whenever a student is stuck, I repeat it. What idea, moment, argument, or observation have you not been able to shake for the last few days or weeks? What’s stuck with you? Write about it. Now.
- Write 250 – 500 words about your worst fear. It doesn’t have to be rational (I’m scared of sharks and have been known to get the terrors for a few seconds while in a swimming pool); it doesn’t have to exist (unicorns, vampires, narwhals [wait, narwhals exist, nevermind]). But why does it scare you?
Okay, got enough? Now, get to writing! Next week is our last week; we’ll have one more list of goals, a guest post from Lisa, and more amazing content to keep you procrastinating long into the wee hours of the morning!
*Burroway, Janet. Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft. 3rd Ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2011. Print.
Roney, Lisa. Serious Daring: Creative Writing in Four Genres. New York: Oxford, 2015. Print.
*Burroway is a writer whose textbook I use in my creative writing class and whose textbook I used when I was an undergraduate learning the craft. Her approach is practical and straightforward, and I recommend reading her book for useful tips and an excellent anthology of poetry, prose, and drama.