1. Writing emails to editors, publishers, potential employers, and anyone with whom you need to communicate clearly and concisely.
2. Using writing prompts in your daily practice, even if you only write for five or 10 minutes at a time.
3. Writing letters you’ll never actually send to the intended sender. (This is a wonderful go-to when you’re really mad at someone but it would be very unprofessional to tell them so.)
4. Writing scenes from different characters’ perspectives just to get inside each of their heads a little.
5. Writing out your characters’ entire backstory even if it never makes it into an actual book.
6. Journaling about your frustrations related to your writing. (Hey you never know — it might accidentally help you problem-solve!)
7. Writing about writing in general, which can sometimes spark inspiration for — you guessed it — writing.
8. Writing about your personal experiences, even if you don’t share that writing with more than a few people (or anyone).
9. Writing different endings to your stories just to see if there’s a better alternative than your original idea.
10. Writing a mock query or proposal even if you’re not quite ready to actually send one out — this can help you better understand and communicate what your story is really about.
11. Writing to your future self about where you hope to be career-wise in five years. Make it colorful. Make it emotional. Make it something you’ll actually want to read five years from right now.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.