|Photo courtesy: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/24369|
You’re back? Thanks…. so we begin… last November I wrote Lisa about participating in Boot Camp. I told her I was thinking of investing in myself and my writing with the stipend I’d received from a piece published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and wondered if the course was for me.
By now, you know what the course was by Elaine’s account. So let me start with Lisa’s account to me last November of what the course is not:
“To explain how Boot Camp works first let me tell you what Boot Camp is NOT – not a craft class (though there is an option each week to submit work for private feedback); not a motivational seminar or support group (though some writers use it solely for that); not a guilt trip; not a score-keeping situation where you compare your writing output to others. It's also not easy, in the sense that it requires you to take it on, take it seriously, not simply think of it as an extra little something.”
And she was right. It was NOT easy. She was TOUGH. She was DIRECT. She was HONEST. She is the most challenging, resourceful and inspiring mentor I’ve ever had.
The six weeks were filled with lessons, assignments, daily prompts and briefs, feedback on written pieces, suggested readings, resources, techniques, tips suggested readings, and one-on-one phone calls with Lisa. We looked at our habits, our vices and our support systems. She ran me through my paces and helped me take stock of myself as a writer. What it meant to me to be one. Where it wove through my past, present and future and how being one fit into the fiber of my life. And of course, the PRIMARY GOAL OF BOOT CAMP: To be a writer who writes regularly and to incorporate change to CONTINUE to write regularly AFTER Boot Camp ended.
And my take away touchstone? That would be the dual tag team of commitment and accountability.
You see, commitment and follow through to others has always been a strong motivator for me. Commitment and follow through to myself…not so much. But a funny thing happened as I passed through those accountability checks. I began to value the work of the commitment as much as I wanted to report it “being done.” The work, my development as a writer, and the scope of my writing began to grow.
Before I knew it, I’d begun to create a “writing life” for myself through my commitments. Being a steadfast calendar person, I took to plotting my commitments by the day, week, month and year. I penciled in time to make a writing space for myself, to write and post a blog piece, to do my assignments for Boot camp, scheduled time for writing and researching markets, and wrote down the deadlines for submissions I found interesting.
I’ll end as I began, breaking that #1 rule and suggest you head over to Lisa’s site now and check out the next Boot Camp that starts April 8th. Click on the other classes and/or private coaching she offers. She’s an investment you just can’t beat.