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  • Karina Sokulski

Writing Boot Camp: Building Your Own From Home


Summer is almost over, and autumn is on its way, which means NaNoWriMo is fast approaching. For any novelist, the turn of the season increases the desire to meet writing goals and challenge creativity further than before. Writing boot camps have become a trend to undergo through September and October to both prepare for NaNoWriMo and make a lot more progress on the project they'll be working on in November. Though boot camp is becoming increasingly popular, many writers get deterred for a couple of reasons. There are pro's and con's to writing boot camps but first, let's explore how a writing boot camp functions.

For those who don't know...

Generally writing boot camps are hosted online and involve a writing coach who keeps you on task and writing alongside other "campers." Many of these boot camps are schedule-friendly and design reasonable daily challenges. An example of this would be writing for twenty minutes every day for a boot camp that lasts twenty-six days. You would also have to submit several pages to your writing coach for a one-on-one critique session. Deadlines and boot camp length vary from camp to camp, but all courses are intensive.

Or simply outlined, the benefits of writing boot camps include:

-Accountability

-Interacting with a writing community

-Feedback and critique from a writing coach or fellow bootcamp members

-Writing challenges

-Dedicating an assorted amount of days to meet writing goals

The draw back...

Writing boot camps are great, but a significant drawback can be the price. Writing boot camps can be well worth the price for the experience they offer but not always does one have the money to spend when the opportunity comes around. The good news is, building your own boot camp from home is easy and joining a writing community during the process is equally so, especially during this time of year.

How many days?

Start simple; how many days long will your writing boot camp be? Boot camp can range from ten days to an entire month. See what suits your schedule and consider the next step in building the parameters of your challenge.

Daily challenge?

Boot camp demands a daily challenge of, say, writing for a set amount of time every day. This fixed amount of time ranges from ten minutes to an hour every day, or longer for an extra challenge. I'm more partial to using the NaNoWriMo's daily word count rule of 1,667 per day for boot camps I construct on my own. Whether you're giving yourself the daily challenge of reaching a certain word count or writing for a fixed amount of time, deciding will be your next step in building your boot camp.

Warm-up? Or power through?

Every writer has a routine they follow before they sit down to get some serious writing done. What's yours? Since you're building up a writing boot camp from scratch, why not customize the experience further? Doing so can help you plan for any days writer's block keeps your fingers from smashing at the keyboard. I have a journal app where every page counts for a day of boot camp where I've written the target word count of the day and a writing prompt to warm-up with before I get to work. If you're up for an added challenge, challenge your creativity by starting every day with a new writing prompt.

What about critique and feedback?

We're heading into October which is known as NaNo Prep Month for any writer participating in NaNoWriMo in November. My love extends beyond the nifty project goal set-up NaNoWriMo's site offers. The forums page provides dozens of topics that range from first-time writing to editing a novel following the completion of a first manuscript. You can also connect with writing buddies and keep in contact through the site while challenging each other to meet your writing goals.

We're heading into October which is known as NaNo Prep Month for any writer participating in NaNoWriMo in November. My love extends beyond the nifty project goal set-up NaNoWriMo's site offers. The forums page provides dozens of topics that range from first-time writing to editing a novel following the completion of a first manuscript. You can also connect with writing buddies and keep in contact through the site while challenging each other to meet your writing goals. There are dozens of different ways to communicate with other writers and exchange work, but NaNoWriMo's website is an excellent place to start.

Writing boot camp is a great way to challenge yourself to meet your writing goals before and after NaNoWriMo. If you can't afford a writing boot camp, you can easily create your own and connect with writers you trust to critique your work. With NaNoWriMo fast approaching, start chatting up your writing community and give boot camp a try.

-A writing coach who encourages you to meet your goals

-A one-on-one session with a writing coach

-A schedule-friendly regimen

#writingbootcamp #buildingyourownfromhome #writingadvice #creativewriting