8 Reasons to Attend a Writing Boot Camp

Often, at the end of the year, we writers start strategizing about our plans for the New Year. That’s why I’ve been running this series of blog posts on strategic planning. It’s important. Time is precious, demands on our time are numerous, and we want great results in our efforts to improve as a writer in the least amount of time.

At least I do. I hate wasting time. I try to make the most out of every minute I spend on my career, whether it is researching, writing, attending conferences, teaching, or brainstorming. I can’t rush my ideas, and sometimes it takes me months to pull a novel together in my head before I’m ready to write. But I can be efficient with all the other aspects of my writing life.

Over the years I’ve attended a lot of writers’ conferences. I’ve also attended some intensive one-day and one-week writing workshops. I always learn a lot at conferences, but, hands down, I learn the most at intensive events. Also what I learn at those focused intensive workshops made the greatest impact on my skills as a writer.

This is what led me to put together my own writing retreats. I’ve taught a number of retreats that cover a lot of general novel-writing topics, such as character and plot development, theme, and all those key novel elements. But when I started holding writing boot camps, I saw a huge difference.

What stands out to me when I hold boot camps is the amazing progess attendees make in three days. There is so much knowledge going into their brains, but they aren’t just sitting around taking notes; they’re working. A boot camp is work. You come prepared to dig into your story and flesh it out. You work on your scenes and you plot out your entire novel.

And with a small group of other writers, giving support and ideas and feedback, you can see how a lot of progress can be made.

I started teaching one plotting boot camp the first year. Now, in 2019, my co-instructors and I will be holding 7 boot camps around northern California! Two Plotting Madness camps, one Self-Publishing Boot Camp, and four Scene Mastery Boot Camps.

All are going to be held in gorgeous locations and venues, all to inspire creativity, focus, and a relaxed and nonjudgmental ambiance.

If time is precious to you, if you’re serious about your writing and your career as an author, and if you want to make huge progress in your project, take a few minutes and look at the 8 reasons you should consider attending one of our boot camps.

  1. You leave behind your normal life with all its demands and dedicate the time to really working on your craft (or online presence, if taking the Self-Publishing Boot Camp).
  2. You don’t have to do any chores, clean floors, wash clothes, go shopping. It is done for you (well, you can make your bed if you really want to).
  3. You get to take advantage of the creativity and generosity of a small group of dedicated writers who will help you troubleshoot, plot, brainstorm, and rework your ideas, scenes, and other material (when do you ever get a support system like that?).
  4. You get fed meals. You don’t have to cook. If you stay at one of the houses we rent and where we hold some of the boot camps, you also get a gourmet breakfast each morning. And, of course, there is always tons of coffee at hand!
  5. You don’t get to procrastinate or give in to your excuses to avoid working. Yes, we all have those, and we all do it. If you want to be a successful author, you must learn to hack through those walls.
  6. You get inspired by listening to others’ ideas and projects, as well as hearing their struggles and victories in this writing life. It’s hard to go it alone. And just yakking with people online is not the same as hanging out in person with other humans in corporeal form.
  7. You get to pick the brains of your instructor(s) and have personalized attention on your project. Usually this kind of consultation can run anywhere from $100-300/hr. But over the course of three days, you get hours of free help (well, you pay for the boot camp, but that cost would only get you maybe two hours of personal assistance on your project). There is a wealth of knowledge at hand for you to draw from.
  8. You make lifelong friends. Believe it. Even if you’re somewhat antisocial and an introvert, spending three intense days (especially if you’re staying in the house with other attendees and dodging the fox on the way to the hot tub together) with other writers creates a bond that you don’t get attending a big conference in a hotel, where you always go back to your lonely room.

And don’t forget that you get to take a vacation! Our boot camps are set in places that should be on everyone’s bucket list!

We’ve launched our new website, Writing for Life Workshops, an event site that handles all our boot camps (and will also list other workshops I’ll be teaching during the year). There, you can read about all seven boot camps, the venues, and the locations. You can book and pay and get your space locked in.

Here are the boot camps and dates for 2019:

Nevada City, CA (heart of the Gold Rush country!) ~ May 5-8 (Scene Mastery)

Geyserville, CA (Wine Country! Yes, we’ll be wine-tasting!) ~ June 9-12 (Scene Mastery)

Mendocino Coast, CA (just about the most beautiful stretch of rugged coastline anywhere!) ~ August 4-7 (Plotting Madness)

South Lake Tahoe, CA ~ Sept. 22-Oct. 3 (Scene Mastery, Plotting Madness, and Self-Publishing)

Monterey/Carmel, CA (more gorgeous coastline!) ~ Nov. 3-6 (Scene Mastery)

If you want to come to our Tahoe boot camps, which are our premiere events, be sure to book right away. We rent a gorgeous “mansion” for eleven days (three boot camps back to back), and you can stay for any or all of them!

Special Offer!

If you book before January 31, and you come for either two or three of the boot camps, you will get HALF OFF your boot camp costs and 20% off your room rate. Be sure to read all about the boot camps on the South Lake Tahoe Boot Camp page.

Want us to hold a boot camp in your area for your writers? Get at least 15 participants committed to attending and let’s talk!

Any questions? Make 2019 the year you fast-track to success! And if you aren’t on my mailing list and want to get free writing craft books and lots of great offers and writing tips, sign up HERE! You’ll get two free ebooks the first week. And you can enter to win ebooks every month in my Rafflecopter contest.

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    1. I don’t know of any other writing coaches that teach the kind of boot camps I teach. I’m happy to head your way if you get a group and a place set up to do the boot camp!

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