Bootcamp Wrap-up

I hesitate to post the honest truth here, that what I really learned from doing writer’s boot camp was that I didn’t know what I was doing. We aren’t supposed to go around admitting that sort of thing,  not in American culture. I made a mistake-yes. I was kinda clueless-no.

But, how limiting, to do only that which I already know how to do.

Six years ago, when I started on this rather unexpected lurch off  visual arts path, I hadn’t used a laptop, or a word processor, or the internet or e-mailed, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

But, how embarrassing, to admit to my ignorance.

Still, this is what I have learned.

That if you are going to do a nanowrimo sort of  writing thing, you need to clear your schedule first. It doesn’t work as well if you also have commitments to vacations and helping with house renovations and moving an elder to a down-sized location on the docket.

That I’m not a daily writer. Sometimes I have to go do something else for a day or so and then when I come back my subconscious has everything sorted out and the pages just flow and they have what i think of as snap, crackle and pop.  I get just as much done-whole chapters in a sitting sometimes-if I wait. Pages slogged at too hard need tons of re-working. It doesn’t really save any time to do it that way.

I already knew this one, now I’ve confirmed it.

That joining an activity that involves encouragement via tweet when you don’t do that phone thing is not honestly all that encouraging. Quite the opposite really. Totally my bad on that one.

On the other hand.

I tried my hand at flash fiction as per their parameters and broke through in the short works department. Previous attempts had been less than satisfactory. Present attempts have been anything but.

I know more about setting goals as a writer than I did before.

That word count tool can be addictive. But also useful.

I am back to analyzing how to approach promotion in a way that plays to my own strengths, rather than being distracted by the thought that I should be doing things the way others do.

I learned.

Thanks, boot camp.




Month 3

Either I’m lucky or delusional.

Either way,  my readers and I rarely send scenes back for rip-it-down-to-the-studs revising. For one thing, I do a lot of clean-up as I go, re-reading the last pages I’ve written, to get the rhythm of the work, before starting up again.  And I tend to carry the shape of the patterns of tension and momentum in the work in my head, kind of like a graph.

So, generally, by the time I’m reading what I consider to be a rough draft, the polishing rag has been over it a few times and jarring problems have been caught. There have been exceptions. Today I will be working on correcting an exception, i.e. page count today will be minimal to none.

But, the story will be tighter.


I really thought I was heading for a breather between crises, that neither I nor anyone I knew would be dealing with heartbreak, bereavement or suicide issues. No hospital runs expected. I’ve replaced the dying laptop. I knew I had a couple of days of intensive elder care between now and next week , but I could handle that.

Until I went upstairs to find the coffee that I broke down and brewed this afternoon to fend off the effects of too much pollen and too many storm fronts on my head.  All is not well, although said trouble  is of an appreciably lighter sort than the past few weeks.

It seems the cheerful retro skirt under my kitchen sink has been camouflaging  a leak. One of those- oh look! the rug is soaked and so is the floor and is that the pressed material of the counter crumbling? -sort of leaks.

For the record, I made goal yesterday.

My greater goal though, needs re-writing.

I will be shooting  to finish my WIP this month.

I would say come hell or high water but somehow, that just doesn’t seem as funny as it used to.