Sunday, March 10, 2013

How a Boot Camp Just Might Boost Your Writing

Back in January I began a sixteen week Knitting Boot Camp. Although I’ve kept needles clicking for decades I had holes in my work. Not only has the instructor been filling them; my fellow knitters have proven comrades.

A month later my husband and I attended a Saturday Ballroom Boot Camp. For five hours we were drilled in five dances. We joined mostly for the pleasure of each other’s company. But we anticipated two opposing benefits, too: intense challenge along with increased confidence. By day’s end we’d stumbled over each other’s feet and our heads were swimming, but we were smiling. We had a ball, pun partially intended.

The first boot camp has been finely detailed. The second boot camp was a rush of introduction. Both have benefit. So how could a boot camp form your writing?

It will force you to risk failing and looking inept. That’s okay, you will and, in some ways, you are.

It will break you out of comfortable, familiar rhythms.

It will challenge your mind and body. One of the downsides, pun fully intended, of writing is the long seated backside.

It will sharpen your focus. You will have to concentrate. Your mind cannot take a detour, however short.

It teaches the value of a swift kick. A boot camp will give you a taste, not the full feast.

It will give the joy of camaraderie. Most everyone around you is struggling, too, and that fosters compassion and encouragement.

You will be delighted to find a new way of communicating.

And communicating, after all, is the point of writing.


  1. Good thoughts, Renata! Never quite thought in those terms before. Are you signing us up?

  2. I love ballroom dancing. I'd love to see you dance!

  3. Good blog as usual, Renata.

    One question, though. Are you thinking of starting a writing boot camp, or are you talking about each of us individually putting ourselves in one?

    Hope you have a blessed day.


  4. Some writing colleagues and I got together one Saturday for a plotting camp. Lots of brainstorming and questioning and fellowship (the code word for tons of food).