One of the biggest adventures the YA Buccaneers had in our inaugural year was our three-month-long Spring Writing Bootcamp. It was a bonding experience. It was a much-needed kick in the pants. It was a chance to make and meet and even exceed our writing goals. And I don't know about the rest of you who participated, but I thought it was a resounding success.
To celebrate what we pulled off this past March, April, and May, we rounded up some quotes from writers who scaled Mount Bootcamp with us. Here's what you had to say:
"I finished my first draft despite a sudden surgery and random arm issues in my real life. Knowing there were others out there watching my progress (or lack of) on write club, shamed (in the best sort of way, really) me into continuing!" —Ellie Luken, Team Kang
"My YABBootcamp WINS: I completed 30K words of my current WIP, the first chapter was awarded an Honorable Mention at the SCBWI-OC Spring Retreat in Temecula in May, and best of all, I made new friends. :D" —Kathy Kottaras, Team Kang
"This spring, I completed two major revisions to my sophomore novel: one before sending it off to beta readers and one incorporating comments received from betas. I also drafted the first 15K words of what will eventually become my third novel. It was great having support from fellow YAB writers. Bootcamp was a lot of fun; I'm glad I participated." —Kate Scott, Team Mazama
"Through Bootcamp, my goals changed. I started out wanting to finish my novel, but ended up writing several short stories…. This team really had great content on the blog and wonderful spirit. This has been the best set of challenges and the best group I've come across. Everyone rocks!" —Winter Bayne, Team Mazama
"The best thing about the Spring Writing Bootcamp was the check-ins. They held me accountable each and every week." —Amy Brashear, Team Denali
"I really enjoyed the Bootcamp! I would definitely do it again. Having this community of writers is incredibly helpful, and I liked the framework of goal-setting and check-ins. Thanks so much for all the support and encouragement!" —Sonja Shulz, Team Denali
"The best thing I got out of the Bootcamp was the ability to be part of a team and share my goals and accomplishments. It was great to know that we were all working toward our goals, sprinting together, cheering together, and, at times, commiserating together over the setbacks. Similar to exercising with a friend, writing with others made it easier to write and made me more accountable. Writing is such a long, solitary effort. We sometimes don't get any return on the time investment unless or until an agent or publisher shows interest in our work. With Bootcamp, we didn't go through this alone and we had critique partners or beta readers available to give us encouragement as we 'walked the plank' or timidly shared our first few pages." —Katrina Robinson, Team Denali
"More and more I'm realizing that setting realistic, tangible goals actually works for me. Bootcamp motivated me to set weekly goals and they NAGGED AT ME. I might not accomplish every goal, but it's right at the back of my mind. This spring, I finished a manuscript revision and completed a second draft of another manuscript. Then there were all the smaller goals which take time but feed into writing and critiquing. My team was super encouraging and I loved going on Twitter or checking in on my blog and seeing motivated messages to keep pursuing that writing dream." —Stephanie Scott, Team Mountaineers
"Team Defiance had a super fun and busy Bootcamp, although May was tough for many of us. We had lots of Twitter writing parties, cheered one another on, put together an awesome writing playlist, and even had a fantastic plotting email blitz that included phrases like, 'I LOVE MURDER but like only in stories.' Good times." —YAB Crew Member Sara Biren (aka Lady Byrd Bonebreaker)
From Team Defiance:
- Patrice Caldwell finished revisions of a YA Urban Fantasy and sent it to CPs.
- Courtney Gilfillian drafted and revised and plotted and worked on a query. She also started a YA critique group.
- Tif Johnson finished a huge revision and began querying. She also made good progress on a new draft.
- Alison Miller polished a query and synopsis, worked on revisions of her "baby," and started a new draft.
- Liz Parker rode the query rollercoaster, finished a general outline for a series she's writing, and scared herself while writing a SNI ghost story.
- Helen Jain completed a first draft! Whoo hoo!
- Adrianne Russell bounced back and forth on a couple of WIPs and a short story.
- Tracey Neithercott made progress with revisions and brainstorming a new idea.
- Sara Biren worked on revisions, took lunch breaks at work (seriously), and read a ton.
These are just a FEW of our Bootcamp success stories—and we want to hear more in the comments. Did you crank out that first draft? Finish tough revisions? Write your first short story? Whatever you accomplished, we're thrilled that we got to be a part of it. Thanks for climbing Mount Bootcamp with us!