You probably know that November is National Novel Writing Month, where aspiring authors try to write a novel in a month. Each year, I run some version of my “Finish Your Book” bootcamp so that we can all have a little accountability for our goals. For example, last year was “do one book promotion task per day” for already published authors.
This year, I’m opening up bootcamp to anything—you decide what you’re going to finish. It might be a book. It might be a poem. It might be cleaning out your garage. It doesn’t matter to me. Just pick your goal and we’ll work together to help you get it done.
The idea behind Finish Your * Bootcamp is to establish an accountability practice and good habits so that even if the * doesn’t get finished in class, you’ll have the tools to continue working in an effective and productive way.
At the beginning of class, I ask students to agree to do the following:
• Commit to the project—this means giving yourself the time and tools to do the *. If needed, we will talk about time-management skills and how to locate and access tools but students should come with a realistic idea of what it will take to accomplish their * and some idea of how they might go about doing it.
• Invest in your goal—this means you care about the outcome. It’s not because your mom keeps nagging you to move out of the basement. You should have some compelling reason why getting * done matters to you.
• Give yourself a specific goal and a deadline to accomplish it.
The * that you would like to have finished by the end of the class can be revising a rough draft, sending out query letters, writing a certain number of words, etc. Students can comment on each other’s goals with opinions, suggestions, and solutions.
Each Monday, students take their overall goal and break it down into what they want to accomplish this week. They are free to comment on other people’s goals/plans, offer suggestions, ask for help, or just share a successful strategy. I chime in as well with encouragment and support.
Each Wednesday, every student checks in to share their progress so far and to discuss stumbling blocks and celebrate successes.
On Sunday evening (Friday evening if students aren’t working over the weekend), we all regroup and tell whether we met our week’s goal or not. (I always participate with some project of my own so that we’re all in this together).
My purpose for this class is to help students identify and resolve roadblocks to their success and to develop habits that will help them now and in the future. So, each week, I send out information about tackling issues such as resistance or self-doubt and we have class discussions about them. However, the focus of the class is on the accountability portion—knowing you’ll be reporting your progress to others helps people stay on track.
Materials are sent individually to students by email, but the group discussions occur on Facebook (in a special Facebook group reserved for FY* Bootcamp students only). You don’t have to participate in the FB group (I will do the accountability portion with you one-on-one if you prefer) but most students enjoy the camaraderie.
The class runs from Thursday, November 1 through Friday, November 30, 2018. I’m asking for a small class fee of $25—first, because this is a time-intensive effort for me and second, because people are more likely to take Bootcamp seriously if they have made even a small financial investment in it.
Below is a Paypal button or you can just Paypal $25 to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would prefer to pay another way, such as by check, just email me and we’ll find a solution