Thursday, July 07, 2011

Writing Boot Camp: the final chapter I didn't realize quite how long ago it was I wrote about trying my own solo version of Sarah Stewart's Publication Boot Camp Wiki. It's well past time for an update, and indeed, the outcome.

I didn't manage to stick to anything like the six week schedule of the wiki. There are a number of reasons for this. First, what I was aiming to do - redraft an existing manuscript - is rather different from the structure of the programme, which is really aimed at writing from scratch. Second, the last few weeks have been an incredibly busy time for me, not really the ideal time of year to try to do this sort of thing (but when is?). Third, and most important of all, I missed out on the social/peer-pressure element of the group exercise which is crucial in my opinion.

So the outcome is?
I have a manuscript which I am just about to submit. I doubt that would have happened without reading about this on Sarah's blog. Although I didn't stick to the schedule, it gave me the kick up the arse I needed to get started again. But doing this in isolation is a poor substitute for any sort of support group. That's the most important lesson I take away from this.


  1. are you saying I didn't nag you enough ? some people are never happy ;-) Well done on getting restarted with it though, re-drafting is horrible work and takes a lot of effort to even open the document (in my experience!).

  2. Hello Alan, so glad this project has been of use to you. As you know, I'm doing this in a F2F group and it has been extremely effective - all 5 of us will submit publications although it will take longer than 6 weeks. As for our virtual project, there are 3 of us working through it. I know we'll get there in the end but we're not so disciplined as the f2F group has been. And as you say, i don;t think the outcomes will be as effective without some sort of peer support which includes motivation and editing.

  3. BTW, must acknowledge Dr Linda Wilson, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand who started this all off.

  4. Thanks Sarah. For me, the most significant thing to come out of this has been the importance of the f2f element of a program such as this.