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Writing Bootcamp: Postmortem

And then, it was done. No more prompts. No more classmates’ writing to read and critique. No more 1000 word assignment to turn in on Saturday. Even as I know the time flew by really quickly and I wish I’d signed up for the 10 week bootcamp, it feels like I’ve been at this routine a lot longer. I could go on doing this for much longer. I imagine this what somewhat like an MFA program feels like, from what I’ve always heard or read about them.

I had an inkling that responding to prompts and letting the writing produced from those exercises lead me to new story ideas, memories I had forgotten that might fit with *something* I’d written and I was right. I produced a lot more writing than I thought I would and leave the experience with many more ideas for projects, both large and small. Since we’ve been invited to, I’ll be downloading the prompts and revisiting them, as I feel like I need another boost or a different alleyway to take my writing down.

The next step is to work and bring pieces I worked on in the class and that I started outside of it, to conclusion and send them out. I have a huge bout of impostor syndrome to get over, but at this point, if I keep doing any more of these classes (or any other classes, for that matter) without trying for publication at all, I’ll be still hiding. Someone whose opinion I trust asked me when I was going to stop going into these classes looking for validation for my writing and permission to put it out in the world. I learned it’s okay and I don’t completely suck and I should go for publication. The hiding isn’t working.

So I’ll go back to the lab, throw some things out here on this site, some things out elsewhere, and we’ll see where it goes.

Since the names of the members of the class weren’t published, I won’t put any of their names here, but I would like to thank them for sharing their work and their opinions about everyone’s work. As I said before, it was great to see work written about subjects that I care about, but from different slants. The class was worth it for that alone.

Forget about the bravery the writers must have had to produce the work they did. Exploring lifestyles out of the mainstream. Stories about living with cancer. One writer talked about one way their mother’s death from cancer was a relief. She stood on her truth and never wavered.

I’d also like to especially thank the instructor, Meghan O’Gieblyn, since her name was listed on the site. She gave me wonderful feedback on my work, especially the longer pieces. I am truly grateful for her discussion of an issue I’ve struggled with for a long time: the use of second person in my writing. It’s one of those things that I’ve just “felt” for at times, but she gave me a larger way of looking at that perspective and when to employ it.

More than that, she offered encouragement and even talked with us about things like publishing with us that weren’t officially covered in the course. Generous, helpful, and supportive — everything you want in a writing teacher.

Read some of her work.

And that’s it. Tomorrow, I’ll jump back behind my Chromebook screen and we’ll see where I go.