Sunday, October 4, 2009
Eleni-fest: Bootcamper buddies
This week the topic on Eleni-fest is the Romance Writers of Australia conference and the writing community. And what a way to start that topic than to come along to the other place I blog (but not as often) - here!
Signing up for the first Bootcamp (101) offered by RWAus in November 2007 is one of the best things I have done for my writing!
I'm not just saying this because I'm on the 101ers blog. This is heartfelt. While some of us sort of knew each other's names from the Romaus list (RWAus e-loop), most of us didn't know each other well. After two weekends and a week of work in between, this group clicked on a deeper level than I had been expecting. So when Bootcamp was over we continued on with our own e-loop with our Bootcamp mum, Rachel Bailey & presenter Melissa James.
And nearly two years later, we are still going strong and I am very lucky to say I have made wonderful and lasting friendships on this group. See we don't judge each other - we are a support network and share ups and downs with each other. As time has gone on, with two years of friendship, we have strong bonds.
Initially I had never mentioned my CFS but when I realised this group wasn't temporary and I felt comfortable with everyone, I opened up - & unconditional support poured in. So it helped me to later 'own' my CFS with the broader world.
First thing is first - we do not need to be on the list constantly to know that we are there for each other. We take breaks from posting - we all need them for one reason or another - but the point is no-one is forgotten.
We know our goal is to 'Protect the Work' as our fabulous presenter Denise Rossetti taught us during Bootcamp. So we aim to help each other with this as well at the same time realising life, is well, life. And it can throw some doozies at us. Or throw us some really amazing news. Through it all, we are there. And I think the realism and the practicality of this mindset is what is keeping us going strong. We are different women and respect each other's opinions. Always crucial in a tight-knit group.
We have set up a blog and a website to showcase us and our work. Roseanne highlights our successes in her Mission Reports, including finalling or winning contests, getting the call, or getting a new book contract. Fiona is now blogging on a more regular basis (so you don't just hear my voice go on and on and on).
We have fortnightly online chats organised by our Chat mum, Annie. We can't all always make it but even if there are just two people chatting, it's always a blast. I know I always get re-energised from the chats. Sometimes we have specific topics, other times it is just a catch up. And it works for us. In 2008, there was a Boot-i-Con, a weekend of Plotting in the Wild, and there will be future Boot-i-Cons.
Part of my conference and joy was meeting most of these wonderful women face-to-face for the first time. I knew them from online but putting names, faces and voices together was amazing. I was the only one of the Bootcampers who hadn't met a single soul face-to-face before August. Finally this was rectified and I had a ball hanging out, sharing ideas, drinks, meals, brainstorming sessions, attending workshops and cheering each other on for our pitches, and most of all having a good laugh.
Friendship, support, encouragement, feedback, brainstorming have resulted by being a part of this group. This is my Bootcamp community...actually make that family. So thanks to Rachel Bailey for coming up with the idea of Bootcamps and RWAus for supporting it. So now you know why doing Bootcamp 101 was the best $50 I have spent on my writing!
So as part of Eleni-fest, I have a giveaway of a Super Sized Writer's Pack (a Writer's Pack with Extras) for one lucky commentator:
Leave a comment on the following question -
What is the best thing you have done for your writing?
If you are not a writer, what is the best thing about reading?
Blog comments will be open until end Wednesday 7th October.
COMPETITION NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR ENTERING.
I will announce the winner on this blog as well as at Eleni's Taverna.
Thanks for popping here to our Bootcampers blog and for joining in. Please visit me in Eleni's Taverna for more Eleni-fest blogs (including with special guests - Rachel Bailey on the 28th, Nikki Logan on the 24th and my CP, Fiona Gregory on the 8th), as well as entering my website competitions.
Of course keep up to date on Bootcamper news here on our blog and visit our website.