When the idea for Badass Writers Bootcamp came to me, I was in the midst of planning and writing a “Recharge Your Creative Batteries In 31 Days” Challenge on this blog. The comments I was getting on each post were inspiring, and lead me to believe that there was a definite need to mix creativity and writing guidance with health and wellness information.
Inspiring writers to live their best, most creative lives possible is the main reason I do what I do at InkyBites. And I wanted to go even deeper and really dive into helping writers on a different level.
That’s when Badass Writers Bootcamp was born.
While the Beta launch group was small, it was also hugely successful for the members who committed to themselves and to the Bootcamp. I wanted to share with you one such success story.
Mary Hughes: A Badass Writers Bootcamper
Let me introduce you to Mary Hughes, a Bootcamp member who shifted her creative life by reducing stress around “what to eat” and removing her barriers to getting writing done.
Below she shares her Badass Writers Bootcamp journey so far:
1. Where Were You With Your Health/Wellness and Creativity/Writing Stuff Before Joining Badass Writers Bootcamp?
Thankfully, I’m a pretty healthy person… I eat fairly well, moderate exercise, no chronic conditions and rarely even get a head cold. But I’m always open to finding new ways to maintain or improve my wellness as I continue to age.
As for creativity and writing… that was where I felt I needed the most help. More specifically, I really wanted to achieve true consistency in my writing life and get over the fear of tackling a novel.
2. What Issues Were You Trying to Solve Before Badass Writers Bootcamp?
Two main ones: procrastination and fear.
Like a lot of writers, I’m an expert at finding ways to put off sitting down at the page, and I was unfortunately getting better and better at avoidance tactics.
And the more I avoided writing (especially attempting a novel), the more I became afraid that I just couldn’t do it anymore. That’s when the creative paralysis really set in.
3. Why Did You Decide to Join Badass Writers?
A line in Jen’s eGuide, Butt-In-Chair, pretty much sums up what prompted me to sign up for Badass Writers Bootcamp: “Your priorities are your actions, not what you say or write down.”
I had to face the truth that I was not putting writing first—and at times, not even fifth or sixth—in terms of what was important to me on a daily basis. And hitting my mid-forties was a real wakeup call in terms of not wasting any more time living less than my best creative life.
4. What Was It Like Going Through the Bootcamp Process/Program?
Usually when I think of the term “bootcamp,” I imagine a very rigid program, where you’re expected to do exactly as you’re told to get a desired result. And because I was so freaked out about the sad state of my writing practice, I was okay with that!
But Bootcamp was actually a much gentler process than I expected, yet it was still incredibly effective.
Jen makes no bones about the fact that you have to take action to see change. But we Bootcampers were allowed to pick and choose from so many different creativity and health improvement tools, that I never felt like I was going to be unsuccessful if I didn’t do it the so-called “right way” (which really does not exist).
It was really nice that the recommendations on everything from health and stress management to the creative side of things were really easy to incorporate. It wasn’t like, “Change your entire diet immediately!” or “Mediate for an hour a day!” It was just small shifts, like eating more varied greens or fitting in a shorter morning meditation or relaxing hot towel scrub.
I found that doing smaller changes made me much more amenable to larger ones, which took hold over the course of Camp.
And the writing modules kept me motivated by reminding me that creativity doesn’t have to come in huge hours-long blocks. So, because of that shift in perspective, I’m finally knee deep into writing my first novel!
5. Results–What Transformation Did You Make During Bootcamp?
My results were even better than I’d hoped for!
After a month in Bootcamp, I also signed up for Jen’s NaNoWriMo workshop. And for the first time in my life, I came up with a solid outline for a novel that I am in the process of writing.
I’ve also created a daily writing practice that I’ve managed to stick to. But when life throws me a curve and upsets my routine, I just forgive myself and get back to the page ASAP (like I learned to do in Bootcamp), instead of berating myself and giving up altogether like I used to.
But one of the most surprising benefits for me was the health and wellness portion of Bootcamp. I figured that the health info would be great for wellbeing and all, but I really didn’t expect to have a radical change in how I looked at food… and I sure didn’t expect to lose weight.
Wrong on both counts!
I could understand the concept of “do what works for YOU” in theory, but never put it into practice in any meaningful way because I was too busy following the latest diet guru du jour. But Jen’s open-minded approach made me realize that I could trust myself to make good choices, and I didn’t need to feel guilty for not adhering to one particular eating regime.
So, I have incorporated a lot more greens, grains, high-quality protein and other things that make me feel healthy. But I’ve also committed to never denying myself any food that I really want, which takes away the whole idea of “forbidden fruit,” and really lessens my desire for junk.
The end result is that I’m enjoying food more, and am finally fitting comfortably into clothes that I never thought I’d wear again.
Bootcamp was truly instrumental in finally getting me to listen to myself and choose foods that work for me consistently. And yeah, sometimes that is a brownie or some dark chocolate!
Badass Writers Bootcamp was the best investment I could have made in terms of wrapping up 2012 on a high note and looking forward to a happy, healthy and super creative 2013!