Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Monday, April 26, 2010

Worth Getting Up For

I had to get up at 5 am on Friday and Saturday to get to the LDS Storymakers boot camp on time. I don't get up at 5 am. Ever. That's the middle of the night as far as I'm concerned. (My husband gets up at 5 almost everyday. That's insane, but he has a long commute.) I wanted to do the boot camp, though, a critique group led by a professional author. How could I pass that up? So, I dragged myself out of bed at 5 am, and arrived at the conference at 7 in the morning, when I am normally still asleep.

It was terrific. So worth getting up early for. Our instructor was Dan Wells, author of I Am Not a Serial Killer.  He also does the Writing Excuses podcast with Brandon Sanderson and Howard Tayler. Wow. I was so excited to learn he would be our instructor. Ordinarily, the thought of reading my own writing out-loud in front of an author I respect and admire would turn me into a jittery ball of nervousness. I probably wouldn't be able to talk. But that wasn't the case this time. Yes, I know the reason for this (thank you, Tracy.) Anyway, the other members of the table were Devon, Terra, Shallee, and Luisa. We took turns reading pages from our chapters and then giving each other feedback. I really loved how Dan made us feel that all of our comments and thoughts were valuable. He acted like just another critiquer and not the big know-it-all author. That really put me at ease. I got some great feedback about what worked and what didn't in the first chapter of my current project. It was valuable for me to know how the book is working as a sequel with people who have never read the first book. It seems like I really can make it stand on its own, which is what I hope for. I only got about 6 or 7 pages critiqued, but it was well-worth it. It was worth getting up at 5 am for. I would do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, I plan on doing it next year. I think I might get myself a hotel room this time, though. Then I won't have to get up until 6. :)

19 comments:

Kim Coates said...

I'm with ya! I had to get up at 5:00 am also. Too early. But worth it, for sure. My experience was great. Your table wasn't to far from mine, but I missed you. Sorry we didn't get to meet.

I agree, next year I think I'll get a room!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I normally get up at 5 am so I can either follow blogs or write. Fortunately I'm a morning person. :)

Danyelle said...

Mornings are EVIL, as far as I'm concerned. But that being said, I think I'm going to sign up for this next year. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. :D

Carolyn V. said...

I woke up at 4 and couldn't get back to sleep. I hate mornings like that.

Dan is very cool. I'm glad to hear he was a good critiquer. =)

Joanne said...

How wonderful for Dan to share his expertise in this type of critique. It's nice to have that professional input.

AstonWest said...

Heh...I get up at 5:30 every morning for work...and actually am able to get some writing done before that if I wake up about 3:30 (as I did this morning). :-)

Jen said...

I wanted to go. I wish I had time this weekend, we had so much going on with family I couldn't make it.

Theresa Milstein said...

What a great opportunity. I'm glad you enjoyed and got a lot out of it (even if you had to get up early).

ali said...

I am so glad it was a positive experience for you! Getting helpful critiques is, well, priceless. ♥

Aubrie said...

Wow, you are so brave to do that! 5am in the morning is early for me, too. I'm glad you leanred something from it. :) Maybe ou can post some of the things you leanred on the blog for us?

Jody Hedlund said...

Awesome! Glad it was worth it! Usually those objective critiques teach us more than we could every learn on our own!

Jewel/Pink Ink said...

Hi Angie! Dan Wells would have been fun to have as a table leader. His books have tons of personality. Glad you had fun, and sorry I missed you!

Lisa said...

5 a.m. is definitely the middle of the night!

Boot Camp sounds amazing. Any recommendations for those of us considering doing it next year?

Mary Campbell said...

I'm so jealous. I want down to teach me all he knows. That's my mini-crush speaking - sorry.

L.T. Elliot said...

Dan is awesome! I'm so glad you loved bootcamp and I think six pages is pretty good considering how many people there are there!

It was awesome to see you there, Angie! Let's get together again soon, huh?

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I had a hard time getting up that early, too. But Boot Camp was awesome. I was so impressed with the talented women at my table. It was a great conference. :D

Julie Dao said...

Ugh 5 AM is HOURS before I become a human :) I'm so glad the camp went well, it sounds like something I would like to do one day!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I absolutely love boot camp, too. This year is the first time since boot camp started four years ago that I didn't attend. But I learned gobs and gobs from the authors I worked with at boot camp. And yes, I highly recommend staying at the hotel. Like you, I'm so not a morning person! =)

Tamara said...

Thanks for the great post. I had a room because I came from AZ and woke up at 4 and couldn't get back to sleep, probably nerves over bootcamp! It went great though and I agree, worth waking up for!