After high school, my brother enlisted in the Marines and was sent to the bootcamp on Parris Island. His stories about that intensive training made me certain that I’d never want to attend one. Looking back, I can see that despite the toughness of the training, bootcamp had a lot to offer including physical fitness, confidence and a sense of direction. He also made a couple of friendships that lasted a lifetime.
As an IT engineer, I had the opportunity to attend several bootcamps. These bootcamps were only a few days in length and focused on learning specific computer skills in a short period of time. I found them to be both enjoyable and effective. I was amazed by how much I could learn, when I got away from everyday distractions and focused on a single goal. Long after the training had been completed, I continued to benefit from the skills and connections I had made.
Since retirement, I’ve been pursuing a freelance writing career. I’ve made some progress, but it hasn’t been easy. Without formal training, I learn by trial and error and have few opportunities to network with other freelance writers. If there’s a trick to attracting clients, I haven’t figured it out. I recently learned that American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI) offers an annual copywriting bootcamp in Delray Beach, Florida. The three day event includes presentations by experts in marketing and copywriting, as well as opportunities to meet other writers and prospective clients. Experience-level groups offer something for both newbies (that’s me!) and experienced writers. The final day includes a special panel discussion featuring some folks, who have successfully made the transition from their day jobs to freelance writing. It sounds perfect and my new career could certainly use a boot.
Last year’s session sold out in advance, so I probably shouldn’t wait too long to register. I just need to make sure that the agenda doesn’t include pushups or running for miles with a backpack!