Updated: Jan 23
My experience with Memoir Writing Bootcamp has truly been enlightening, fulfilling, and nourishing. It has definitely helped me a ton even until now as I continue writing my stories.
I started to write a memoir in honor of my father, who passed away during the height of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. I suddenly felt the surge of stories within me about the memories I shared with my father that I needed a vessel to place them into. Hence, in 2021, I started to write my first draft of the story I could vividly remember in my head. After weeks of writing, I stopped and I couldn’t continue anymore. Before I knew it, almost an entire year had passed. I knew the stories by heart, but I couldn’t let them out. Call it writer’s block, emotional block or whatever, but I knew in my heart this was the first book I wanted to write AND FINISH. Then, I saw Scribblory’s post about this bootcamp and I instantly knew it’s what I needed. It was the newest program by Scribblory so I was a part of the first batch.
Even the very first session of the bootcamp was memorable and it’s something I had never expected. What could happen on a first day, right? It’s just basically introduction and orientation, I thought. However, much to my surprise, I’d never thought I would tear up on the first day by just writing and refining the premise of my book! It’s also quite serendipitous that my fellow participant or accountability partner for Friday group was also writing about a loved one that passed, so our sessions from thereon had always been so emotionally resonating and affecting, which really worked for me.
I felt I was never alone and my hand had been held throughout the whole process, so to speak, especially the uneasy parts. It’s nice to have someone out there going through something with me.
Aside from that, my favorite parts and the things I’ve found most valuable in this bootcamp were the sessions when we did a story structure and the feedback from Elaine and fellow writer-readers. Again, something so technical as writing the story structure surprised me a lot! It made me burst inside and I ended up writing and finishing my story structure in six hours straight without rest. It’s like when Elaine gave this as homework, something stirred inside me and all my stories I intended to write started bursting from me to my pen and then to my paper. It was nothing short of magical. Yeah, it’s like a spell was cast on me and I was in a trance in that particular moment. I was even afraid to pause because I felt those stories would escape me if I didn’t jot them down right away.
Lastly, I think the most valuable thing for me in this bootcamp was the feedback I received every session. It totally gave me the perspective of my readers and shed light on my blindspots as a writer. It helped me recognize the difference between the writer’s hat and the reader’s hat, and when it’s best to use them.
The most interesting part, and I guess the most fulfilling as well of the feedback sessions for me, were the times when I was able to capture them at the right moments in my writing because it told me that I was able to convey the heart of my message in my stories.
All those moments have been reassuring and given me boost to continue that I felt when the bootcamp for the first batch was almost over, I still couldn’t get enough of it and couldn't need from it some more, so I also joined the sessions of the second batch as I’ve been continuously writing my book. I may join the third batch as well until I finish the entire book! We’ll see. My journey with the Memoir Writing Bootcamp has not been certainly easy, but it definitely has given me direction and a boost to power through my writing. Now, I’m still on it but I’m expecting myself to finish the final draft of my manuscript before the first quarter ends and hopefully release it mid-2023.
Written by Felz Etorne, publisher and founder of Metacognia