So I went to the writing boot camp event I mentioned a couple of days ago. At first, I didn't feel like it was the most productive time I'd ever spent. The first two of the three sessions I'd signed up for felt like the most tedious waste of time ever. The writing seemed to be like pulling teeth, and I was painfully aware that of how little I was actually getting done. Writing first drafts in longhand can give you the illusion of accomplishing more than you think, but I'm immune to that deception these days. I know exactly how many (or how few) words a page of my handwriting contains.
Really, the magic didn't start happening until the last quarter of the last session. That's when I really started getting into a zone and writing feverishly. At the end of the day, my output was close to seven handwritten pages for a word count of about 850. In retrospect, that's not necessarily disappointing. I was talking to one of my classmates who attended both days, and she said she got about three pages of 12-point Times New Roman on the first day and ended up with a total of eight pages over the two days. Like me, she was working on an entirely original story for class. Three pages of the required 12-point Times New Roman is approximately 1200 words to my 850. In light of that fact, I guess I didn't do too bad for one day of trying to write a totally new story.
My biggest problem is that one of my goals was to decide which of two possible stories to write for the class' original story requirement. Even though basically all the work I got done today was on one of the stories, I'm still not sure I've decided. Even though I love the way this story is turning out, I'm not sure it's long enough to submit for this assignment. The professor's 15-20 page guideline for grad student stories is just that, a guideline. However, I'm afraid this story might end up being short enough to qualify as a short-short story. If you work in that length, she requires you to submit multiple stories that add up to at least 10 pages, and I don't have any ideas for other stories I could bundle with it.
Nevertheless, I like this whole boot-camp idea. I feel like if I could do one of these on a regular basis, I could really get a lot of writing done. Seriously, this sounds like a good concept for a general writing group unaffiliated with any university.