Get Writing! Online Bootcamp

Sign up using the newsletter box on the right to find out when registration opens.

Get yourself (back) into the writing habit with the online bootcamp. You can take part from anywhere in the world at a time that suits you, and you’ll walk away fired up about writing with a short story under your belt and page after page of fiction and ideas to work on in the future.

Boots! It's a writing bootcamp!

You love to write and want to be writing, but your work has stalled. You have no inspiration and aren’t sure what you’d write about, or if you do know you’re procrastinating. This bootcamp is for you.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a world-class procrastinator. Recently though, I’ve found myself actually doing things (gasp!). I’ve not only finished the first draft of a two novels, but I’m starting to edit it and am writing second third. And I’ve worked out that the times I find it easiest and get most done are the times when I work alongside other people and am expected to share my progress. So that’s what this bootcamp will do for our writing.

What You’ll Get :

  • The bootcamp last ran in January-February 2014. It’s generally an annual event, and dates for 2015 will be confirmed soon.
  • FREE Access to my private Writers’ Playground forum during the bootcamp. You’ll check in here every Monday with your progress. You’ll also have access to any online writing retreats during that period – there will be at least one, hopefully more. There are often people around in the week to talk to about writing and set goals with.
  • Private forum thread just for us where you can come for day-to-day support with other people who really get it and share work if you like.
  • A small and supportive group within the Playground where you can really get to know your fellow bootcamp writers.
  • Daily email with cheerleading, tools and tasks to help you on your way.
  • Daily writing task, which will take between 5 and 20 minutes.
  • Weekly exercises to help build your confidence, mine for ideas and more.
  • Structured 4-week programme taking you from tiny, easy writing tasks to writing 3-500 words a day and sharing a short story that you have devised and planned on the bootcamp.

What You’ll Walk Away With:

  • You will feel inspired and supported in your writing and have a sense of possibility. You’ll have a much clearer idea of where you’re going and why, and feel in control and able to sit down and just write.
  • You will have a burgeoning writing habit. After 4 weeks of consistent writing it will be part of your daily life and something that you want to continue to make the effort to find time for.
  • You’ll have a set of tools to help you look forwards and get moving again next time you get stuck.
  • You’ll have a notebook full of ideas to keep you going afterwards.
  • You will have written or be well on your way to completing a short story. How many stories, short or otherwise, have you completed in the last couple of months?

Time Commitment:

  • 5-30 minutes of writing per day, plus 1-2 hours most weeks for exercises.

Is it worth it? This is feedback from last year’s group:

“The prompts were good as was the challenge to produce something every day. The group support (especially when I was unable to continue keeping up writing) helped a lot.”

” I was also writing in the wrong direction, which the Bootcamp helped with enormously.”

“It did make me think more about my writing and how I structure my writing and the time I set aside for it. This has directly resulted in me starting to write again. I am also much more relaxed about the quality of the writing (adopting the approach that there will be plenty of time to edit later).”

“I loved the bootcamp.”


Want More Info? No Problemo! 

Week By Week Guide

WEEK 1: This week is all about exploring and finding things that work for you. We’ll be finding time to write and setting writing appointments if you haven’t already done it. You’ll look at why you write, what you want to get from it and what your goals are. We’ll start inspiration notebooks to capture ideas and start writing very gently, in timed bursts. We’ll track our writing progress throughout the 4 weeks visually. At the end of the week we’ll share our progress using a technique designed to help you feel more in control and happier about your writing, and of course we’ll be able to chat online about our progress all week.

WEEK 2: Last week we did a lot of preparation and a bit of writing. Week 2 is about the writing, and the daily exercises will get you working in larger (but still manageable) bursts. We’ll check in with our goals and see if steady work makes them seem more achievable, and we’ll go hunting through your old writings to salvage ideas. Again, we’ll share progress and set goals at the end of the week and we’ll be working on the inspiration notebook.

WEEK 3: This week you’ll pick one idea from your past work or the last 2 weeks and will start exploring aspects of it in the daily writing exercises. You’ll brainstorm and outline your idea, and at the end of the week you’ll start to look at how the work you’ve been doing can lead to a short story. We’ll check in at the end of the week, and you’ll set your goals for your short story in the next week.

WEEK 4: You’ll break your target down into achievable chunks and create your own daily writing tasks. From writing virtually nothing before the bootcamp you’ll now be writing 500 words a day. We’ll look at motivationa and habits to help you after the bootcamp finishes and set goals for afterwards to keep you writing. If you haven’t completed a short story by the end of the bootcamp, you’ll be well underway and will know how to finish it and when you’ll do it.


This is NOT for You if:

  • This bootcamp is not for you if you’re happily writing every day and want a bit of motivation on a current project. Hang tight, there’s something coming for you.
  • If you’re looking for a magic solution, this isn’t for you. You have to be prepared to put in the work, to follow the exercises and commit to your writing.
  • Non-fiction writers. Sorry! The prompts and weekly exercises are designed to build and develop, and you won’t get the same progression with non-fiction.
  • It’s not a class. There are no official critiques. I’m not training you on how to get published or giving professional evaluations. My focus is on inspiration and motivation, though I encourage sharing work and giving/getting critiques within the group to help us all improve.
  • This isn’t about doing exercises to find out you can’t write because of the awful teacher who told you to stop being silly and do your maths instead. There’s no woe is us. I’m interested in getting writers to build their futures and take action. It’s about looking forwards not backwards and actually doing it, taking small steps, having a support networks and using a framework of tasks and targets to show you that you CAN do it, that you have everything you need already and that the moment you start it all becomes easier.


Comments from the forums last summer:

‘It has been so enlightening doing Charlie’s prompts… that blissful feeling when you sit down uninspired and the words suddenly come from nowhere.’

‘That’s why I like Bootcamp, there’s people on here daring to do what they want to do.’

‘I do run into my own walls and I like that the simple tools provided show me a way around them.’

‘I feel like I’m developing as a writer… it’s by far the most pleasurable writing I’ve done.’

‘Thanks Charlie for your long email, It’s so nice not to have to beat myself up about writing (there are so many things we torture ourselves about).’

A number of writers on last year’s bootcamps are now working on full-length novels and are still active Playground members.


Want to get writing? Need some juicy bootcamp goodness to get you there? It’s just £127 for 4 weeks, around £4 per day. If you think that sounds a lot, have a quick think about how much do you spend on eating out/clothes/at the pub each month or how much you spend on coffee every week. I was shocked when I did this! Is being a writer worth more to you than a pair of shoes and a night out?

Sign up on the right for the newsletter and you’ll be first to hear when registration opens.

Because it’s time to ask yourself how much your dreams are really worth, if you’re actually serious enough about writing to get the support to make it happen.

Because this opportunity isn’t going to happen often. And you’ll regret it if in 6 month’s time you’re still doing the same old thing and haven’t made any progress.

And because what else are you going to do with that time anyway? Do you really need to spend that extra hour in front of the TV? I’m not intending to make you miss nights out to slave away over a hot computer, we’re aiming to make writing an integral part of your life so that you can go out and enjoy all that other stuff without guilt.


Comments from November:

‘I feel that I’ve got to know a group of new characters and what they’re after.’

‘I did more creative writing in the past 4 weeks than in the previous 4 years! The timed writing was such an eye-opener.’

‘I loved it… I have enjoyed the free writing more and discovered a love of dialogue and characters who are close the edge, either mentally or on the fringes of society’


SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: If you aren’t completely satisfied, just let me know by the end of the bootcamp and I’ll refund your money. You will need to send me your completed tasks, both writing and preparation/other to show that you’ve done the work and put everything into action before you decided it really doesn’t work for you. The whole point of the bootcamp is to get you writing, and it requires you to be prepared to do the work in order to get results. But if you’ve done everything and it’s still not working for you, then I’d hate for you to be dissatisfied and will refund you immediately.