Sample Boot Camp Work Plans

I have designed the Phase I curriculum so that it can fit into your life, regardless of your teaching and other responsibilities. While it will be most beneficial if you do it during the summer (when you can focus intensely on this work alone) in a group setting, you can complete the full curriculum with the timeline and format that make the most sense for you.

Having now had the opportunity to run many boot camps and supervise authors completing the self-paced course, I’ve collected some observations about what helps authors succeed.

  • They set aside 5–10 hours per week for 8–12 consecutive weeks (or more hours for fewer weeks).
  • They set up and stick to non-negotiable weekly submission deadlines with someone else.
  • They submit work they know is imperfect but good enough, then they move on.

Those who do these things tend to finish in 8 weeks, working an average of 7 hours per week.

Those who do not do these things—especially those who work through the material only when they feel like it or those who allow themselves to perfect their prose before moving on—typically take a minimum of 16 weeks to finish the curriculum with no noticeable increase in work quality. They also have, at the limit, spent four times the recommended maximum hours on some of the objectives.

I highly recommend, then, that you commit to these three practices to ensure that you work through the material as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Know, too, that Phase I is iterative. Throughout the curriculum, I will often challenge you to forge ahead even if you don’t feel 100% ready. Strive to do good enough work, not to perfect your prose. 

Reminder: Using the DropBox Links for Accountability

At the end of each Objective, you'll see a link to submit your work and a feedback form. I provide the DropBox links to give you a sense of accountability.

Working in a self-paced format can be challenging because the fact that you can complete the work whenever means that it can risk falling to the back burner. In other words, no one is expecting it.

But as you now know, boot camp participants do best when they work quickly and hold themselves to the work plans I propose. So, when you begin each objective, I highly recommend you set a non-negotiable submission deadline for yourself. To this end, you can use the submission links as a form of accountability. Note that I will not offer feedback on any work you submit.

Sample Phase I Work Plan: Relatively Even Pace with 5-10 Hours Per Week

This plan is best for those who want to do this course while teaching. As I mentioned, authors have the most success when they treat the submission schedule as sacred, aim for 80%, and respect the maximum hours. 

Accelerated Phase I Work Plan

If you can work on this material for a brief, intense period (over the summer, during a break) when you can devote multiple hours per day to this work, follow this accelerated plan: