I no longer run On Track as a stand-alone ecourse, but you can get it as a member of Writers’ Huddle.

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If you’re anything like me, January’s a time when you think about what you really want to accomplish in the next year. Maybe it’s a novel, a new blog, or an ebook.

You’ve got big plans. You’ve got something you’re itching to write – something which will change your year and which might just change your life. You’re keen to set off on your next writing adventure.

But … if you’re anything like me, your plans don’t always come to fruition. Your goals sometimes get lost. You want to write – that book idea nags at you, that blog keeps you awake at night – but you’re struggling to find the time and energy to make a start.

I believe that you have something worth writing. I believe that your projects matter.

And here’s how I can help you…

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This six-week course, plus accompanying ebook, will get you started (or restarted) on a big writing project – and give you all the tools you need to finish it.

It’s designed for novelists, and bloggers, and ebook writers, and book authors. You’ll get on track from lesson one, and make progress every single week.

Deadline: Friday 14th January

IMPORTANT: Registration for On Track is only open until Friday 14th January at midnight (PST). That’s 8am Saturday GMT. You need to be signed up by that point so that everyone’s ready to start together on Monday 17th January.

How Much Does On Track Cost?

I hate it when people hide the price waaay down a page – so here it is, upfront.

$39.

That works out to just $6.50 per week.

You don’t just get the weekly lessons – you also get to ask me any questions about your writing.

Plus, I’ve thrown in extras like an exclusive ebook and a hefty discount on my coaching (scroll down for more on those). I really wanted to make this great value for you.

How On Track Works

Each week, on Mondays, you’ll receive one key lesson.

Lesson 1:  Make a Great Start – Monday 17th January

  • An introduction to the course, so you’re confident about what’s coming up week by week
  • Four ways to get past the first hurdle of getting started – so that you can get going with your project straight away
  • A quick, simple (but important) assignment to get you writing – this only takes fifteen minutes

Lesson 2: Setting Milestones That Work – Monday 24th January

  • Step-by-step guidance on how to split your work-in-progress into sensible milestones that’ll keep you motivated
  • Specific advice on what to do if your project doesn’t seem to fit (for instance, if you’re writing a blog that has no specific end point)
  • Why deadlines matter – and how to set sane ones

Lesson 3: Your Perfect Writing Routine – Monday 31st January

  • How to find your best writing time of day – this alone can double or triple how much you write in an hour
  • The difference between setting time targets and word targets – there’s no “right” way, so this lesson helps you figure out what works for you
  • The advantages of short writing sessions – and of long ones. Again, this is all about finding the right pace for you

Lesson 4: Staying On Track, Every Week – Monday 7th February

  • Four ways to solve the “I don’t have enough time” problem, so that you keep on writing regularly
  • Specific advice on planning different types of project – novels, blogs and ebooks – so that you can make sure you don’t waste time scratching your head or running off on a tangent
  • The difference between first drafts and final drafts, so that you don’t get bogged down in trying to achieve perfection

Lesson 5: Sharing Your Love of Writing – Monday 14th February

  • Four places to find writing support – including a couple of easy ones for when you don’t have much time or energy
  • A round-up of what other course members are working on, so you can connect with others
  • Tips on sharing your work with a friend or a group – I know how daunting this can be, but also how rewarding it is, and how much it can help you grow

Lesson 6: All the Resources You Need – Monday 21st February

  • Why you have more resources than you think – a fresh look at your own skills and experiences
  • The four crucial qualities which every writer needs, with specific tips on how to build them
  • The three big external resources that matter, and how to gather and create these

Final Wrap-Up – Monday 28th February

  • All the course materials in one handy package that you can save to your computer or print out
  • Success stories for the course – share your own triumphs, and get inspired by others’
  • A final round-up of Twitter names etc, so we can all stay in touch!

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Group Updates – Every Thursday

On Thursdays, you’ll receive the “Group Update” email. This will:

  • Answer your questions – you can send these to me at any time. Getting advice from me on the course is an awful lot cheaper than booking me for coaching (which starts at $79)
  • Celebrate successes! If you’ve had a great writing session, fought your way through a sticky patch or had an “aha” moment, then email me so that the whole group can be inspired by you. (You can remain anonymous if you’re feeling shy.)
  • Give you any news or updates – I’ll point you to any handy resources and let you know what I’m up to. And if you’re releasing a new ebook, posting excerpts of your novel or launching a new blog, let me know so that I can tell everyone!

To make it as easy as possible for you to engage with each lesson and group update, you’ll have the text in the body of the email, plus a PDF attachment which you can save or print.

Update: What People Are Saying

There’s already a buzz building up among On Track members, with some great tweets and comments…

Tweets:

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Course Book: Seven Pillars of Great Writing

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At the start of the course, you’ll receive Seven Pillars of Great Writing. This is designed so that you can dip in and out, with chapters covering:

Chapter 1: Structure

  • Why structure matters for you and the reader, and how to get the beginning, middle and end right
  • How to create great outlines which make writing easier

Chapter 2: Flow

  • Using transitions so that you keep the reader’s attention – section to section and paragraph to paragraph
  • How to pick up the pace, and how to slow it down (and knowing when to do which!)

Chapter 3: Clarity

  • Making sure that you have clarity on several levels: ideas, sentences and argument
  • Specific examples of unclear sentences and words, so you can see what to watch out for

Chapter 4: Tone

  • Why tone matters – and how to vary your tone for effect
  • Loads of specific tips about how to write conversationally – a really important skill for many forms of writing

Chapter 5: Grammar

  • Basic grammar explained, with plenty of further resources to help you improve
  • Grammar myths busted – so that you can stop fretting about ancient “rules” which don’t matter

Chapter 6: Economy

  • How to make your writing more powerful and engaging – so you’ll get and keep readers
  • A list of sneaky words to watch out for – learn to cut these ruthlessly

Chapter 7: Heart

  • Why writing from the heart is so important – and what that actually means
  • How to add “heart” to your writing, even if you’re not really into the topic

Each chapter gives you real-life examples so you can see how other writers put these seven pillars into practice.

Bonuses

I know I’ve thrown a lot of information at you already, but I wanted to highlight two big bonuses for you:

Your Questions Answered

I mentioned this above, but I wanted to emphasise it here again. In the Group Update emails, I’ll be answering your questions. You can send me anything you want – including samples of your writing.

I charge $79 upwards for coaching sessions, so even if you didn’t read any of the lessons and just send me your questions, you’d find that the course worked out as good value for money!

Discounted Coaching Sessions

You may well want one-to-one advice and support with your project. As an On Track member, you’ll be entitled to book a discounted coaching session for just $49 – saving you $30 (almost the whole course fee!)

You don’t have to have your coaching session while the course is in progress. You can schedule it any time during 2011.

What Happens After You Pay

Within 24 hours, I’ll send an email to your PayPal address, with the link to sign up for the course emails. (You can choose to use a different email address, not necessarily your PayPal one, from this point on.)

If you prefer, you can click on “return to ali@aliventures.com” after PayPal checkout and sign up for the emails straight away.

Next weekend (15th – 16th) I’ll check up on anyone who hasn’t signed up or confirmed their email address. I’ll email you the course ebook (Seven Pillars of Great Writing) so that you can take a look in advance of the first session, if you want.

On Monday 17th, we’ll get started. You’ll receive the first lesson in your inbox. It’ll be from my personal email address, ali@aliventures.com, so you may want to whitelist that in your email program.

Got Questions?

If you’ve read this far, I’m guessing you’re interested in the course but you have a few doubts or worries. I’m going to tackle some big ones below:

Will I Have Enough Time?

I know you’re pressed for time already. I’ve kept all the lessons succinct and focused on practicalities. In fact, throughout the course, there’s a focus on how to find more time and how to use your time effectively.

Each lesson should take you no more than fifteen minutes to read. The assignments are optional (though highly recommended!) and will take, at most, an hour – usually less.

Is This For Me?

Almost certainly! It’s for anyone who wants to complete a biggish writing project. That might be fiction or non-fiction. It might be online (a blog) or offline (a book). It might be one single “thing” (a novel) or a project with multiple parts (a series of article).

It’s not for you if:

  • You want to improve your writing in general (e.g. for work) but you haven’t got any desire to work on a writing project.
  • Your English is poor. The course book has plenty of tips for improving your writing itself (style, tone, grammar and so on) but I assume that you’re already able to write competently.

What if I Fall Behind?

Sometimes, life gets busy. You might already have plans to be away during part of the course. You may simply hit a hectic spell at work.

Don’t worry about getting left behind. If you don’t have time to read a lesson or do the assignment one week, just skip it. You’ll receive a pack of all the lessons at the end of the course, so you can catch up on anything you missed then.

What if it Doesn’t Work for Me?

I’m hoping that you’ll take the course, enjoy it, and make massive strides with your own writing. But even if you decide it isn’t right for you, that’s fine.

You can cancel at any stage of the course (even in week six), and I’ll refund your money. No questions asked.

Maybe you’ve got a different concern or question. If so, feel totally free to leave a comment, email me (ali@aliventures.com) or grab me on Twitter (@aliventures).