The Couch to 80k Writing Boot Camp

Would you like to write a novel? Do you have ideas for stories but low motivation or self-confidence? Have you been writing for years but lately you’ve been feeling burnt out, and the fun has gone? Would you like to write more but you can’t find the time or energy? Would you like to do a writing course but you don’t have the money?

The Couch to 80k Writing Boot Camp is a free writing podcast that delivers a complete 8 week fiction writing course over 48 episodes. All it asks of you is 10 minutes writing a day. Each episode teaches you new writing skills through a 10 minute exercise – it even times you while you do the exercise, so once the podcast finishes, you’re done for the day. No homework!

It’s presented by me, Tim Clare. I’m an author, a stand-up poet and a creative writing teacher. I’m pretty good at all three! I present a writing advice podcast called Death Of 1000 Cuts (iTunes linkSoundCloud link), and I’ve edited other people’s manuscripts for over a decade. My debut novel is called THE HONOURS and if you click the link you can grab yourself a copy, see what I’m all about and support the podcast in the process.

All the episodes are available for free to stream or download. All you need is something to listen to them on, and a pen and notebook or a laptop, so you can write. The whole idea is to give you something low commitment but intense, packing in everything you’d learn on a Fiction MA and more, so every day you’re doing focused exercises that build upon your previous work and rapidly build your imaginative muscles. By the end of the writing course, you’ll have the knowledge and the motivation to finish a novel.

The writing course is designed for you to work through on your own, 6 days a week, with 1 day off for when life inevitably gets in the way. But you can work through it with a friend or a writing group, comparing the pieces you write online on in weekly meetings, and discussing what you’ve learned. If you have any questions about the writing course, any thoughts about your experience working through it, any suggestions for ways I could improve it, click the CONTACT ME link on the right and drop me a line. I’d appreciate any feedback that will help me make it even better.

I recorded a 123 second pitch if you’d like to hear the reasons why I think you’ll want to do it:

 

Below is the entire syllabus, with links where you can download or stream individual episodes. I’ve embedded every episode so you can click the first straight away and get writing. Lifehacker wrote a nice article on why you should try it out – and why it’s not like any writing course you’ve taken before. (article contains spoilers for course exercises – if you want to go in with all the surprises intact, don’t read it!) Thousands of writers have started the course and new listeners are joining every day. 

Death Of 1000 Cuts is the name of my ongoing writing advice podcast. I look at first pages submitted by listeners, I interview authors, and I chat about different aspects of writing fiction and writing as a career.

WARNING: BEFORE YOU START. This is an active participation podcast. If you want to just kick back and relax, by all means listen to the other episodes of Death Of 1000 Cuts, where I ramble and swear amiably about writing. But DO NOT listen to this course without doing the exercises. You’ll be shortchanging yourself and missing a real chance to get good, and motivated, and change your writing forever. Try the first episode. All I’m asking is 10 minutes of writing from you. I spent months writing and recording this course. Are you willing to try for 10 minutes to see if it suits you?

Finally, if you like it and you get value from it, please consider chucking me a few bucks to help me keep the lights on. I’ve got a link here – it’s really easy to send me something in a couple of clicks.

Week 1 – Let 1000 Flowers Bloom

In the first week, I lead you through simple, fun, stress-free techniques to generate dozens of ideas for your fiction.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Week 2 – Breaking Through

In Week 2, I train you in a technique for overcoming paralysing self-doubt, and tapping into content and voices you never even realised were there.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Week 3 – Ghosts

In the third week, you’re ready to channel the voices of the dead, and allow them to take over your writing practice entirely.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6


 

Week 4 – Elements of Style

In Week 4, I teach you to build weird jelly molds for your writing to force it into new, interesting shapes.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Week 5 – Journey To The Centre Of The Author

This week is all about self work, and unlocking powerful techniques that not only supercharge your writing, but lift your mood, boost your resistance to disease, and increase your ability to regenerate damaged tissue. No joke!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

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Day 6


 

Week 6 – Mutate the Moon

This week is all about using metaphors and similes to bend reality, and about controlling the consensual hallucination that is a novel.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

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Day 6


 

Week 7 – The Best Laid Plans

This week is your last chance to pack your writer’s backpack with all the tools and weapons you’ll need to prosper on next week’s trek out into the wilderness. I showcase a few choice knives you can use to slash your way through the undergrowth.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

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Day 6


 

Week 8 – Power Walk

In the final week, we march together through a full week’s worth of actual novel writing.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

 

Tim Clare, presenter of the Couch to 80k Writing Boot Camp, an 8 week writing course by podcast