Thursday, 26 April 2012

10 Week Writer's Challenge

April hasn't been a kind month for my family. Sadly, our family lost a loved one with cancer and it has taken its toll on all.
Over the past few weeks of sadness, the need to prioritise meant I chose to let my blog posts and writing simmer for awhile.  

Over the past few days, I have made lists of all the things waiting for my attention. Timely, that my writing mentor Marg McAlister is offering to all an on-line 10 week writing challenge. Just the thing to get me back on track. I signed up immediately. I have read the articles, downloaded the necessary tools, printed off the how-to info sheets and made a list of all the things I hope to accomplish over the next 10 weeks. and the challenge kicked off this week. I set goals I felt were reasonable to achieve.

If you feel you need a gentle push in the right direction to get things in hand, without any pressure to complete your set goals (nobody is checking on you and you are welcome to change your goals at any time) then maybe the 10 Week Writer's Challenge  is for you.
The best part of all-  the challenge is FREE. With nothing to lose why not give it a shot.

It’s a chance to:
  • work out what you want to accomplish in your writing life
  • set priorities for a 10-week block of time so you can hit the ground running
  • create an ordered plan that allows for flexibility
  • work your plan
  • assess your results 
By the end of the 10 weeks, you should see a dramatic increase in your productivity as a writer – whether your focus is on productivity, creating a web presence, finding new outlets for your writing, or just working out what you want to write.
Marg McAlister

Welcome to Week 1, Day 1 of the 10-Week Writer’s Challenge!
If you’ve only just heard about the Challenge, spend some time reading the posts on this site so you know how it works. If you’ve been building up to today, you should be dead keen and ready to kick off!
I’m enabling comments on this blog post so you can, if you wish, add a comment telling us all what you plan to accomplish during the 10 weeks of the Challenge.
  • If you are writing a book – either fiction or non-fiction – then you can get moving on it right away. If you haven’t created a timeline for your 10 weeks, do it now (see the previous post on creating a plan).
  • If you want to get started with social networking – Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest – make sure you have your goals for this in mind. Read the download report on getting started with Twitter. During this week I’ll be adding more resources about using Facebook and Pinterest.
  • If you want to start a website, read the information on Writing4Success about creating a website. Plan your general ‘tone’, approach and create an ‘about me’ page and some pages for your site.
  • If you want to start a blog, write a couple of posts ready to upload when you create your blog. You can use blogger, but this week I’ll be showing you how to register a domain name and install a WordPress blog with a couple of clicks. I’ll also tell you about a theme I like (the one I use for this blog, and that I also use on a couple of my websites).
  • If you want to publish a book on Kindle, you’ll be able to follow along with me as I publish mine over the weeks to come. Meanwhile, edit and polish it to the best of your ability.

PhotoWant to know more about Marg McAlister? 
Marg McAlister started up her original writing business (Word Dynamics (NSW) Pty Ltd) over twenty years ago, then also began trading asWriting4Success when she set up a website for writers in 2001.
Marg is the author of five correspondence courses now marketed by Cengage in Australia. Those courses are: The Professional Romance Writer's Course, The Professional Children's Writer's Course, The Professional Crime and Suspense Writer's Course, Writing Non-Fiction That Sells and How To Write a Bestseller.
Marg also uses her writing skills and background to create e-books and products in a number of different areas as part of the online business she runs with her husband Rob. She spent 2 years working part-time as an eLearning consultant and technical writer for a large multinational company.
A writer who wears many hats, Marg has written fiction and non-fiction for both adults and children. She was on the Committee of Romance Writers of Australia for four years, and has run workshops at various RWA National Conferences.
The author of more than 60 books for children, she has written short stories for school magazines and numerous short non-fiction pieces for educational publications.
Her work targets a wide age range and includes picture books, short books for children with reading difficulties and mysteries for older children. For 5 years, she was part of the Charles Sturt University (Mitchell) Enrichment Program, teaching creative writing to talented children. She has also been a regional judge for the Nestlé Write Around Australia competition.
As for advice on plotting and technique... Kathryn Fox, the Australian writer whose sales in the UK finally knocked The Da Vinci Code off its perch, has this to say about Marg's contribution to her writing: "Without doubt, Marg McAlister is the best writing teacher and mentor any writer could hope for.  I'd recommend her courses to anyone wanting to improve their writing."
In addition, Marg has been a ghostwriter for business professionals and others on the international speaking circuit. She has written books and articles on Customer Service, Public Speaking, Marketing, Real Estate Sales, Networking and Delivering Dynamic Presentations, Fitness and many other subjects. With networking expert Robyn Henderson, Marg has co-authored a book on networking and self-promotion: Be Seen, Get Known, Move Ahead.
Marg has also been a staff member of the Writer’s Retreat Workshop in Kentucky, USA. This workshop, established by Gary Provost, has been designated by USA Weekend as the writing program “vacation that can change your life”.
For twelve months in 2010-2011, Marg and Rob toured Australia by caravan: writing articles, keeping a blog and presenting a monthly DVD about their travels for Caravan & Motorhome on Tour - proof that writing truly is a portable profession!
You can contact Marg at marg@


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