Couch To 5k Words

Gold Star Members

Shake off your literary ennui and get moving


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Take This Course

Discover how to develop a dedicated creative practice
Explore adaptable techniques for every writing session
Learn to love your writing practice and keep on going

Join Sarah and Team WHQ for the Couch to 5k Words writerly training programme, designed to help you shake off the literary ennui and find your writing happy place.

It’s time to whack a firecracker up your writerly-butt and yeet procrastination out the door. 

The famous WHQ Couch to 5k Words is 28 days of writing workouts, habit-forming exercises, inspirational bollocks and literary swearing, all delivered direct to your face.

Throughout the month, we’ll help you create your own writing practice that fits into your life and goals.

Delivered via email and our online learning platform, you’ll also have access to our writing forums for support, feedback and writerly from your fellow WHQers.

You could see out the month with a writing habit to make Barbara Cartland weep and productivity to make Stephen King fall on his knees in adulation.

29 steps in 4 sections

  • Welcome to Couch to 5K Words
  • 1WEEK 1

    • Day 1. Goal setting
    • Day 2. One day at a time
    • Day 3. Dealing with FEAR
    • Day 4. Foundations Part 1: Changes
    • Day 5. Fun, fun, fun
    • Day 6. Prioritise
    • Day 7. Recharge #1

    2WEEK 2

    • Day 8. Foundations Part 2: Plot
    • Day 9. Make friends with your writing
    • Day 10. Write what you know
    • Day 11. What even IS writing?
    • Day 12. Change the angle
    • Day 13. Show up!
    • Day 14. Recharge #2

    3WEEK 3

    • Day 15. Foundations Part 3: Characters
    • Day 16. Appreciate
    • Day 17. Find your rhythm
    • Day 18. Why are you here?
    • Day 19. Play with yourself (ahem)
    • Day 20. Return to Source
    • Day 21. Recharge #3

    4WEEK 4

    • Day 22. Foundations Part 4: Building blocks
    • Day 23. Permission
    • Day 24. Balance
    • Day 25. Look what you’ve done!
    • Day 26. Write what you love
    • Day 27. Have a plan
    • Day 28. Freedom
    • Take This Course

    Build a realistic writing habit

    Great course – from confronting the inner critic, through the basics of plotting and characterisation, this course has given me the confidence to ‘just keep writing’. I already wrote fairly regularly at the start of the course, but it was stop-start, based on unrealistic expectations of myself. The encouragement to keep going, and the support from the lovely WHQ community has helped me develop and maintain a solid writing habit, that fits in with a pretty busy life. Highly recommended.

    Susy C

    Excellent course for new or lapsed writers

    This course got me writing again after a break of nearly 20 years. Writers’ HQ is amazing! A motivating, practical, friendly course with exercises to do and a nice positive forum to discuss how it’s all going.

    Catherine L

    Turns you into a lean, mean, writing machine!

    This course helped me find the joy in my writing again and got me back on track to writing every day. I produced well over 15k of words as I worked through the daily lessons and, more importantly, was reminded exactly why I started writing all those years ago and what stories I wanted to tell to the world. I started the 28 days having to sternly tell myself to get on and do the daily exercise, I finished by waking up desperate to get back to my WIP. It can help you do that too, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who needs to reset their writing habits.

    Kizzia M

    Thanks for kicking my arse!

    Thank you so much for a month of writing. From gently limbering up from ten minutes to a thirty-minute finger jog (oo err). I have now a better idea for my WiP and have used the time to create new ideas for short stories, poetry, and polishing up pieces that have been languishing. Thanks for the pep and motivation and looking forward to the next course

    Janine B


    I’ve enjoyed every minute of this course. Normally with online courses I do a couple of lessons and then forget I’m doing it and give up without even realising I have. This time I’ve been rivetted. I love the pace, I love the community, the tasks all make complete sense and are really helpful. I feel a whole lot more confident than when I started.

    Alexandra W

    Got me writing regularly — at last!

    Great introduction to the Writers’ HQ community, and – did what it said on the tin! It opened my mind to possibilities – and now I’ve joined Writers’ HQ for a year and looking forward to keeping on writing! Who knows where it will lead me.

    Suzie S

    Want to be a better writer?

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