Ready to write a book but don't know where to start or how to find the time?

Write Your First Draft is your step-by-step guide to finishing your manuscript!

The course consists of 6 main modules and I, indie author Alex Benkast, will walk you through each lesson.

I will show you:
  • how to stay motivated and on track throughout the writing and editing process
  • how to identify your ideal reader, how to attract them, and why it’s important to start now
  • how to find ideas, and how to capture, organize, and structure them
  • plus everything you need to know to help you through your first draft, including how to prepare for and overcome common obstacles

This course also includes plenty of scribe sheets (your action items), templates, tutorials, and other resources designed to help you make the most of what you’ve learned in each module. As a special bonus, I've created a private Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your progress, and meet other aspiring authors (and potential beta readers).

Writing your first draft is a challenging but exciting journey, and I’m happy to support you every step of the way. See you on the inside!


What's included?

Lifetime access to new and improved lessons and resources + a supportive community.

  • 6 Core Modules

  • 30+ Lessons & Worksheets

  • Q&As

  • Private Facebook group to connect + share your progress

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to Write Your First Draft: A 12-Week Challenge

    • Hello, and welcome!

    • A quick 3-question get-to-know-you survey

  • 2

    Course Overview

    • Welcome to Write Your First Draft

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] Why do you want to write a book?

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] Statement of Commitment

    • Join our private group for support + accountability

  • 3

    Module 1: Getting into the right headspace

    • [INTRO] Why your mindset matters

    • [INFOGRAPHIC] Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] How to cultivate a growth mindset

    • [LESSON 1] Why this particular book?

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] What kind of book do you want to write?

    • [LESSON 2] How to choose your book format + POV

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] Choosing your book format + POV

    • [LESSON 3] Identifying your self-sabotage + how to handle obstacles when they arise

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] How do you sabotage yourself?

    • [INFOGRAPHIC] Overcoming writer's block

    • [LESSON 4] How to build your confidence as a writer

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] Feel the fear and do it anyway

    • Overcoming beginner's problems: procrastination and time management

  • 4

    Module 2: Identifying your ideal reader

    • [INTRO] Knowing what makes your reader tick + why being specific matters

    • [LESSON 1] Your ideal reader’s demographics and psychographics

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] Ideal Reader Avatar questionnaire

    • [LESSON 2] Market research

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] Ideal reader survey

    • [LESSON 3] Early feedback

    • [BONUS LESSON] Facebook Audience Insights tutorial

  • 5

    Module 3: How to find + capture your ideas

    • [INTRO] Setting yourself up for success with the right environment and tools

    • [LESSON 1] Why notebooks are a writer's best friend + how to take notes that enrich your writing

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] Note-taking with your senses

    • [LESSON 2] What to do when you have too few or too many ideas

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] Beginnings

    • [LESSON 3] To outline or not to outline?

    • [LESSON 4] Choosing the right platform

    • [LESSON 5] Inspiration board tutorial

    • [BONUS] 100 Writing Prompts

  • 6

    Module 4: How to organize + structure your ideas

    • [INTRO] Creating a roadmap

    • [LESSON 1] The book mind map

    • [LESSON 2] The post-it method

    • [LESSON 3] The project management method

    • [LESSON 4] Creating your synopsis or summary

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] Write your synopsis or summary

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] Character profile template

    • [LESSON 5 | FOR FICTION WRITERS] Dean Koontz’s model of the classic story structure

    • [INFOGRAPHIC | FOR FICTION WRITERS] Classic story structure

    • [LESSON 5 | FOR NONFICTION WRITERS] Basic structure


  • 7

    Module 5: Writing your first draft

  • 8

    Module 6: Overcoming common obstacles

    • [INTRO] 80% of success is showing up

    • [LESSON 1] Focus, time management + getting organized

    • [SCRIBE SHEET] Time management

    • [GUIDE] Declutter Your Mind Guide + Planner

    • [GUIDE] How to get organized

    • [LESSON 2] Procrastination

    • [INFOGRAPHIC] Overcoming procrastination

    • [LESSON 3] The marathon of the middle

    • [INFOGRAPHIC] Pushing through the marathon of the middle

    • [LESSON 4] Dealing with criticism, including your own


  • 9

    Bonus Module: How to build your readership + why it's important to start now

    • How to build your readership BEFORE you finish writing your book

    • [COMING SOON!] Mailchimp/Email list/Newsletter tutorial

  • 10

    Bonus Module: Self-publishing 101 [Coming Soon!]

    • Announcement

  • 11

    Bonus Module: How to build an author website in a day [Coming Soon!]

    • Announcement

  • 12


    • Recommended reading

    • Tools

About Alex

Amplifying diverse voices
since 1995

Hi, I'm Alex. I'm an indie author and educator. I love every aspect of my craft and have made it my mission to help aspiring authors from marginalized groups and diverse backgrounds write the book they’ve always wanted to write. Being the rebel child that I am and having lived in multicultural environments all my life, I've been a human rights activist since I was ten years old. It's also why I write romance novels that challenge the status quo.
woman holding a book

Testimonials + Endorsements

“I’ve had a great connection with Alex right from the start. She really listens to what you have to say and she’s honest and easy to talk to. She explains concepts clearly and with enthusiasm, is super organized, and has a gift for helping you uncover the answers within yourself.”

Sammy Day | Poet

“Working with Alex — was an extraordinary opportunity. She gave me a detailed plan to help me work through my resistance and to get organized.”

Leah Hall | Social Media Brand Strategist

“I needed a confidence boost and self-organization tips and Alex has been helping me set goals and get into a productive daily routine. Her integrated, holistic approach really resonates with me.”

Candela N. | Immigration Lawyer