It's that time of year. For those of you with kids or who are taking courses of some kind yourself, I'm sure you're already in the thick of things with schoolwork. I happen to work at a university, so I'm still in touch with that kind of thing, but I still felt a little left out, so I decided to do something crazy.
I'm taking another writing course.
Why? you might ask. What purpose would I need to take ANOTHER writing course? And when am I going to find the time if I can't find the time to write as it is?
Let me answer the first question first. Why would I take another course? Because there is ALWAYS something to learn. In fact, I'm sure if you ask most writers, they'll tell you that their entire career is a learning process. Maybe they started out writing science fiction, and then they wanted to transition to Gothic romances. So they learn how to do that. Or maybe they've written adult novels and wanted to try their hand at children's picture books. So they learn how to do THAT. It's easy to get into a comfort zone with your writing, but you grow as a writer when you force yourself out of that comfort zone and try something new.
Personally, I feel like I've hit a wall with my writing. I can't seem to get anything to come to fruition these days. Much of it is due to time and other things pulling me away from my writing, but even the things I do find time to finish don't seem to be finding a home. I'm just not "feeling" it anymore. I need a reboot. Besides, in the past I've focused a lot on children's stories, but I have other stories I'd like to tell and am unsure on how to do it.
I discovered that along with a brandy new website for my local library, they are now offering online courses of all kinds through Universal Class for free, if I register through my library's site. You can check them out here:
So I immediately did a search on writing courses, and there are a number of them to choose from. I picked one on writing short stories, called How to Write a Short Story 101, and am already into lesson 2. It's designed as an introductory course, but I'm already learning a couple things I never really knew before. The best part is I can work at my own pace, but there is also a live instructor correcting my assignments. It's structured somewhat like the Institute of Children's Literature courses I've taken in the past, which I always rave about, except there don't seem to be any hard deadlines for this one.
As for the second question - When am I going to find time to take this course? - well, there's the rub, right? If I don't have time to write, when am I going to find time to take the course? Ah, but what if I DO find time to take the course? If I have time for that, then I should have time to write, right? It's all psychological. Maybe I need to convince myself I CAN make time for this.
So I'm off on another leg of my writing journey. It feels good to be back in school and learning new things! Now if only my kids felt the same way...