Should Writers Take Writing Courses?

This is a question that has plagued me for some time. Writers are people who write. So, if I don’t write, can I call myself a writer? If I write badly, do I have to call myself a ‘bad writer’?

Well, I want to be a ‘good’ writer! I.e. somebody whose work gets read (and maybe even re-read). So wouldn’t it make sense to go on a course and hone my skills?

Wouldn’t it make sense so meet some fellow fiction writers (or novices) in person and learn from their experiences instead of struggling along on my own?

Most importantly: wouldn’t it be a good idea to come out of my shell, work on my writing and let myself be stimulated by new ideas and fresh views?

Today, I decided the answer is YES!

I think it would be a great idea to do all of these things and so I have taken some positive action into this direction by a) signing up for a creative writing MOOC and b) booking a place on a creative writing workshop about ‘rewriting fiction’.

Both of these learning opportunities are pretty basic and will hopefully be useful to me in terms of stopping the overwhelm related to taking too much advice on writing.

Since I already have a number of stories and fiction chapters that need re-writing (which I have really no clue about), I hope that the workshop will help me to get ready for (indie) publishing (something I have been building up to for nearly three years).

My hope for the MOOC is that it is going to enable me to write better fiction in future and develop my writing style whilst feeling confident about finishing my work (a major struggle as I am a compulsive perfectionist).

Stephen King (one of my heroes) has repeatedly stated that he thinks writing can be learned but that he isn’t sure that writing can be taught.

Well, for all you sticklers out there: I am not expecting for anyone to teach me anything.

What I am taking these courses for is access to other creative writers from across the globe and the creation of a stimulating learning environment that will get me one step closer to my goal.

So, if you think that these are good reasons for wanting to learn more about writing and the methods employed by successful (and not so successful) writers out there, maybe see you at the MOOC (or the workshop in Bristol if you’re local to the area).

If you have found this article helpful (or even if you think it’s tosh), let me know in the comments below and feel free to share your own strategies for evolving as a writer and improving your writing.  

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4 thoughts on “Should Writers Take Writing Courses?

  1. Very good topic, C.S. Should a writer take writing courses? I’ve spent a good deal of time mulling this over before. In the end, I concluded that if a person wants to write, and they think they need to take a class, workshop, get a degree, or anything else along those lines first, then they are wrong. The best way to become a better writer is to start writing. Now.
    Classes enrich a writer, and as you point out, puts you in contact with other people who also want to write. But when I look back at the jobs I’ve had throughout my life, in most of them, I was thrown into the position and had to figure it out as I went. This includes the field in which I received my degree. College taught me the theory of journalism, but it did not teach me how to do the job.
    I’ve learned invaluable things in writing classes. But honestly, I’ve learned even more about writing outside of the classroom. That’s not to devalue writing classes, it is merely to say that if the drive to learn is there, it can be obtained through writing and reading as well.
    A class can offer you inspiration, and tools to put in practice when you’re stuck, and even help build your confidence. Writing in a way is like a lot of other professional fields where continued education is important.
    Take writing classes? Yes, but don’t let it be an excuse to delay when you start writing.
    Anyway, that’s where I land on the topic. I enjoyed reading your journey that led you to taking a class and going to a workshop. I think you’ll enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this very comprehensive comment, Mandie! It’s always good to hear about fellow writers’ views and experiences. Glad you shared yours. Definitely not delaying my journey (promise). Hopefully the course and the workshop will help keep the creative fire burning. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha I know, when I hit send I thought, “Why can’t I ever just leave a short comment?” But I get excited about topics related to writing. I love hearing about other writers’ experiences too.

        Liked by 1 person

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