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Online creative writing course, worth it?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Rho, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Rho

    Rho Dreamer

    Hi, I was wondering if I could have people's feed back and opinions about doing an online creative writing course through the open polytechnic of New Zealand.
    I just feel I need to learn some basic writing skills and would rather get them through a course like this rather than try and nut it out by myself and possibly (probably) lose focus and heart and give up.
    The first level is not cheap but seems to offer a full, well rounded schedule.
    As a dairy farmer my time is very limited and over calving time I'd basically have zero time to spend on writing and even the course for that matter, so I want to make my time count and get it right the first time.
    Any opinions? dumb idea? waste of money? Any feed back would be much appreciated thanks. :)
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    I did an entry level online course through the OU here in the UK and found it highly useful and quite a lot of fun. They run a more advanced course I hope to get on to later this year. There was a good mix of practical exercises, discussions and debates. there was even an assignment or three to give you that "deadline" feeling...
    Yes - time is a problem on every course I've ever done but I think that courses like these are a good way to get practice and feed back on the basics.
  3. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    You can learn basic writing skills through books on writing and save yourself a ton of money. Additionally, you can learn from books when you're able, without having to be concerned with class schedules. Writer's Digest offers a series of great books on honing the craft of writing. There are many others but, in my opinion, these books are a great place to start and gain exposure to the basics. This is an excellent way to form the foundation you'll need to really learn by doing.

    Either way, there's no shortcut to becoming a better writer. Writing is the only way to get better. You can't plant potatoes and grow tomatoes. You'll have to nut it out anyway.
  4. gethinmorgan

    gethinmorgan Scribe

    The answer is dependent on your expectations - you won't be a bone fide writer once it's done and you may pick up your tutor's blind spots and habits.

    BUT, if there is concise and useful feedback to your written work - and they point you in the direction of great works, and get you thinking in a writerly fashion, and about what it means to be a writer, then do it. Every little bit helps.
  5. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    Wait, I'm cornfused, are we growing taters, maters or nuts?
    T.Allen.Smith likes this.
  6. Jess A

    Jess A Archmage


    My view is that you can get plenty of information on being a good writer - all for free. Mythic Scribes, online blogs, author websites, library books, the list is endless.

    What you may not get (aside from on forums like Mythic Scribes, and even then it will be limited) is critical feedback on your work. Having feedback is essential, as is having that one-on-one time with a tutor. There are other ways you can get feedback - joining a writing group, for example. I guess that's up to you.
  7. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    What you do get from a writing course, on-line or bricks and mortar, is to take part in criticism, not only of your own work but of others too. Seeing 20 different ideas of what others feel is wrong with a piece can be enlightening [especially if it not your work under the kosh]. Doing it on-line means you don't have to see these people face to face next week.
  8. Rho

    Rho Dreamer

    Thanks very much for the replies, I shall consider everyone's opinion over the next few months (We've just been to the bank and have set up a house buying plan so little extras like this will have to wait their turn ;)) But in the mean time I will definitely keep writing and try and build that confidence and my Inner writers voice some how.
    Cheers guys

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