I’ve talked before about how important education is, regardless of where you are as a writer. I’ve also discussed how I struggle to see myself as ‘worthy’ of that education. But late last year I gave myself a mental slap and enrolled in a few online courses and workshops.
And I was reminded of something very important – it’s important to keep learning, but to do that you need to pick learning opportunities that are right for you. Ideally, education should stretch you. If not, what’s the point?
When considering a course, it’s important to take into account what you want to gain from your learning and whether the course can help with that. This isn’t school, where you take the subjects you’re told to take and complete the work you’re told to complete. This is education as dictated by you and so you need to think carefully about what will serve you best.
Some questions it can be helpful to ask are:
- What do you want to get from this course?
- Are there holes in your abilities that you want to fill and will this course help fill them?
- What is the stated level of this course and is that you? They often use categories such as ‘aspiring’, ’emerging’, ‘advanced’. Where you sit within these categories has nothing to do with your age.
- At the end of this course, will you come away with new skills/knowledge to apply to your work?
Choosing a course that’s below or too far above your current level of ability is a mistake. Too easy and you won’t be stretched to learn anything new, too difficult and you’ll be stretched too far. Either way, you’re likely to run a mile. With one of the courses I chose (unfortunately the most expensive one) I simply got bored. I’d been there, done that and I couldn’t see any point going on.
What about you? Have you done any writing course lately or they part of your plans for 2019? What do you look for in a course?