Both new and veteran writers can benefit from taking writing classes. With a job, family, and other obligations keeping many of us busy, an online writing class can be the perfect way to refine your writing skills in a way that fits your schedule. There are a few things to keep in mind to help get the most out of an online writing class.
- Do some research before committing your time and money to a class. The internet is a wonderful invention which provides people with a number of opportunities. However, it also brings out the predators and scam artists. There are quite a few legitimate online courses available, and there are also a few places which are designed to take your money without imparting any knowledge. Make sure you are working with a legitimate writing class. Ask other writers who have taken classes for advice. Find out about the instructor's credentials. Ask about costs for the class and any materials up front.
Once you've chosen a class, make a commitment to see it through. Something I've noticed in online writing classes is that there are always several students who start off strong in the beginning of the class, but by the end they stop showing up altogether. To get the most from a class, be prepared to see it through to the end.
Make time in your schedule to devote to the writing class and the assignments. Before the class even begins, block out some time on your calendar each week; set this time aside strictly for your writing class. Stick to your schedule. Be sure family members, employers and friends are aware that you are unavailable during these times. Because writing classes are usually something people take for their own enjoyment or career development, they tend to push it to the end of their list of priorities, allowing other obligations to interfere. If you are serious about your writing, give yourself this time to refine your craft.
Participate in class discussions. One of the best parts of writing classes is the give-and-take shared with other writers. It's tough to find this sense of community anywhere else. Take advantage of it by adding your thoughts and questions to class discussions.
Post your writing on time each week, and be sure to comment promptly to other classmates' writing. Getting feedback on their work is one of the reasons many people take writing classes. By getting your work posted on time, you can be assured that all of your classmates have the opportunity to comment on it. Letting it go beyond due dates is discourteous to classmates, and it's possible not everyone will have a chance to critique your work. Give your classmates the same courtesy by commenting on their work in a timely manner.
Take advantage of your instructor's knowledge. If you've done your homework, your class instructor is probably a published author in the genre you are interested in. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions, even if they seem a bit beyond the scope of the class. The invaluable advice of successful writers can help set you on the path to your own writing success.
Online writing classes can be a great opportunity to refine your craft, get feedback on your work, and find a community of writers. Following the steps outlined here, you are sure to improve your writing and gain insights that will help you take the next steps to advance your writing career.