To take a writing course or not to take a writing course …

I am currently considering signing up for an online writing course (Creative Writing Stage One – Australian Writer’s Centre) to improve my writing skills and get a writing qualification under my belt. I have completed a Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies and Ancient History) and a Bachelor of Laws, but I am thinking now I really need a writing course to ‘iron out the bugs’ and improve my writing skills, hopefully to a standard for publication.

The course runs over a four week period an is totally online, which suits me as I have a young family and it would be difficult to travel and stay in a major city for extended periods. The price is reasonable, though, for me, as a single income family of four, a big decision. I’d like, no, I’d love to do a course like this, but, as with all things, money is a major factor and will heavily influence my decision.

I’ve read a lot of feedback and reviews from people who have completed not only this course, but other similar courses offered by similar institutions. They are mostly all positive, and nearly all said the course benefited their writing. The biggest encouragement they received was one on one feedback from the teachers/tutors running the course. I imagine this type of assistance would be invaluable for a person learning the craft of writing.

So, I guess I am left with a decision – do I spend and suffer a financial hit in the short term for a probable long term improvement in my writing, or do I save the money, keep reading ‘How To…’ books and writing, writing and writing? Pretty sure I know the answer (sign up for the course), I’m just not 100% sold on the expenditure yet.

The Writing Process

I’ve been very productive with my writing this fortnight. A submission for 2000AD has been finish and needs only a quick review before sending it off. I’m pretty excited as it will be my first submission of any type of writing. I know it’s not to the quality of ‘War and Peace’, and I really wouldn’t mind it being rejected. It is, after all, my first submission, and I imagine first submissions would rarely see print. Even a simple reply stating ‘this is not really for us, but keep writing and submitting, we’d like to see more’ would absolutely blow my socks off.

Has anyone submitted to 2000AD? Any advice on how to make a submission stand out?

One thing I did learn this fortnight is that, if I sit at the computer with a blank document in front of me, I’ll rarely get anything done. But, give me a pen and paper, and stuff seems to happen. So far, I have hand written a four issue mini series synopsis, as well as the first six pages of issue one. Very happy with what I have done, but even happier with the discovery of a method of writing that actually keeps me writing!