Last week I blogged about setting writing goals to jumpstart your writing year and give you something concrete to aim for as the months fly by.
The next step in jumpstarting your writing life is taking a class on writing.
For others, you might think, I spent years studying writing in high school or college. I already know I'm a good writer. I don't need a class to get better. If that's you, beware. You definitely need to take a class on writing!
Why? Of course, the short answer is, to become a better writer. The longer answer is that a class will provide you with structure and accountability you cannot provide yourself. Whatever form your class takes, you'll be required to write regularly, to submit your work to a teacher and other students, and to critique others' writing as well.
I cannot overstate the importance of accountability in writing. Knowing someone expects to receive your work is more motivating than even your best idea without anyone standing by.
A class will also put you in contact with other writers. Writing is solitary work. It's hard when there's no one to complain to but the cat. Other writers understand what it's like to work on a scene and not get it right, or the struggle to sit down and work, or the constant battle against rejection, real and imagined. They'll bring encouragement when you need it, sharpen your work and become true friends, too.
It's easier than ever to take a writing class. Check your local library or community college. Classes are just starting and many places offer courses like these around the new year. If you're in Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville Public Library is offering beginning and intermediate classes for the next six weeks.
I took my first writing course online. There are many websites offering courses. Shop around and look for classes that seem credible. Be wary of rip-offs, but also realize you get what you pay for. I took several classes from Writer's Digest and was very happy with the entire experience. More importantly, it was the catalyst I needed to pursue writing more seriously.
"Smiling Teenage Students" Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
"Back to School" Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
"Typewriter Stand By Me" Image courtesy of thaikrit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net