Sunday, 1 May 2011

Putting a toe in the water

When you have been writing for a while on your own there comes a time when you have to put a toe in the water but where do you start? There are many courses around these days and  though they can appear daunting for the new writer it is worth biting the bullet and signing up for one.  An Adult Education Centre course in creative writing for beginners will bring you into contact with others just like you with all those self doubts and anxieties!  Of course there will be some who have been writing for a while and are more confident but that's good.  It's great to be with other writers because firstly you all have the same interest and secondly you don't feel so alone.  Classes vary but usually consist of a tutor setting a small exercise to be done in class and then read out and some 'homework' for the following week. Also the tutor will read from published poets and/or story writers and offer advice and tips about writing and inform you or any competitions coming up to encourage you to enter! Okay, it sounds scary but nothing is compulsory. However, the more you contribute the more experience you will gain and your confidence will grow.

For those too shy to join a class there is always the option of a distance learning course.  The Writer's News do some good ones and offer constructive feedback.  For poets The Poetry School offer downloadable courses at very reasonable prices as well as some that you can do online as 'conferences'. reacting with the tutor and others on the course.  There are many books you can buy (or borrow from the library) as well as magazines that offer advice on your particular genre.  Most give exercises to get the grey cells pumping, but there is no substitute for personal feedback.  The website links on this site will give you more idea of what is available.

The first time I went to a 'Writer's Day' I was full of trepidation but meeting others (some less experienced than me, others well known published writers) was like coming home.  Everyone was so friendly, eager to share their experiences and give out advice.

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