Whether it’s a creative writing course or a business writing class, online writing courses are convenient and flexible – but it’s important to make an informed choice.
The decision to start an online writing course should not be taken lightly. A writing course can be enormously fulfilling. It can start the creative juices flowing that will eventually lead to a whole new writing career, or boost the chances of promotion in the corporate world not asking to write my essay for me or something like that. However, the online course experience can also lead to frustration if the writer has not done enough research to determine which course will be the most suitable.
Planning can make the difference between a positive experience and one that leaves disappointment in its wake.
Nobody wants to find themselves committed to a course that ends up being too basic or too advanced. It’s important to choose a course that either (1) has assignments that are flexible enough to adapt to any level of experience, or (2) spells out very clearly what the writer should already know before starting. If this is not immediately apparent from the course blurb, then search for a Course FAQ section, or contact the provider and ask.
Creative writing is a popular outlet for many people, so there are several courses on offer. Take the time to ensure that any course in a creative writing course is well-written and professionally administered. A good course should have plenty of informative testimonials – but in the end, word of mouth is probably the best reference. Ask around on forums or writers’ discussion lists.
Some online courses are marketed as “home study programs” or something similar but doesn’t offer feedback as part of the program. If this is the case, the student might as well be reading a textbook – which would probably be a lot cheaper. The whole point of doing an online writing course is to get feedback, so the writer can learn and improve. If there is no information about tutor feedback (but the course otherwise seems promising) write and ask about how assignments are marked, before committing time and money to the course.
An afternoon (or a week) spent researching what is on offer will pay off. Construct a simple table in Word or Excel and copy information about different courses, so it’s easy to compare them. For example, some headings could be Course Fees, Course Duration, Tutor Feedback, Type of Assignments, and Number of Modules. These headings can be easily tweaked to suit specific needs and interests.
An online creative writing course can be challenging, thought-provoking, and above all, enjoyable – if the writer invests sufficient time in making the right choice. Most people will find that there’s a course out there that is just right for them, provided they carefully weigh up what is on offer.
No single time management strategy suits everyone. Some people love organizing their time down to the last 15-minute segment. Others block off two evenings a week for writing, cross their fingers, and hope for the best.
The following suggestions for time management are flexible enough to work for most people undertaking a distance learning course. The first section suggests a broad approach for those who can put coursework first. The second presents ideas for those who have very little spare time to do an online course, but are still keen to complete it.
Whether a writing course stretches over a month or a year, it’s possible to make a firm time commitment to course study and assignments. Follow these steps:
- Decide on the time commitment to give the course the hours it deserves. How many hours per week are necessary to be able to read and understand the content? How many hours to write and polish course assignments?
- Decide on the best time slot(s) to complete this work. Take into account paid employment, family responsibilities, and outside commitments, but delegate or dump as much as possible.
- Tell everyone that this block of time is off-limits to anything but writing for the duration of the course (apart from emergencies).
This approach is not ideal, but sometimes busy people don’t have any other option. Elderly parents or chronically ill family members may have to come first, for example, or an important project at work may require extra hours.
If the time has to be squeezed in around the edges of life to do an online course (whether it’s for work or pleasure) this may mean giving up all other leisure activities or even sacrificing a few hours’ sleep. Only the person doing the course can decide whether it’s worth it. If coursework has to come second to everything else, then:
- Ensure that the course chosen is interesting and satisfying, so sitting down to do assignments is something to look forward to.
- Schedule the most challenging tasks for the time of day when senses and creativity are at their peak.
- Ask for support from friends and family (for example: to babysit, to cook meals, to take on routine chores, or do some shopping).
If a writing course seems like a good fit, it is possible to complete all necessary reading and assignments, even in the most adverse conditions. Time management becomes more of a challenge for very busy people, but it can be handled well with planning and a determination to be flexible.
About the author: Jared Watney is a professional writer on kingessays.com. Besides, he is a passionate stories writer. In this case, he dreams of self-publishing his book. Moreover, Jared started drawing images for it by himself.