It’s important to continue educating yourself, regardless of what trade you are in. As a writer, I take numerous writing and business courses online each year. When your sales depend on the quality of your work, it is a must that you keep learning. If you are looking to publish a book, your skills have to broaden past creative writing and proper grammar. You’ll need to understand the process of book formatting, printing, distribution, and marketing. Not everyone has the means to go to a community college or university, and to be honest, all the information you need can be found outside of traditional school doors. What you do need is motivation and passion for expanding your knowledge.
There are a number of different avenues to take when approaching continuing education,and it can become overwhelming and expensive. You have to do your research. But you can learn a lot without breaking the bank. First, you should determine what topic you need the most help in. Second, decide how you learn best – in person, online, solo, in a group? Third, determine how much time and money you are able to put into a class or course. Once you have a basic outline of your needs, you will be more prepared to find the best match for you.
Here are three ideas to consider:
The library – We live in a time where our libraries are an incredible resource. We are able to check out physical books, audiobooks, and films. If you’d rather work at your own pace and on your own, then consider using the library as your main source to locate books and other materials. The library also hosts many different speakers, author events, and book clubs, and these are usually free events. There are community boards located in libraries where you can keep an eye out for local classes, or even like-minded individuals to connect with. Finally, don’t forget to talk to librarians. They’ll be able to make wonderful recommendations.
Join a writer’s group - You can use Google to locate a local writer’s group or jump on a website like MeetUp.com to find a group near you. If you can’t find one, start one! If you have a coffee shop, bookstore, or library in your town, then I am sure you will be able to find a writer’s group. While these aren’t writing classes, they are good opportunities to share your work with people who frequently read and write stories, too. Their feedback can be instrumental in your writing growth. It’s another opportunity to network and learn from others.
Take a Class – Writing and marketing classes can be found through your city’s park and recreation department, bookstores, and online. I love taking online classes. Many are self-led, meaning that you can take them on your own time around your schedule! This is very convenient when you have a jam-packed life, which most of us do. Some online classes are one-day, while other are a multi-week series. You can also choose to take an online class on your own, or participate in an online group. It all depends on your personal preference. I offer an eCourse called Self-publish with Confidence that is always running, so you can jump in at any time and work at your own pace.
At the end of the day, please remember to invest in yourself and your writing craft. You are worth it! If you want to be taken seriously and build confidence in what you do, then you have to be on top of your game. You need to know what’s going on in your field.
Good Luck and Happy Learning!