Years after your last English or composition class you’ve decided to write a novel or a short story or a magazine article or a blog or something. You know what you want to write, and you’re certain you can write it in clearly understandable, grammatically correct, coherent style. Well, maybe not certain.
Perhaps you’re considering a writing class, but you wonder whether or not the time, effort, and expense are worth it. And if you do decide to take a writing class, where would you take it?
Why take writing classes?
Even if you consider yourself to be an above-average writer, writing classes can help hone your skills and even add new ones. Whether a university thesis or dissertation, a workplace memo, or a thank-you note, writing is a primary means of permanent communication.
Being able to write clear, engaging, interesting prose is particularly important if you’re even thinking of making money with your writing. Here are some reasons you might consider taking a writing class.
- Clear writing can prompt ideas you had not considered. For example, a character you visualize in a certain way could begin to behave in another way once writing makes the character concrete.
- Good writing can help you move from the subjective to the objective in reviewing your work. Is that character believable? Is that voice authentic? Are those facts clear and relevant?
- Thoughtful writing can help you navigate your story clearly so your reader’s journey with you is worthwhile.
- Whether or not you enjoyed – or remember most of – what you learned about grammar, punctuation, and syntax in your early education, you know how important they are to good writing. Writing classes can help you brush up on and understand more clearly what you already have a sense for.
- Writing classes make you write, and the more you write, the better you will write. Writing classes frequently require that you write in ways you never have. Poetry, for example, or mystery.
Writing classes can help make you a better writer.
Online or in class?
Education online and in classrooms are both valid ways of teaching and learning. Whether you decide to take classes online or in a class setting depends a great deal on your lifestyle and how you prefer to learn.
Online classes offer schedule and location flexibility. You can take classes in ways that fit your schedule and you can take them nearly anywhere you can connect a computer. If learning mostly alone works for you, look into online classes
If, however, you learn best with face-to-face instruction and interaction and you can commit to a schedule, you may choose a more structured, personalized way to learn. In-class education may be best for you.
Determining which works best for you is key.