I believe in intuition. I believe in the power of instinct. I believe in signs.
Flipping through a year old magazine, during one of my irregular recycling sprees, I found an ad for Writers Bureau creative writing course. It looked appealing so I cut it out and place it...somewhere. The following day, while reading a newspaper online, I came across the same ad. That was the sign. Twice in two days, and instinct dictated I look into it.
So I looked up the details, searched through mazes of forums to find reviews. It's not a cheap course, so I wasn't willing to fork out the money without checking things out properly. I found mix reviews, but one thing was certain - most of the people who complained about the course, complained so because they lacked the discipline for self study. Those who kept at it, had mostly positive experiences.
My mind was made up. I signed up. I didn't expect to learn anything miraculously new from the material, because I believe most of the things they include in the modules could also be found on the Internet. But the value of the money lies in a tutor support. It is invaluable to have someone mark 20 assignments over time, correcting errors and pointing out weaknesses.
Also for someone like me, who prefers more structured approach, modules are handy. Even though information is not new, just the fact that they are structured in a particular order, gives me something particular to focus on, rather than reading things all over the place, jumping from one topic to another, which is almost easy to do in the jungle of Internet.
I received my materials on February 19th. So far I have completed first three assignments and had them marked and returned. Already working on assignment fourth. This is a home study course without deadlines or expiry dates, so I have read about people working on it for over seven years. There are others of course who finish it within a year or two. My goal is 10 months or less. I want to complete it before end of 2009.
Since I work full time and also have other writing interests, 10 months is going to be challenge but if it wasn't, it wouldn't be much fun.
So thus continues a writer's journey...