Are Writing Courses Worth a Writers Time?

Are you considering taking a creative writing course and wondering if it’s worth your time? This is a valid question and should be asked if your time and resources are limited. Any writer can benefit from a great writing course or seminar if you know what you are searching for.

Writers and even teachers have debated whether or not a writing course is of any value to writers. There are those that believe writing is a skill or talent that cannot be taught, you either have it or you don’t.  Similar to being talented in playing an instrument or a sport. There are some that have natural talent and others that have skills and fundamentals that are developed to make you good or great at what you do.

One argument that is being used is a writer’s ability is diminished with writing classes. After taking a writers course some writers begin to critique their ability and capability to write. They fail to have the same level of comfort that may have been there before they took a class or seminar for writing.

Both are correct. Several factors should be considered and can affect what a writing course can or cannot do. The course, the information and the student are all factors that can affect the outcome or what you receive from a writing course. What you receive from a writing course is relative to what you are searching for with taking a writing course.

Instead of discussing why you should take a writing course, should we look at why not take a course in writing?

Most instructors for writing courses are poets believe it or not. Poets aren’t very well paid in America for their work and one of the ways they compensate for this is teaching. However, you don’t need a degree to teach creative writing. Many English majors will teach writing courses. Though, if you are interested in creative writing have an instructor that is teaching when to use affect and effect properly in your grammar isn’t very helpful.

There are some instructors that don’t like commercial writing or writing for income. If you have an instructor for your course that isn’t open for writing genres such as mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, fiction or horror. Unfortunately, this is the area where the majority of income can be seen.

Many still consider writing a “hobby” and not a form of employment. Of course everyone cannot be Stephen King or write a great screenplay such as Jaws. On the other hand, why not? Stephen King was admittedly a failed writer for a number of years before he successfully sold his first novel. Writing is a form of employment and if you were an engineer, wouldn’t you invest in educating and updating your knowledge in this field as it progressed and changed?

Taking a writing course may help you and it may not. It can provide useful information and many times provide you with one more thing to put on your resume or in your vast knowledge base for your profession. Whether or not you take a writing course is totally up to you and for many that do, the majority do find them helpful. If a course or seminar provides you with even one more thing that helps you in your pursuit to be a better writer, wouldn’t it be worth it?

Online courses for writing that might be worthy of your time. These are links to several sites that may provide you with some useful information as a writer. 

These links are sources to a small base of writing courses.
The Write Stuff Pen and Paper does have a page of online writing courses that are available. Please check this blog on page 2 for a more comprehensive list of courses and their costs.

includes several different courses such as travel writing and nature writing. These are two genres that are virtually untapped for that searching for a field to enter that hasn’t been saturated.
There are poetry, fiction and also novel writing classes.

great for webinars and English grammar such as using verbs correctly, etc. seminars and webinars have various pricing. There are also many self-directed courses.