Creative writing is really just using your experiences and imagination to tell a story. We all tell stories. Even telling a joke in an interesting and funny way is creative. Man is by instinct innovative and innovation requires creativity. The difference between being innovative and creative is that innovation usually meets a practical need, whereas creativity feeds our souls. Creative writing classes help by introducing writers to other ways of looking at their writing and provide contacts for ongoing support and help.
There are decisions that need to be made before choosing a class. These involve honest self-assessment Are you wanting to take a class because you want to write and need help with learning how to write? Are you frustrated and stuck, not for ideas, but how to get them on the page? Are you an experienced writing looking to take on new genres? Do you need a new “muse” and a confidence boost? Writers often write alone and sometimes feel lonely, because the people around them don’t understand what they are going through and don’t appreciate their problems. Writing classes may not be a panacea for these issues, but listening to and speaking with other writers, definitely does help. Perhaps you are not a writer and just want to try your hand at creative writing as a new, fun hobby. Whatever your reason for wanting or needing to take a class, be honest with yourself about why. This will help you to find a class that will be more or less right for you.
Choosing a Creative Writing Class
Courses vary in style and in content. Some will offer a certificate whist others will connect you to a degree course. None of them however can promise to turn your book into a bestseller. There is no single way of learning to write creatively or to improve your writing. What a course will do is provide you with an opportunity to develop your writing by having you take risks and experiment outside your comfort zone, in an environment that is understanding and supportive. Here are some pointers for choosing a class:
Personalized: a good course will assign you to a personal tutor, not only to supervise and guide you through the course, but also so that you have someone to listen to you and keep you motivated.
Practical: a creative writing class will give you opportunities to work on your own writing.
Enlightening: a class should give you exposure to some theory and different styles of writing based on those theories.
Needs based: a class should give you the option to participate in accordance with your preference. Thus there should be options to join group sessions or work one-on-one with a tutor, depending on your personality and level of confidence.
Goal orientated: a class should require you to begin with an understanding of the basic principles and have you undertake and complete a writing project by the end of the course. That project may be the catalyst to start your writing career.
Investing in Yourself
Classes can’t guarantee that you will become a published writer. However, by taking a class you can come to an understanding of your strengths and areas for improvements. As you learn and grow in confidence, you can fine tune your aspirations accordingly. Taking a class is simply an investment not only in your future, but also in your happiness. Keep on doing what you are doing. So-called “bad” writing will eventually lead to “good” writing. Above all, don’t judge your work too harshly – others may be delighted by it and want more.