I have two undergraduate degrees in journalism. I tell you that to say I never thought I would see myself enrolling in another writing class. But last week I began a five-course creative writing series to learn the mechanics of writing stories and novels and hone my skills in those areas.
Coursera is a great place to go to take online courses in just about any topic you can imagine. If you go to Coursera.org, you can search their website by keywords. It’s pretty amazing. I was especially happy to find an email stating that my request to have the course fee waived was approved.
The first week of class was about plot and ended with me having to write a 250-350 word scene about a character with one want and one weakness. Every other sentence had to be a rising action (an event) and there were 12 words that had to be used in the story.
I consider myself a pretty strong writer, but that was packing quite a punch into a small space. I’m now on week two, and my assignment is to write a 200-word short story about a trip to the doctor using an ABDCE structure (yes, the D comes before the C) from a book called Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I read it some years ago, I may have to dust it off.
These courses will definitely keep me busy from now through February of next year. In the midst of all this, I am still writing one short story every week and submitting it to online literary journals and magazines that I have found, and I’m also still writing my novel.
Am I busy? Sure. Do I love what I’m doing? Without a doubt. When you finally step into your purpose, the hard work you are doing doesn’t feel like work at all.
Until I write again….