A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - The Nature of Creativity, Creativity and Self-Discipline, and Finding One's Voice
What is creativity? What's a writer's voice? Can writers be taught to write or is it a gift that only a few possess? Today, we'll talk about the nature of creativity, and about self-discipline. You'll learn about your writer's voice and hear from other writers. And then you'll begin to express your creativity.
Lesson 02 - The Nature of Creativity, Creativity and Self-Discipline, and Finding One's Voice (Continued)
Tenacity is the focus of this lesson and you'll be a whiz at focusing your writing voice once you've worked through this information. You'll also learn why creativity is recess for the brain. But even though it's the ultimate fun experience, to produce writing, it needs to be managed play. Are you ready to play with words? Jump right in. I'm here to help you!
Lesson 03 - Creating a Workspace, Molding a Creative Life, Feeling the Fear of Starting, Knowing Your Reader
What are your fears? For many emerging and successful writers, there's a fear of beginning, of failure, of failing your muse. This lesson walks you through the gate of failure and will get you started as a professional writer. The best way to get over the fear of starting is to do just that: Start. Many writing instructors, including me, believe that creative people must simply show up at the page. That means getting to your creative project and putting down words. Ready to start?
Lesson 04 - Creating a Workspace, Molding a Creative Life, Feeling the Fear of Starting, Knowing Your Reader (Continued
Do you know your reader? Most new writers say, "Hey, of course I do!" But how well do you know your reader? If you're at all vague about this, there may come a time when you'll be frustrated and feel rejected by editors and agents and the audience you wish to attract. Writers need to know their readers thoroughly in order to write so that readers understand the message. That's our focus today and it may be your biggest a-ha moment of the course.
Lesson 05 - Types of Creative Writing Opportunities, Clipping Files, Market Guidebooks, the Bubble Method
Some people—those who aren't writers—believe that creative writing refers only to fiction. I write both fiction and nonfiction, and using my creative muscles for each keeps me agile and strong as a writer. As those of us who cross this line know, both types of writing take skill, tenacity, and powerful imaginations. Today, we're going to go over some of the genres in both fields. The objective of this lesson is to familiarize you with the many creative writing opportunities that are available.
Lesson 06 - Types of Creative Writing Opportunities, Clipping Files, Market Guidebooks, the Bubble Method (Continued)
You've just purchased the latest market guide, filled with guidelines for submittals to publishers and magazine editors. The book is awesome. Now looking at it, you understand how a child feels who has eaten too much cotton candy and hopped on a merry-go-round. Market guides can be overwhelming and exciting. There's so much potential. Where to start? How do you find the right magazine or publisher for a project? How can you know when it is the right one? These are just a few of the questions that you may ask. By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to navigate through it. But there's more. Today, you'll learn one of the most powerful brainstorming and writing tool around. I call it the bubble method and it's fun, fast, and effective.
Lesson 07 - Grammar,Self Editing, Production Tips and Finding Time to Write
For most writers, the idea of using correct grammar and punctuation is a necessary evil. Today, you'll get a clear concept of the grammar and production requirements for creating marketable writing. And since self-editing is an essential ingredient to produce good writing, we're going to focus on that, too. Most writers have a difficult time editing their work, but once you finish reading this lesson, you'll be well on your way to putting polish on your words.
Lesson 08 - Grammar,Self Editing, Production Tips and Finding Time to Write
Sorry to break the news to you: Even professional writers haven't found out how to squeeze 26 hours into every day. But there are ways to manage the ordinary 24 that could help you. That's what we'll explore in this lesson on time management for creative writers. By the end, you'll know how to use nonwriting time to create ideas, and use the time that's available to write.
Lesson 09 - Overcoming Obstacles and Building Confidence, Fearing Ourselves, Naming Characters and Selecting Titles
Today, you'll learn about overcoming obstacles that may be stopping you from writing. One obstacle, called writer's block, can be remedied once you know about the ailment. Or, writer's block can stop you cold in your tracks, never to write again. In this lesson, you'll continue to build confidence as you realize that all writers have fears, including fear of what is lurking inside a creative mind, and what might happen when it comes out in writing.
Lesson 10 - Overcoming Obstacles and Building Confidence, Fearing Ourselves, Naming Characters and Selecting Titles (Continued)
Names and titles convey information. So the title of your story, novel, nonfiction book, or article is important. It can turn readers on and generate excitement, or do the opposite. Titles can't be copyrighted, so you could call your book on dust storms in Death Valley Gone with the Wind and not fear copyright infringement. However, doing so could lessen the impact of your work. This is the focus of Lesson 10. We'll also talk more about writing essays.
Lesson 11 - Evaluating and Sharing Your Work, Attending Writing Conferences, Treating Yourself Well, Keeping Your Dreams Alive
Now is the time to ask yourself: Do I like my writing? Is it more than okay? No one is listening to us so let's forget about false modesty. If writers are honest, they'll usually say they like their own writing. Some of us, and I'm in this category, adore most of what we write—including the secret scratchings in our journals. It's healthy to say we like our work. This doesn't mean that we can't strive to improve it—that's what drafts are all about. It means that at a certain point in time, like this second, the writing is as good as it can get—for now. Tomorrow we'll find ways to improve it. In this lesson, we're going to delve into ways to evaluate our own work. Plus, you'll learn everything you need to know about having a successful experience at your first (or next) writer's conference.
Lesson 12 - Evaluating and Sharing Your Work, Attending Writing Conferences, Treating Yourself Well, Keeping Your Dreams Alive (Continued
Dream smashers. They're in all of our lives. These are the people who pride in saying, "You've got to be mature. You could never do this or that." Today, we'll look at how to overcome the power of doubters. You'll learn how to treat yourself like a professional writer, even if you're still an emerging one. You'll discover why it's smart to buy the books and magazines you need, take writing classes, and attend workshops. Writing is all about you, and you have the power to succeed!