Tuesday, 22 January 2013

[Writer's Blog] Back to School

I have decided to go back to school, metaphorically speaking that is, to expand my knowledge and learn new skills that will make me a better writer. I feel some skills that I already have are lacking or limited in some way and so need honing, but there are large gaps in the wealth of knowledge that I currently possess. Many people can absorb knowledge like a sponge, have a knack for picking up skills through trial and error or simply geniuses. I  consider myself somewhere in between and with that in mind I am seriously considering going back to college.

On-line tutorials, distance learning, and correspondence courses; I have done them all but nothing comes close to attending a lecture led by a knowledgeable tutor engaging you and your classmates with insightful information and a debate of the topic's issues. I admit I miss my college and university days when | would sit excitedly at my desk bantering with fellow students before the teacher comes in and begins the lesson. Yet this is more than just about reliving my hazy student days but rather enhancing my existing skill set and maybe learning some new ones along the way. I am confident in my writing skills and like any writer there posts which I read with a beaming smile whilst others I wish could be tossed into an incinerator and turned to ash. However lately I have found myself hindered with an inability to produce more efficiently. OK so  not every writer can tap out near perfect material at great speed, but I feel I can and should do better. 

Adult education has come a long way when I first attended college and as an adult in my forties this is something I can appreciate. The selection is varied covering just about every subject going and if you're looking to expand knowledge there simply isn't enough time in this short life to cover them all. I have whittled them down to the following;

  • Politics - yes I do get political from time to time in posts or in discussions, and my knowledge is fairly robust. However I have often surprised myself with gaps and even a little naivety.
  • Sociology - I already have an A Level in this subject but times have changed and many studies have been carried to help better understand our global society. It is very analytic in structure so hopefully this will open my eyes and enhance that aspect of my thinking.
  • Shorthand - Even in this day of ever expanding hi-tech, shorthand continues to be the recording method of choice simply it is less costly, flexible, but most importantly highly reliable. Recently I found my lack of note taking skills cost me in being able to compose an article. 
  • Web Design - Don't get me wrong I love Blogger but being able to build my own website will help me create a unique identity rather than relying on established templates.
  • Miscellaneous skills such as note taking, formulating arguments, and media interview skills (i.e. how to be interviewed, not that I am expecting David Frost to call).
For me writing is about sharing knowledge and encouraging discussion. Sometimes it is even about producing a solid and high quality piece of entertainment.All I need to do now is sharpen my existing tools, replace those that are no longer effective and maybe even pick up some new ones along the way. Obviously if I were to resort to the classroom for everything I would spend much of my life there so some reading on my own and maybe the occasional correspondence course is needed. I am a good writer capable and knowledgeable. All I want now is to just do it a little better, and going back to school could give me the writer a really great boost to achieve my goals.

Image Credits; velkr0

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