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Too afraid of failure to step up

(6 Posts)
lavenderdoilly Mon 11-Nov-13 15:42:05

Hi. You know the drill. I've wanted to be a writer all my life. I'm finally flexing my muscles with some exercises from 'give it a go ' books. I need to toughen up and expose what I'm doing to scrutiny . I don't have much spare cash so I need some tips about online courses. I'm no spring chicken but as dc (6) said " even old
people can write". G'is a clue.

GrendelsMum Mon 11-Nov-13 17:54:36

Are there any courses at local FE colleges, etc? I think you might find that really helpful. Certainly the one I went to was very supportive and positive, both at beginners and intermediate level.

TunipTheUnconquerable Mon 11-Nov-13 20:43:16

I don't know about online courses but I would join a writers's forum such as (there are others but that's the one I use) which will give you a big peer group of people who are in the same place as you which will help you feel more confident.
Then you can either find someone you connect with to swap critiquing, or post work in a critiquing free-for-all section once you're feeling brave.
You will find that you learn as much from critiquing other people as from being critiqued and also once you've done it to other people a few times you'll feel more confident about exposing your own work.

I've found that a combination of very focused use of creative writing books (and it sounds like you're doing that already) and intelligent critiques from other people who are in the same position as you are just as good as a formal course. I'm not dissing courses, but if you can't find one that suits, don't despair, there are other ways to learn.

TunipTheUnconquerable Mon 11-Nov-13 21:50:04

btw, when I say 'in the same place as you' I mean the same position, not geographically!

Sheditious Tue 12-Nov-13 13:01:52

I think writing is easy. However, creating a novel is hard. What makes it hard are two things.

1) Self-editing.
2) Knowing if it is any good.

To solve 1) I taught myself to self-edit. I read a book or two and edited other people's writing on YouWriteOn. By editing other's work I learned to spot the problems in my own writing. This is a two edged sword, as you can see what doesn't work and you discard so much more of what you write.
As for 2)... This is a fundamental problem. It seems all authors have it. My solution is to charge ahead and see what happens. At least this approach is fun.

lavenderdoilly Tue 12-Nov-13 14:08:56

Thanks very much - very helpful all round.

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