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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Knock. Knock.

Generally by fall, my calendar is full. But this year? Not so much, and I realized that I could sign up for that weekly class at my church because…well, what else was I doing?

There was a small fee involved but because I’m not eating in restaurants these days, I find myself with a little extra cash (and very tired of my own cooking). I clicked on the “Join” button and toasted new opportunities. 

 Yep, I celebrated. Not that I was exclaiming, “Whee! We’re still in a pandemic!” It was more like, “Okay, let’s take this lime and make a Margarita out of it!” So, are you ready to join, too? Check out these opportunities that might be knocking at your door: 

 Professional Organizations

Okay, most pro writing organizations haven’t sprinkled “No Dues” fairy dust over the membership page. But in my humble opinion, too many beginning writers jump into an organization with the best of intentions, only to find themselves way too busy or overwhelmed by it all to take advantage of what’s offered. And then they complain about how they spent all that money for nothing. 

So now, maybe you have more time, or maybe you’re working to be more productive with the time and resources you have. Instead of binge-watching 97 episodes of Friends, why not binge on webinars covering those writing-related subjects you’ve been meaning to deep dive into? And many of these webinars are free or very low cost for members. Check out the big organizations like Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators or Author’s Guild or a niche organization like Sisters in Crime. They all have opportunities for the published and unpublished writer. Comb through those websites like you’re looking for…I was going to say head lice but that doesn’t really paint a pretty picture. 

The point is, if you have the opportunity now to do some intentional exploring, enjoy the discovery (Ugh.... I really shouldn’t have brought up head lice!)—and then join the organization. Grow your writing skills, learn more about the business side of your career, and develop your support network!

Or go the individualist’s route… 

Class in Session! 

The online world of writing classes is a veritable smorgasbord and you can find a class to fit any budget. ANY budget. But cost is not always the best indicator of what class is right for you. So give yourself a minute to think about how you learn best and where you are in your writing journey.

Are you locked into a tight schedule? Or are you free as a bird? Do you need structure or flexibility? Look for a class with the options to accommodate your lifestyle. Then, you’ll be more likely to keep at it and find success. 

Next, what do you need to become a better writer? For the beginner, it’s often helpful to take a class where you can just soak up the info, whereas for the writer who has a body of work, even if it’s just one project, taking a class where you can get feedback—though more costly—can get you to the next level.

Every year around this time, I have to give a shout out to the instructors and classes offered here at WOW!Women-on-Writing. I guess it’s partly because I’m in a Back-to-School frame of mind but it’s mostly because these are top notch opportunities. Classes are small and personal and your instructors are as invested as you are

On the other hand, maybe you don’t have a lot of time or much expendable income. But that doesn’t mean you can’t set up your own classes and make your own schedule. Again, search here at the website for the issue on the writing subject you need help with and just start reading. It’s all free content, yours for the taking! I can also recommend my friend, Janice Hardy, and her Fiction University. If you have a writing problem, she’s written about it and explained it—in detail. Also free. Terrific lessons, just sitting there…wait. Did you hear that? 

Pretty sure that was opportunity knocking. Isn’t it about time you did more than peek inside the door?

~Cathy C. Hall


  1. Okay, that comment about the head lice cracked me up. Brought back some back childhood memories too, but at least I can laugh about it now! Seriously, though, the pandemic has brought about so many opportunities for continued education. Our local public radio station is offering a podcast festival all throughout the month of October so I'm going to try to listen to some sessions on marketing and monetizing podcasts. I also can't say enough good things about the classes at WOW! My writing has grown so much from them over the years and they truly are affordable! Thanks for this reminder today, Cathy.

  2. Hahahahaha! Head lice DOES paint a picture, Renee! And that podcast festival sounds amazing...I hope you enjoy it. I'm just trying to change my pandemic mindset from what I'm missing to what I'm gaining. And I know writers can gain a LOT from the WOW! classes--I believe that personal cheerleader touch can make a HUGE difference.

  3. Cathy--I'm in the middle of a fabulous class. I will have to blog about it after it's finished.

    Head lice... that gets me scratching my head, trying to recall some old memories.

  4. Hahahhahaa! Now I'm scratching MY head! (So glad your class is fabulous! Do tell--or blog, as the case may be.)

  5. Jeanine DeHoney6:07 PM

    These are great ideas Cathy. I have been thinking about joining some professional organizations of lately and I always take advantage and read lots of of free writing advice online.

  6. Just in case you don't have enough on your plate, the National Book Festival is virtual and free this year. Also the 20th Birthday of this event sponsored by the Library of Congress.

    There are recorded sessions you can watch and also discussions. I don't remember all the amazing authors who will be there but Tomi Adeyemi and Amy Tan were two of them. I just Joy Harjo and Pam Munoz Ryan on the list as well.



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