I passionately love writing, but often have the feeling of being stuck in word mud and quicksand phrases and using the same words and sentences over and over again.
That’s why I wanted more knowledge and know-how, I wanted make it better, uncover mistakes and develop and improve my writing style.
I wanted to get more input on techniques and methods. Above all, I also wanted tips and support, how to overcome blockades (perfectionism) and obstacles (self-doubt).
So I needed methods that would allow me to keep my creative flow running and not to be slowed down by external (work) or inner (emotional) circumstances.
Therefore, I decided to take an online writing course.
Why an online course? Because, in order to be creative, I need a flexible time management.
I can be highly creative in pedagogical situations at the push of a button, but when it comes to writing, I need certain conditions in my environment to get into a writing flow.
Provider and place
Both providers are quite similar, here is a short overview:
- Amount of work: 6 hours per week
- Requirements: None
- Certificate after completion
- Duration: 9 months, with an extension possible
- 4 weeks of free trial is possible
I eventually chose SGD.
Why? They were at the time 150 € cheaper and the content seemed to be more comprehensive.
By the way, the downside of all providers is that they send advertisement after you have requested information material – for years!
After an uncomplicated registration, the first three workbooks will be sent, I requested the following workbooks whenever I needed them and received them within 2-3 days.
At the beginning I prepared a timetable with which I worked from then on and set 6-8 hours a week (distributed to 3 days).
The workbooks contain different assignment and tasks. At the end of the book, you have to write 3 e-mail assignments and sent them to your mentor, who assesses the tasks and is available as a contact person for all questions concerning the course.
The whole procedure is pretty uncomplicated via wavelearn (online campus of the Studiengemeinschaft Darmstadt) or by mail.
Content and examples
Memories and images, conflicts and punch lines, clusters and writing, writing blocks and word machines, poems, aha-effect and narrative sentences, storyline and cliffhanger.
The assignments ranged from poems to song texts, children’s rhymes, short crime stories, newspaper articles to the conception of a television series.
Some tasks were fun, like this one:
“Man is free, he pays for himself.”
Be inspired by this phrase of Maxim Gorki and write a free text (200 words). Write in your text the sentence of Gorky by placing the sentences Human being // is free // he pays // for everything // himself in the same order but in different positions in the text. Highlight the relevant parts of the sentence as keywords.
Important for this text are two things: in terms of content it is a story or a fantasy about the theme of the sentence. Formally, the keywords in the text flow should appear in such a way that they read the above sentence of Maxim Gorki, one after the other.
You can read my assignment here: About humans in a golden cage
Some tasks were not my thing, but they broke up my thinking and writing structures and demanded a different style of writing from me.
These include, for example, Haikus, the shortest poems in the world. Without the writing course I would never have thought of writing Haikus:
In the dying forest
Leaf coloring on tree and bush
Hoarfrost white and cold
On the leaves and branches
In the green grass
If you like to do writing as a hobby and would like to further develop or improve your writing style, I would recommend an online course “Creative Writing” at the SGD.
Thinking and writing structures were broken up and I had to try different types of texts and notations, which I would never have otherwise considered. If you want to think differently when you write, this course is perfect for you.
The advantage of an online course compared to a course in your city is the flexible time management.
The disadvantage? The workbooks are not extensive enough, I still had to do a lot of research.
Now it is up to me to transfer what I have learned into practice. Out of the protected frame of the writing course, in which I played with words, shaped and whirled them through the world and blew them into new directions.