For those of you with college age children or those who aren't so far beyond the college years, you know those winter breaks fly by. As of today, both my college children are back at their respective schools, Penn State and Boston University, and getting back in the swing of learning. I don't even have to add I hope to that because I know they'll both work hard. Their absence also means my house has settled back into calm and quiet, with a thin coating of empty.
My son is starting his last semester at PSU and has two required courses he put off until this late date. One of them he is taking as an online course. Sign of the times that a student attending such a huge university would seek out such a course with no face to face meetings. It led me to think about all the online education available out there for free.
RWA, of which I'm a member, offers a plethora of offerings having to do with anything you need to learn about this business. My own local chapter, CPRW, offers inexpensive classes for our members. The other writer's group I belong too, offers online courses at very inexpensive rates. It's amazing what is out there. The website, IWSG, has links to so many places where a writer, new or experienced, can find help and encouragement. It's very different from when I started.
The very first conference I went to was at Penn State University and run by one of their departments. I think it was the first time I considered myself a professional writer. Since them I've been to numerous conferences and also attended a few one day workshops. One day workshops are a little more difficult to come by these days. Now such courses are offered online. It saves everyone gas money but also the expense of renting a meeting area to hold the class. And they don't have to be held on a Saturday. It's smart and efficient to use modern technology, but I miss those face to face gatherings.
There is something very inspiring I get from those real people gatherings that I don't quite get from taking a class online. But the old days have to make room for the here and now, and I'm not one of those who think the old days are better than now. The holidays are over and I'm back in the swing of being a full time writer.
Speaking of online learning opportunities, next Monday is the What Works Symposium, a chance for a bunch of bloggers to share what online marketing works and what doesn't. You can sign up on the list over at Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog where he introduced this great idea along with the co-hosts, Arlee Bird, Yolanda Renee, and Jeremy Hawkins. We can all learn something and help others also.
So have you taken an online workshop? Have you led one? Are you back in the swing of things after the holidays? Are you joining What Works next Monday?