Online Writing Classes~

I’ve taken my fair share of online writing classes. Some of them have been worth it, but most of them not. The best of them have been given by UCLA Extension. At least the last one I took got me a published piece, and the payout on it more than paid for the class. So there is that.

The one I am currently enrolled in seems to fall into the positive category. The class is titled: Intermediate Nonfiction and is taught by Gordon Grice. The idea is to generate about 30 pages of “completed nonfiction.” I’m not sure what that means exactly, but I am at least feeling the pressure of generating about a 1000 words a day. Some people are writing a series of essays, like me, while others a section of memoir.

Today was a 2500 word essay about a Kingfisher I saw on the beach this morning and a memory of one I saw in my youth. It is far from complete but the bones are there. Now I have to go back and figure out the reason why I wrote what I did. I know there is a message in there lurking; I just haven’t found it yet. Isn’t it the way with writing essays?

I have a mere 26 more pages of writing to go before the revisions start next month. I might be a bit absent in the weeks to come; the writing is coming (at least today) and I don’t like to interupt it.

The class ends at the end of March, but I’ll post ideas and parts of essays as they come up.

  2 comments for “Online Writing Classes~

  1. sc morgan
    24/01/2008 at 1:59 am

    Hi Ruth. I don’t know how to explain it exactly. Sometimes I have a memory that I write about–an anecdote usually– and then have to figure out the “why” of why I remember it, or what it all means.

    In the case of the Kingfisher, I saw it the other morning hunting for its breakfast and it triggered a memory of seeing one that a forest ranger at a fish hatchery had caught in a metal trap, its legs were broken and it hung upside down. The ranger refused to kill it, preferring to leave it there to die.

    I’ve never forgotten that scene, but what was the message in relationship to the bird I just saw and possibly my feelings about cruelty in nature and of human making.

    It’s that kind of going back to figure out the message.

    I learned a tremendous amount about Kingfishers while writing that piece the other day. It is one of the many wonderful things about writing- it just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

  2. Ruth D~
    20/01/2008 at 8:10 pm

    Wow. That you found, or are in the process of finding, so many words about the kingfisher is amazing. After writing you go back to look for the reason? Hmmm . . . I think I need my reasons first. I hope you’ll teach me what you learn, Sarah, when you come up for air.

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