Writing Class

I decided to take a writing class. An official one, by this woman who has published her personal essays in Newsweek and Oprah, among others. I love her essays, and the price seemed reasonable compared to other online classes I’ve considered. It’s a six week course. The “basic level” cost is $125. The “premium level” cost is $250 and includes “full email support.”

I signed up for the basic level thinking I’d still be turning in assignments and getting group feedback, I just wouldn’t get the “full email support” from the instructor. Apparently, not. I don’t turn in assignments. I’m supposed to just do them on my own, and give feedback to myself.

So I just figured out as I write this post that I’m paying (okay, on a credit card) $125 for her lessons, i.e. “thoughts”, which honestly, I could buy a whole a stack of writing books for $125 — or check them out from the library and spend the $125 on black riding boots, which I’ve decided I have to have – even though this means a possible consideration of skinny jeans (dear Lord). So these lessons had better be good. When I’m done, I’ll review here. That’s right, Teacher, I’m giving you “full blog support” – for free.

Anyway, Tuesday afternoon, I stepped up my usual jeans-and-a-t-shirt ensemble with a black cardigan, a lavender scarf and a smear of lipstick. It was the first day of my online class and I wanted to look good.

I headed to the Barnes and Noble cafe and treated myself to an order of the Cheesy Enchilada soup (two words: horrific, delicious). Gnawing on my plastic spoon, I opened my laptop and got busy with the first assignment: Write a profile of yourself as a writer, 750 – 1000 words. Three hours, two venti’s and one crooked spine later, I stopped at 685 words and thought – okie dokie, that was fun.

The next morning I took my coffee at home, in my jammies. I sat down at my desk and opened up my assignment to admire it again, maybe give it a few tweaks. I read it once. Wait – did I? I read it again. It sucked. I mean, sucked –suuuuucked. What the heck did I write? Of course, I never thought I wouldn’t need to edit (my own assignment that only I read), but this thing was a mess. As of Sunday, I have yet to delete it and start over (hmm, will I get in trouble for turning this in late to myself? – Not sure yet).

But it’s something. I like having homework that’s my own. I like having something to do besides check my blog stats*. I like putting on lipstick and feeling career-ish (oh, so sorry I can’t go to the PTA meeting, I have work to do for my ahem, Writing Class). And the there’s the Cheesy Enchilada soup. But I am still thinking about those riding boots…

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* By the by, I noticed all the middle-aged folks (men) in the B&N cafe who are hunched over their laptops, looking important, are checking Facebook. Seriously, Facebook. They are not doing work, editing novels or completing their assignments for a Writing Class. They are checking Facebook. And I know this because I peek at their laptop screens whenever I walk by. I spy. Aren’t they pathetic?

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13 thoughts on “Writing Class

  1. And, what’s wrong with Facebook? LOL Honestly, it keeps me sane in my mad, mad world!

    Well done you on taking this class … whatever it may turn out to be for you. I was just thinking to myself this very morning that I would love to take a creative writing class. Or even, teach one! Gasp! Ooh, let me just go update my FB status with that thought! *grin*

    1. Oh I know, Facebook is fun, but it tickles me to see these men in their black suits, briefcases at their feet, checking Facebook. Not mastering the universe today… just ah, checking Facebook.

  2. I’m excited for you! I know what you mean about assignments giving you a sense of writing purpose. Tell me what you think about skinny jeans with the boots (I think they look great with boots on others but they personally scare the bajeezus out of me), and I can’t wait to see more writing from you.

    By the by. I love that phrase. Along with ‘make haste’. Very Austen.

    Speaking of writing assignments, I lost the link to your columns when my hard drive failed. Can you send it to me again? I just love them.
    I think skinny jeans would be awesome on you, you with the gorgeous figure. Me? Um, not so much. But one can dream. And by the by, I think this winter is the time for me to crack open my first Austen. Yes, my first. I know – It’s embarrassing. What would you recommend for my first foray?

  3. At least once a week, sometimes twice, I spend a good part of my day in a coffee house or library to work. Some days the lure of social media gets the best of me and I waste precious time doing next to nothing. I used to feel bad until I noticed the familiar blue and white screen of Facebook on so many other laptops around me. It’s the new water cooler, isn’t it?

    1. Yes, I think it is. And make no mistake: I love Facebook, too. I love connecting and spying. It’s a kick to see what everyone is doing – especially long-lost friends and high school crushes. When did everyone get so creative and witty, by the way?

      That said, it did shock me to see the suited-up men hanging out on Facebook. I know this is sexist, but I thought, based on some statistics I had seen, that the vast majority of Facebook users were Moms. I am serious. Google it. Stay-at-home moms in particular, use social media (including blogs) at a very high rate.

      When I am at the bookstore, sucking on my greasy spoon, I have to resist Facebook. You see, I am a very busy person. I have important work to do for my ahem, Writing Class. Ha!

    1. Oh, I know! I went skinny jean shopping today. I was so depressed I came home and ate four chocolate chip cookies – which is why skinny jeans are not for me. Ugh.

      P.S. As I recall from the 80’s – in order to be released from skinny jeans, one must lie on the floor and begin peeling and pulling. Sort of the same way we used to put them on – a little at a time.

  4. No skinny jeans needed. Get the riding boots and wear ’em with skirts.

    I remember a writing teacher at my college once saying that the most valuable thing a class does is give you an excuse to write. The critiques and lessons on structure, etc. are nice, but the real value is in having a reason to sit down and bang something out.

    I suspect there’s a lot of truth to that.

    1. I know your teacher is right, but since I am in charge of my own assignments/deadlines, I seem to be slacking off just a bit in favor of shopping for boots I can’t afford. Maybe this is why I will never get paid to write…or maybe it’s because I suuuuuck.

      One bright note: Lesson two was very interesting. Very.

      And yes, skirts are a much more body-appropriate option for me. I just wish I owned some.

  5. Wow. The class sounds so fun! Congrats on taking the plunge. I’m really looking forward to hearing more about it as you continue with it!

  6. Darn, I wish you could have purchased the e-mail support! Then you’d hear from the instructor that your work does not suuuuuck and that, in fact, you are an excellent writer with heart, wit and wisdom sparkling through your words!

  7. Way to go Ms. Writer!! I love this idea! I’ve been considering something similar myself, but [surprise] something else always seems to come along and gobble up my time or money. Instead, I’m planning to go to the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College this spring. I’ve heard it’s a well-done conference! You should think about it 🙂

    PS: The boots can be your reward when you finish a piece that you especially love and are proud of.

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