Friday, April 20, 2012

Choosing the Good Stuff

Yesterday one had the opportunity to attend a creative writing course at the local community center; the fee was reasonable, $ 60 dollars for a six week course, meeting every Wednesday from 7-8:30 pm. I had attended a similar course last year, I remember the class well; some new things were learned, met fellow struggling writers and had a chance to experience a writing seminar for the first time. The text book was based on the New York writing class, a well-regarded course that charges $ 400 dollars for a 10 week program; a class that seem to have more rigor and assignments. Despite my initial plan to attend the course at the community center, I had second thoughts and decided to stay home, eat dinner, watch 2 movies while working on my blog and planning for my trip. I had decided to attend the online writing course instead of the classes at the community center, deciding against meeting interesting people and perhaps some learning; instead focusing on the expensive option; likely getting more benefit from the seriousness and well planned curriculum. The mistake perhaps of going home first before going to class; a more deadly route than going to class directly from the office; allowing the allure of television, good food and the welcoming couch to create inertia and stop the propulsion forward; proving the notion that it’s difficult to move an object at rest.

Nevertheless, one believes it’s a good decision, deciding against the social motivation of attending the course at the community center; deciding also against the writing workshop at the local college this July; a workshop I attended last year which I found interesting for the social aspects, networking with would-be writers and meeting at an old college. One is attracted by the communal feature of public courses but one wonders if there is benefit for serious writers; doing the lonely grind of online courses with more work and assignments but more fruitful after one has done the rounds of the local writing circuit. Yes, one did that, done that. The initial idea was to learn on the cheap, but a year after the easy courses, no novel has been written and procrastinating reign supreme; so back to square one. So one must try a different tack, change the mix of activities, and alter the game plan. Continuing on the same road and expecting a different result is the perfect definition of insanity; the hard decision to stop one’s loses and go a different direction is difficult, but one must pay to get what one wants; paying more puts more skin in the game. It’s like buying cheap wine to satisfy one’s fill, but one gets tired of the cheap, one must go to the good stuff even if one has to pay more.

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