Invest & Prosper: Investment #3 Your Continuous Education

Christina KatzBy Christina Katz

The next most important investment that you can make in your writing career is continuing and continuous education. I suggest that you commit to continuing education as a permanent part of your career-at least until you have accomplished all that you wish to accomplish.

The reasons are many. Professional writing has three aspects: the actual writing, the marketing or selling of your writing, and the platform development or self-promotion that is a necessary part of any aspiring author’s career.

Unless you feel you have mastered all three of these areas, then continuing and continuous education makes sense. And here is good news. Education has become more varied than ever, thanks to the Internet. This means that you have more choices than ever, no matter where you live. The classes available today are more affordable and more specialized than ever, which means that you can identify exactly what you need and likely find a reasonably priced class on the topic.

This also means it is no longer necessary to earn an advanced degree, unless a degree is part of your long-term goals (for example, you wish to teach at the college level). Advanced degrees cost thousands of dollars, whereas almost anyone can afford specialized classes without incurring interest-bearing student loans.

Here are six ways you can continue your education inexpensively:

  1. Take live classes at or through your local community college.
  2. Take e-classes (email classes).
  3. Take online classes (make use of an online classroom).
  4. Take live workshops with professionals through your regional writing association.
  5. Take live workshops with professionals at writer’s conferences.
  6. Attend a live retreat or intensive with an industry insider you admire.

When choosing classes, always select instructors who “have what you want.” In other words, you may benefit more from a distance learning class with someone who is doing what you aspire to do, than you will from a local class that isn’t as close to what you’d like to accomplish.

Regardless of how you choose to take classes, the important part is don’t ever stop. The publishing industry is changing at a rapid clip and quality writing is only one aspect of writing success. If you want to stay in the game and be at the top of your game, keep learning!

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Christina Katz, author of Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids, is working on her second book for Writer’s Digest Books, Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform. She has also written over two hundred articles for magazines, newspapers, and online publications and has appeared on “Good Morning America.” Christina is a popular writing instructor who has taught hundreds of writers over the past seven years. She blogs daily at The Writer Mama Riffs and is publisher and editor of two zines, Writers on the Rise and The Writer Mama. More at http://www.thewritermama.com/.

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