>I’m going to piggyback onto Stina’s fantastic post this morning about writing courses.

We both took the same course – and here is my formal apology to Stina for making her take that course with me (I would say I owe you chocolates, but I just ate a bag full of chocolate covered almonds and being the good friend that I am, I want to save you from my fate…)

She made some fantastic points though. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should.

As a fellow writer who is seeking an agent to love her work, I get it. Really I do. We will do anything to grab that agent’s attention. We search the web for contests to enter, we follow agent after agent after agent desperate for any tidbits of advice they throw our way. We spend hours reading blogs and then spend more hours trying to figure out how the ‘petunia’ we are supposed to apply all these ‘words of advice’ to our writing.

And then we discover a writing course. Maybe through the organization you are a part of, maybe you see the tweet about the fantastic so & so who is offering … you know the drill. We spend the little money we have and we take the course praying we will discover some tidbit to boost us into that “OMG I HAVE AN AGENT” category.

I know that’s what I did.

I’m not saying all courses are evil and you should shun away from them. But do your homework first. Just because some big named author is hosting the course doesn’t mean you need to eat the cheap chocolate they offer. Go for the good stuff. If you have only a small amount of money to spend, please don’t waste it on the cheap stuff. Make sure what you are paying for is worth it. To you. Everyone has their own needs. But not everyone’s needs are the same.

For me, what I need … is feedback. I need to learn how to apply what I’m being taught to my writing, then I need to be shown if it is working or not.

I’ve taken some fabulous courses (like a recent romance foodie course) that was brilliant. I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone (and will soon have that teacher on this blog, trust me). But then I’ve taken some courses that were full of self-promotion and contained little in the way of substance.

It’s like stepping into an expensive chocolate store, eyeing a gold foil wrapped delicacy, paying a stupid amount of money for that foil only to discover the thing was hollow. Three tiny bites and it’s gone. AUGH.

Don’t just jump at every writing course offered. Take your time. Do you your homework before you spend good money on something you can get for free (as in, stuff your fellow writers discuss daily on their own blogs).