It’s pretty common for bloggers and writers to want to improve their skills, make their content read better or to engage more deeply with their audience. One way to make this a reality is by taking a writing course that runs through the fundamentals of the writing process and inspires new ideas and practical methods of writing better content.
This month, NCC Online got in touch to offer me enrolment on their Creative Writing course, which on completion, awards you with a Level 3 NCFE Certificate PI410. This diploma may help you in your career in addition to improving your skills as a blogger.
How a writing course helps
Taking a writing course can help bloggers:
- Create new ideas
- Better explain their experiences
- Become more confident
- Write about what challenges them
- Push their blog to the next level
All of these benefits are particularly important if you feel like you struggle to find the motivation to write another post within your niche or worry that you’re running out of things to say (this is impossible by the way).
Whilst we may write for different reasons, here’s how and why a course can help bloggers with the above, and why you should spend some time brushing up with an online diploma:
It breaks down the ‘fear factor’
Do you want to write something new but are scared of people reading your work? This is true of most aspiring and some established bloggers. An online writing course puts your efforts under assessment in a real but very gentle way; you don’t come face to face with your reader and feel overly exposed, but still get the criticism (positive or negative) that will help you improve. Once you realise someone is reading your work and it’s benefitting you, the fear will slip away. If this involves changing your style, you can experiment and find what works before showcasing it to your loyal readers.
It gives you permission
Finding the time to be creative and write can be difficult when you have responsibilities and other adult tasks that definitely need to be done. It can also feel like there are certain things you have to write once you’ve built a fanbase. This can all pile on the pressure and make the process more challenging.
Investing in a course gives you permission to write for you and forces you to make time. Structured lesson plans and tasks reduce the ‘waiting around’ before you put pen to paper and help you feel more productive. Even if you can do just an hour a week, you’ll see results over the months and realise you can do it.
It sets achievable milestones
Instead of sitting down at your desk to write your memoirs in an afternoon, you complete smaller, manageable tasks that build up the skills needed to produce more in-depth pieces. All too often we build up tasks to seem so big that we put them off, but spending a few minutes or an hour on one smaller element is easier to prepare for.
A course lets you work on your own terms and gets you to that novel or blog series when you’re ready. This reduces stress as you aren’t pressured to write in a rush simply because something is due in for marking.
It actually gets you writing
Writing isn’t just about getting something down on paper, although that is half the battle, it’s more about having something to communicate and finding the best way to make it relatable for other people. A lot of this is intuitive but even basic intuition needs structure, practise and planning.
This is where a course gets you to face it head on and write with a clear focus. It also helps build the confidence to go back, read it over and edit. As bloggers, it’s difficult not to be a little sensitive about our output but if you can proof and see the areas of improvement yourself, you don’t need to worry.
It’ll make you a better writer
Practise makes perfect and you’ll be a better writer after you’ve dedicated time and effort to improving. Just like everything else, you shouldn’t always go with the first thing you write and this is one of the skills a course can make easier to apply. It’s important to learn how to draft, what to cut and when to start again from scratch. It’s often an emotional process leading you to that final, shareable version.
Doing something for yourself where you get a diploma at the end is probably better than watching TV when push comes to shove and it’s also fun. You get to be silly and creative and apply your mind to something you love.
Now that I’ve started the course and have done the introduction and first module, ‘Creative Writing and You’, here’s what you need to know.
NNC Online Creative Writing Course
The course is very clear and split into 14 modules that each build on the last, culminating in an online exam that assesses everything you’ve learnt. It comes with:
- A clear course overview
- Online support 24/7
- Easy to use dashboard
- Accessibility from any location
- No set deadlines
Each lesson is a PDF containing materials to study on the theory of writing, before set tasks apply what you’ve learnt. This encourages you to be productive and complete the module and activities at the same time. For me, the first module took around two hours and the entire course takes roughly 200 hours.
I already like that I can access it anywhere and can follow my progress online. I’m giving myself 14 weeks (3 months, 2 weeks) to complete the diploma, which works out at one module per week. If you sign up, they don’t set deadlines, so you can work to your own pace.
Becoming a better writer is the main aim of the NCC Online Creative Writing Course and by being online it’s open to almost anyone. Through completing the course I want to be able to utilise different styles and engage with readers more as I continue to blog.
What courses have you taken? Are there any you’d recommend, or perhaps you’re even doing the NCC Online Course? Do you think they’re worth the time and money?
Get in touch with a comment below and if you’ve got any additional tips for bloggers who want to become better writers, please share. After my 14 weeks are up, I’ll post a full review and some writing tips.
NCC Online invited me to take this course on a complimentary basis, but as always, all views are my own.