School ended more than 20 years ago, but that doesn’t mean the learning experience is over. As freelance writers it’s our job to stay in touch and continue to learn. Gaining knowledge doesn’t have as much to do with writing, as it’s staying current on news, what’s happening in our chosen niches and being open to new ideas.
Here are some of the reasons freelance writers might want to continue their education:
- To brush up on skills – for some of us, school was a long time ago.
- To keep apprised of news in our niches and genres.
- To learn new computing skills and programs.
- To keep up with the latest social media trends.
- To keep up with those who are younger.
- To remain fresh and not redundant.
The Internet and writing for the web are relatively new. When I began writing, my IBM Selectric II was considered the latest in technology for writers. As a result, I’m more technically challenged than many younger writers. That’s why I make it my business to learn about technology, the Internet and all the tools and applications that will help me succeed. I don’t know that I would have been this fortunate in my career if I didn’t embrace Web 2.0 and new media and learn everything I could about being a successful writer and blogger.
Here are some of the places writers can learn:
- Continuing education courses at high schools and colleges
- Online courses – including many free online courses
- Conferences and seminars.
- Newspapers and magazines
- Blogs and websites
Education is part of my regular freelance writing routine. I take night classes at the library and high school, attend conferences and workshops, and read everything I can get my hands on. Right now my main focuses are on blogging and social media, though I also just enrolled in a brush up grammar course. Blogging every day is a much more casual form of writing and I’m forgetting the rules.
If you were to ask me about my favorite (non-writing) apects of being a freelance writer, I’d place learning at the top of the list. That’s why I’ll never claim to be an expert, there’s simply too much I don’t know.
How do you feed your head?