I’ve always enjoyed writing, from the time I was a child. Though now my interest takes form in blogging, my biggest dream has always been to write a fiction novel.

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In 2018, I was lucky enough to attend a writing class, hosted by author Michael Pogach,Ā at The Doylestown Bookshop. The focus was on World Building. It was definitely helpful and really got me excited about writing fantasy or paranormal, something I keep drawing on and then getting away from.

Check out Pogach’s dystopian novel,Ā The Spider in the Laurel.

It was also great to connect with a number of local writers, ranging from teenagers to seniors, from writers of fiction to nonfiction to poetry. And I got to do so at my favorite local bookstore! (I’ve since moved but always try to visit bookstores here in NYC, or at home when I visit the Philly area!)

Of course, now most things we do are virtual. Good news – there are still a ton of writing classes online, available for free or a small fee. There are also loads of writing-related classes and workshops. In 2020, I attended Alessandra Torre‘s free virtual class on marketing via Goodreads.

To inspire other writers to attend a writing class or workshop, I’ve come up with five reasons why I made an awesome choice in attending last weekend, and hope you’ll scout out local opportunities to do the same!

1. It’ll inspire you.

Whether you’ve already written your first draft or haven’t written even one sentence, a writing class will give you some great ideas and inspire you. Some of these ideas might be things you already know, but that refresher is still going to help get your creative energy flowing.

2. You’re bound to learn something.

You can’t tell me that you’re going to be in a room full of creatives and not learn anything or gain some new insight.

Even if it’s a virtual class and you don’t get to interact too much with the audience, the person hosting the class is a professional and will have some great insight to offer you.

3. You’ll make connections.

Again – you’re in a room full of fellow writers! I connected with the local author hosting the class as well as a group of other local writers. We exchanged business cards, talked about other local writing groups, and really connected about writing concepts and ideas. One author I connected with was Trish Sammer – check out her work on Amazon!

And sure, a virtual class might allow for a little less of this, but if you take the extra steps, you can still network. Use the chat if it’s available, or see if there’s a related hashtag you can use to talk about the class or conference on social media with other attendees and panelists.

4. You’ll be inspired.

Again,Ā a room full of creatives.Ā You’re going to come up with something! When jotting down notes during an activity, I remembered an idea for a paranormal romance series I had forever ago. The ideas have been bouncing around all week, and I keep hearing snappy dialogue in my head that I know I’ll include in a book one day. I totally thank the class I attended for that!

Even in attending online classes, I’ve been inspired to get going and start writing more.

5. You can tell yourself you did it.

You did it! You made an effort! You tried to improve your writing – and guess what, just by trying, you did. Congratulations!

So get yourself out there! Follow your local bookstore and library on Facebook, and I’m sure you’ll find free or affordable writing classes and groups in no time!

I’ve also had luck with Meetup since moving to a new city – so check that out, too!