Just Keep Learning; Just Keep Learning
by Steph Beth Nickel
Books. Workshops. Free and paid social media groups. Courses. Conferences.
Most creatives have a plethora of resources at their fingertips.
I doubt if I’ll ever complete the books and courses I already own. However, I’m likely to buy more. And those lifetime subscriptions and bundles at unbelievably low prices… Those draw me in far too often.
While I’m doing better at using the materials I have on hand and resisting the temptation to buy something if I already own something similar, there are still times I sign up for things like free online workshops that sound interesting.
And while I don’t recommend succumbing to FOMO, the fear of missing out, there are times a new purchase—or the commitment to attend a virtual event—can make us re-evaluate what and why we write.
That’s what happened to me recently.
Have you ever noticed that creatives are among the most generous people on the planet?
The workshop I attended last Saturday proved this to me yet again. It was two-and-a-half hours long and jam-packed with practical, applicable writing-related information. Plus, participants had the opportunity to do significant self-examination and answer questions in the free workbook that was included. No cookie cutter answers. And no unattainable promises.
All this and more—and no heavy-handed sales pitch. In fact, the presenter took only a few moments to inform us about her yearlong program that she made clear would not be right for everyone—not even everyone on the call. Generosity and integrity… They both mean a lot to me.
As some of you know, I began a YA speculative fiction story a number of years ago. I had a lot of fun writing the first third of the book. When I was concerned that I was wandering around in the mire as I approached the middle of the story, I decided it was time to write the last chapter to see where I was headed. (I’ve done something similar with other writing projects and it helped a great deal.)
Still, for a number of reasons—including questioning whether I should actually write the book—it has sat on my computer, neglected for far too long.
When answering one of the questions from the workshop, a question about the point of my writing, it became clear that the protagonist’s journey and growth were, indeed, relatable—potentially inspirational even. These insights had never struck me before.
The workshop presenter stressed that the point of our writing doesn’t mean the in-your-face “moral of the story.” But we are all trying to make a point with our writing. And when we recognize that point and are convinced that it’s worthwhile, this just may be the verification we need that we should persevere and push through the obstacles that stand in our way.
I’ll forever be glad I signed up for the workshop—and spent over two hours considering what makes me who I am and how that applies to my writing.
So, my fellow creatives, to quote Dory from Finding Nemo—well, almost, “Just keep learning; just keep learning.”
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance editor and writer and an author. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at email@example.com.
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