Hitting the Books

"I don’t think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday." — Abraham Lincoln

I am heading back to the virtual classroom for the next three months via an online writing workshop through Writer’s Digest. The first class meets this week and the readings have already reminded me why I love workshops and seminars—-no matter where you are in your field, there is always more to learn.

I know it can be hard to find the time (or money) to invest in educational opportunities, but it is worth it. Believe me, with a freelance writing business and two small kids, I have to make learning a priority in order to make it happen. I make time for it because I always walk away energized and excited about my career. I also end up with page after page of ideas on how I can better serve my clients, streamline my business or improve my writing. I love that.

While online learning often works best for me right now (there is a lot to be said for cutting down on commutes), I’ve also enjoyed in-person workshops through American Independent Writers here in the D.C. area. Their speakers are always a wealth of information and I love meeting fellow writers and freelancers in person. Conversation over lunch is so much more fun than via the Internet. I can’t wait for their annual conference in June. 

All of that being said, registration fees can add up. I have volunteered at some events in order to get in free or at least at a reduced cost. If you really want to attend an event but can’t afford it, shoot an e-mail to one of the organizers and see if there is anything you can do in exchange for entrance. 

No matter what field you’re in, do a quick Google search and find the associations and workshops best suited for you. Take a chance and attend an event or take a class. Tell yourself that you’ll walk away with just one tip that can help you either professionally or personally. I am certain you’ll find far more. 

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