I could easily fill a room with the notes I’ve made over the years about that ‘book’. The one I’ve told friends and family that I would sit down and write. I quit my job in 2011 to care for my family AND write the book. Four years later I had characters, plot outlines and about 30,000 words on the laptop but still no book.
I can only speak for myself but I found having a great mentor, a deadline and a group of like-minded writers just what I needed to get to a workable 100,000 word first draft.
The course I did was the Year of the Novel at the NSW Writers’ Centre in Rozelle, under the excellent guidance of author Emily Maguire. You may have caught Emily’s latest book An Isolated Incident which was featured on ABC’s The Book Club earlier this year.
Most Universities, TAFEs and Writers’ Centres run courses at various price points and lengths. Even some publishers run courses like Allen and Unwin’s Faber Academy and I’ve heard that Varuna is amazing. Just ask Google to find something close by that works for you.
I found having to attend a class once a week (it was at night which worked for me), incredibly helpful however there are plenty of great online courses available.
The Australian Writers’ Centre has quite a few online courses and I’ve found Future Learn to be an excellent resource, with the added benefit of being completely free. You can also learn from and connect with other writers through online events such as this month’s National Novel Writing Month and Digital Writers’ Festival.
If a class isn’t for you but you like the idea of a mentor, many authors do offer this as a paid service. You can find them directly through their websites or apply via mentorship programs run through organisations such as The Australian Society of Authors and The NSW Writers’ Centre.
If writing a book is what you’ve always wanted to do then make the time, it’s well worth it.