underpurplemoon's picture
underpurplemoon from PDX June 19, 2012 - 9:29am

There's a class that I'm interested in taking (coming up in July), but I'm not sure if I should because I'm already having a full plate. Working 60+ hours a week at my day job and like 10 hours a week at my night job. And starting my first online class for my paralegal certificate at the end of this month. But I think taking this class would give me the structure I need to finish my current writing project. Thoughts?

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters June 19, 2012 - 9:44am

Well, it's like with any class.  Either you have time to dedicate to it or you don't.  If you don't, then you waste your money. 

If you don't feel you have enough time to devote to a class, you should never take it.  That's just my opinion. 

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. June 19, 2012 - 9:59am

I'm right with Avery on this.  You will get out as much as you put in.  If you don't have the time, just read the member's craft essays and take notes and apply them.

If you want to work your ass off for a month and give it a real go, then take the class.  I haven't heard a negative thing about the classes yet, and I don't expect to.  

It will be worth the money even if it doesn't change your writing.  The time is what you lack.  Can you make time for five hours of study each week for 4 weeks?  If so, take it and write your ass off.  

Dontblink's picture
Dontblink June 19, 2012 - 12:22pm

You reap what you sow...so...go sew. 

Do any of us really have the time?  My issue is more about the cost right now...and I joined Lit Reactor to develop the stamina.  I am so tired of saying "someday I will write" and "someday I will shoot the neighbor's nuisance dog." 

It's time to write and time to get a concealed weapons permit. And time to save my pennies for the next round of classes.

Adam :)

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading Wanderers by Chuck Wendig June 19, 2012 - 12:26pm

The only really disappointing thing about the course I took was getting to the end and not having a peer review group any longer. So many people dropped out as the course went on and it took the peer element completely out of it. I say that if you cannot dedicate yourself to the full six weeks (or however long) without doubt, then don't do it. Not only are you wasting your time and money, but you are taking something from the other students too.

.'s picture
. June 19, 2012 - 7:05pm

I agree with Rennee. It sucks when people drop the class or don't do reviews for everyone. I made the mistake of cramming a class on top of all the other projects I had going and I wasn't able to finish all my reviews. And vice versa. 

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter June 19, 2012 - 7:18pm

I haven't taken a LitReactor course yet, but I did take a couple at The Cult. Do what you can, and force yourself to stick with it. I don't understand the people who just bail. I mean, I understand that life gets in the way, but for most of us, these courses aren't exactly pocket change. They are, however, a fantastic learning experience.

If you think you've got a month you can devote to writing, then by all means do it.

I'm considering taking the Cleavenger course. With my WAR discount, it wouldn't be so bad, but I don't think I'm really able to take it at this point in time. I'm in the middle of perfecting all my drafts and making submissions. I might just wait it out for a bit...

Stacy Kear's picture
Stacy Kear from Bucyrus, Ohio lives in New Jersey is reading The Art of War June 19, 2012 - 7:23pm

I would love the Cleavenger class but it's during my vacation and I don't think I'll have enough Internet access :-(

drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines June 20, 2012 - 10:14pm

I've taken 3 classes on here since November and as a single parent with a job that requires me to travel, I hear what you are saying about time constraints and concerns, so I will offer this up for your consideration. 

Life is about the choices we make and having regrets we can live with. If not taking the course is something you will seriously regret, then you must take it. You don't know if the instructor will be doing another class in the future or how much crazier your life will be if such an opportunity comes your way again. Seize that shit. 

However, as Avery said, if you cannot make the class a priority for its duration, do not take it. Save your money and leave the seat for someone who can. Classes give structure for the weekly assignments, but you can end up rewriting so many times that you risk losing the intent of your first draft. 

Whatever you do, don't stop writing. 


(and Renee, flaky people gone flake, girl) 

underpurplemoon's picture
underpurplemoon from PDX June 21, 2012 - 1:45am

Not only are you wasting your time and money, but you are taking something from the other students too.

That makes me think about my MFA situation. I was wait-listed and someone dropped out. I had to make a decison quick. I got in. I took it. Proudest moment of my life. Getting in even though my writing was raw still. I left the shop during the busiest season for my industry. Ten days of nonstop learning. Building community, building friendships.

We were starting the online portion of the program. In my group, someone was added on, so we had an odd number. Work got too much and so I had to quit. It made the number even again.

I was so worried by the next residency (which would have been this month because I had quit in January) that I couldn't plan ahead. The emotional burden of having four people replace me at work, just so that I could go to school, was painful. I also had a car accident last December during the first residency that tainted L.A.

I don't want indecisiveness to rule me. The truth is, chasing something I like is a new concept to me. I will probably wait until the very last minute to sign-up if there is still room for me to do so. Waiting for one's life to begin sucks, so why not change one's own fate? Anyway, thanks y'all.

drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines June 21, 2012 - 4:27am

The thing about waiting for life to begin is that it's actually happening right-fucking-now and this is sometimes it. A lot of times, actually. I don't mean to get existential on you; the question was about a writing course but for many of us, writing is woven right into the place between our belly buttons and spines, so if that's you too, trust what that place tells you to do. 


bon chance. 

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. June 21, 2012 - 7:35am

My 'writing space' starts about 7 inches lower than my bellybutton.  

Yeah, I just measured.