I am about two thirds through my first writing class, and I am blown away. I'll admit, I went in with pretty low expectations. I mean, how much could I really learn from an online class where we self-grade our own assignments? Well, I was wrong. The course information has been really, really interesting and helpful, and the online discussion area is great. We've all shared assignments and snippets of our work for our classmates' feedback, which was pretty scary since I'm not used to letting anyone read my writing. And our instructor, who is a successful romance writer, has been awesome about critiqueing our work and offering suggestions for improvement.
So...I've learned that I have a lot more work to do than I first thought! I'm now able to see why certain parts of my book don't work, and let me tell you, I'm probably going to end up rewriting the whole thing. Most importantly, I realized my current work actually borders on women's fiction and not true romance. There are actually pretty strict rules a novel has to follow to be categorized as romance. I can either rewrite to meet them, or keep as is and perhaps struggle to find a niche for my work. Decisions, decisions.
Anyway, I'm more determined than ever to give this my all and realize my dreams of becoming a published writer. Next up, I think I may try a few more of these Ed2Go classes - I have so much to learn. I need to become a member of RWA. And I need to step back and look at my book with fresh eyes to see where to go from here.