Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Writing Courses

Academic Studies and Writers


I seems a bit strange to me to be writing about anything “academic”—I tried “higher education” three times and couldn’t stand it… Academic Studies and Writers

But, I’ve always loved to study…

And, I’ve written here that writers really don’t need an MFA Creative Writing Degree.

Yet, I’ve also written about how writers can take courses of higher education to help them learn subjects they want to write about { but, not subjects about “how” to write...}.

And, I’ve also written about what folks in institutions of higher education are reading

Still, it might be helpful to attend a lecture where something that just “might” be important for writers to know is being presented…

The woman in the video is Catherine Hofler, the Director of Research at Emerald Therapeutics and, in her own words, she is, “…a geneticist, neuroscientist, cell survival specialist, robot trainer, code monkey, and crazy cat lady.”

Enjoy this “academic” video (which is about cats…).


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So You Think You’re A Writer…


So, maybe you are a writer; or, you fondly hope you might be…

Reading Like A Writer

Reading Like A Writer

How do you confirm whether you really are a writer or whether you might actually be able to become one?

One idea would be to write something and ask your friends…

Perhaps that’s not a good idea—if they really are your friends, they might just tell you the truth…

So, do you think they’d say you’re a good writer; or, would they suggest some other hobby you should pursue?

Another idea would be to ask yourself—your deepest self—if you’re a writer…

The worst that could happen is that your self might say no…

Can you live with that?

What if you think you could learn to be a writer?

How would you go about studying the art?

Please, oh please, don’t say take a course in creative writing.

Perhaps, you’ve already committed yourself to being a writer; perhaps, already published a book or two.

Do you honestly, deeply feel you’re a real writer?

I don’t mean the feeling that you could be a better writer—I mean the feeling that what you’ve already written qualifies as something a real writer does…

One suggestion—whether you want to be a writer or are one—one insider tip about the process of becoming a writer: read this past post—How To Read Like A Writer.

Also, I suggest you read the book that post is about—Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (P.S.).

If you can’t do either of those suggestions, try reading this Wikipedia article about Reading Like A Writer.

If you can’t do that, try listening to this talk by Francine Prose, the author of Reading Like A writer

One little hint about learning to write, for those who can’t do any of my suggestions—you must read all the good authors you can get your hands on if you ever hope to learn to write…

But, please, oh please, don’t read their books about how to write…

O.K., I’ve done my good deed for the day—back to writing my next book………
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The Very Best Way To Learn To Be A Writer?


I’ll answer the question in that title up there at the end of the post

On the way to answering it, I’ll give you a few ways to tap into what this blog has said about the issue in its nearly three years of publication.

First, click on this link writing advice  :-)

The next way would be to look toward the top right of this blog and find the search box—then, type in the words “how to write<— or, click that link—or, put some other phrase in the search box that more nearly describes what you want to know

If you’d like to hear from an archetypical aspiring writer who’s reaching out for help, try this particular post:

Letter from A Neglected Writer

Or, if you’d like my opinion on books about how to write, try this post:

Learning How To Be An Author Means Much More Than Reading About How To Write

And, even though I feel there’s much more to learning to write than reading about how to learn to write, my Best Friend gave me a link to a great place to find books on the subject—as of this writing, 139 books:

Poets & Writers Best Books for Writers

So, my answer to the question in the title of this post?

Go ahead and read a few books about writing—read as many as it takes to get tired of reading about how to write.

Then, write—then, write—then, write

And, while doing all that writing, read some of the best writers you can find—but, don’t read what they said about how to write—read their novels or short stories or poetry

And, finally, write
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