As many of you know, I teach online classes in addition to my Evil Day Job. The semester is winding down for me and this is the point when it becomes so painfully apparent that online classes are NOT for everyone. Why is that? Well excluding the fact that a number of students are under the mistaken impression that online classes are easier and that computer difficulties will automatically give them some kind of free pass, it comes down to the fact that online classes only REALLY work for self-directed people. At the start of the semester, I provide a very detailed syllabus with a course calendar that lists all due dates for every assignment. I do provide announcements, preset for each week about what’s due, but I don’t send out email reminders except for major tests. I expect students to use the coures calendar and a day planner and keep up with it themselves. This is college, after all. It’s part of being a grown up.
It occurred to me that the ability to self-direct without having someone hovering over you with reminders or whatnot, is a necessary skill of successful writers. The thing that differentiates them from all those people who say they want to write a book, who may sit down at the beginning of November or some other time of year and say “I will do this” and the people who actually DO IT, is the ability to self direct. The discipline to keep up with it, make writing a priority no matter what else is going on in life.
I’ve got that on my mind today as the December Novel Push Initiative kicks off. Holidays and life and last second trips to pick up motorcycles as surprise presents for father in laws (from mother in law) are going to interfere, but I’ve got to stay self directed and get my butt in chair for minimum 250 a day.
I can do this…