Newbie Forum writer

By Karen Karen's Corner 12 Comments on Newbie Forum writer


I’m Damien’s mum and he has encouraged me to have a go at writing on a forum which is a concept totally alien to me.

I’ve always loved writing , so much so that I recently completed a diploma in freelance journalism.  Even though I’m proud that I have just received my diploma, truth be known I was really disappointed in the content and structure of the course. The closest analogy I can come up with is that it was like taking a cooking course without actually cooking! I did a writing course and only wrote one article.

For 6 months I learned by reading tutorials all the ins and outs of how to give a story “legs, how to write simply and how to  read articles and come up with more spin off stories with different angles originating from the first article.

Even though this was all informative and interesting, we were never once asked to write anything! I found this really strange and rather a waste of money. Finally at the completion of the course 6 months later I got to write an article and send it in for feedback.

Admittedly I recieved really good comments about all aspects of my article but was told that I needed to ‘reread” the section on quoting! Perhaps if I had been able to “practice” along the way with constructive feedback, I might have grasped this concept earlier without the need to re read.

All in all, I was pretty disappointed in the course and am still left craving an outlet for my literary ramblings! I soon learned that a freelance journalist cannot express an opinion of their own, much to my dismay. Apparently opinion columns are only for the truly revered and well known writers and as novices we were told to steer well clear of anything resembling an opinion. Just my luck.

So, here I am getting a feel for this forum writing and hope I don’t embarass the crap out of Damien in the process!

I’d love to hear from anyone who might have done a journalism course and compare stories.

I look forward to any feedback.




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  • Dionne
    Posted on September 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Karen 🙂 How disappointing! I’m loving the course I’m doing, which has journalism subjects at the end but it’s a creative writing degree. We get to write essays and creative writing pieces. It’s the Associate degree of creative writing offered by Southern Cross University. I’m 41 and doing it over the computer. It’s really good, you should check it out. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. I’ve learnt a LOT! Great first post, you’re a natural and I don’t think I can hear Damien crying 😉

  • Damien
    Posted on September 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Crying? no… that’s what the podcast is for!!

  • Ciara Ballintyne
    Posted on September 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I find it baffling that in a writing course you were not asked to write! No amount of theory is a substitute for practice.

    If you want to express your opinion, I suggest a blog. I have one called Somebody Has To Say It for all my rants and opinions.

  • Karen
    Posted on September 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Dionne, your journalism/creative writing course seems good. Maybe I should check it out. I’m a sucker for courses!!!!

    As for your blog Ciara, how do I access that. I’d love to take a look

  • M. E. Franco
    Posted on September 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I agree with Ciara. It’s strange that you weren’t asked to write in a writing class. I haven’t taken a journalism class, but I have taken many writing classes and all of them required loads of writing. Keep at it!

  • Sonia Medeiros
    Posted on September 8, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I haven’t tried any journalism courses. My writing preferences lean towards fiction. Though some of the stuff in the news does seem pretty fictional 😀 . The only way to really learn writing, in my opinion, is to do it. The courses and books are only useful if you’re writing, writing, writing. It might be more useful to produce a bunch of projects just to write and then read some craft books and/or take a course. Then you have a foundation.

  • Catharine Bramkamp
    Posted on September 8, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Hi Karen,
    Great post! I run a blog on writing and life on my web site as well on – I teach composition to adult students, the best way to learn to write, is to write, this is a great start! Sometimes we fall back to the comfort of classes rather than just doing the work – think of a subject you like, then just write. Then post it. Easy steps, difficult to execute.
    Good luck and keep writing!

  • Jane Isaac
    Posted on September 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Karen!
    Great post. So nice to meet Damien’s mum online too!
    What a frustrating course! I’ve done 2 courses in writing, both distance learning. The first was a comprehensive writing course with the Writers Bureau, and the second was a fiction course with the London School of Journalism. I submitted writing assignments for both.
    Best of luck with your writing. I look forward to reading future posts.

  • Karen
    Posted on September 9, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for your comments. I’m not sure if Damien told you but he let me read your novel and I thought it was excellent!. I can’t imagine writing something like that myself but you never know. My passion lies in writing about life experiences and how they effect us all differently. I have written a short story about my experience of the empty nest syndrome ( again I was encouraged by Damien to write it) and I’d love some feedback about it. Could I send it to you or perhaps post it on this blog?

  • Damien
    Posted on September 10, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Post it on the blog!

  • Jane Isaac
    Posted on September 11, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Yes, Karen, do post it. I’d love to read. I’m sure it’s a topic which will resonate with many.
    And thanks so much for your kind comments about my book.

  • Anne
    Posted on September 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Karen,
    I’d really love to read your short story too.

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