I don’t have a degree in writing. But I have taken some writing courses and I highly recommend this to others trying to master the craft of writing.
The first writing course I took was a novel-writing course through a community college. The course was fantastic and I learned a ton! But the best part was the opportunity to read my work aloud each week and get feedback on it. My favorite moments were hearing people laugh at the parts that were supposed to be funny. Whew! This was very affirming for me.
Since then I have taken courses through community education, online, and through local literary groups. Sometimes the best part about a course is the chance to hear other people’s work so that you can compare it to your own. I especially liked the instructors who were so well-prepared that they gave out outlines of their lecture to take home. How nice to not be stuck note-taking so you can concentrate on the discussion. Some of the classes I have taken were on magazine writing, copywriting, and manuscript editing. No matter what the focus, I learn something new every time. Taking writing classes forced me to write and to think about writing.
If you are looking for an online writing course, the following resources may be helpful:
Gotham Writers’ Workshop--
Free University Writing Courses--
Writer’s Digest Writing Courses--
Creative Writing Now--
Don’t forget that another great way to learn more about the art of writing is to read books about it. The great thing about books on writing is that you can find very specific topics, like picture book dummies or how to start writing non-fiction articles for children’s magazines, etc. You can also find eBooks about writing at little or no cost. You can do a search for “free eBook writing skills” and you will find lots of free resources for writers.
One thing most people don't know about me is that I have something called spasmodic dysphonia. It's a voice disorder. I get botox injections in my larynx to help me keep a smooth speaking voice.