Sometimes ideas just flow from doing, rather than thinking. By that I mean both honing the craft of writing through reading, but also learning through creative writing exercises or literature evaluations to trigger new thoughts and ideas. But where to find these building blocks? And how can you tell if what you’ve written is any good without paying a fortune?
I’ve found the answer in MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses. They are provided free and online by universities and other educational institutions, often working on a system of lecturing/reading and peer reviews/forums.
On the creative writing side, I recommend the Open University’s Start Writing Fiction course through FutureLearn (https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/start-writing-fiction-2 ) and Ohio State University’s Rhetorical Composing (https://www.coursera.org/course/writing2 ) through Coursera.
For literature courses, Brown University’s The Fiction of Relationship (https://www.coursera.org/course/relationship ) and University of Virginia’s Plagues, Witches and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction (https://www.coursera.org/course/hisfiction ) on Coursera are two of the best courses I’ve come across in any area.