In the spirit of posting things months after they happened, I’m here to tell you about my GrubStreet experience from the beginning of this year (yes, six months ago). If you, too, are an unmotivated recent college graduate/writer wannabe, I highly recommend GrubStreet because you’re paying money to write. Yeah, it doesn’t really sound ideal, does it?
But sometimes, that’s what you have to do. If you’re having trouble sitting down and writing a complete story/poem/whatever, then what are you willing to do to fix that? There are definitely some non-monetary options. For example, you could create a writing group with some people that you trust and set weekly deadlines or assign a week to each person for workshop, etc. You could also do the honor code and “promise” yourself (or someone else) that you’ll finish x amount of work for a given day, or week. OR, if you’ve turned into a lazy couch potato post-graduation and you’re ~serious~ about writing, then maybe you need to shell out some cash to ensure you get shit done.
You can look at paying for writing classes in two ways: one, you could laugh at someone for spending money for something they could technically do for free (not nice), or two, you could interpret it as wow, this person is really serious about this kind of thing. PLUS, you’re not just paying for yourself to actually write, but now you have access to a whole writing community! You’ll have a (hopefully) qualified and very smart instructor to critique your work and provide valuable lessons along with other people to give different perspectives on your work (of course, you’ll be doing the same with theirs).
I was lucky enough to get a scholarship for my first GrubStreet class and I LOVED it! I loved having deadlines to keep me honest and having a very sweet and intelligent mentor motivated me to producing work that I was proud of. To be completely honest, I only came out of that class with two stories that I think have potential (out of six), but that’s because that particular class had hard word limits because workshopping about eleven other people takes up a lot of time.
I’m currently enrolled in my second GrubStreet class and it’s online. I’ve only just started the second week, but so far, I really like it. It’s another 6 Weeks, 6 Stories class, but the assignments are different AND we get 1,000 words to write for each story (that’s a flash fiction piece each week!). The only major downsides are that most people don’t write inline comments because they think writing up a quick summary is enough, and you don’t have that personable connection that you would have in a regular workshop where you could see each other face-to-face.
All in all, I’m really enjoying the class so far, and I definitely think paying money for classes can be worth it. If you have any questions about GrubStreet, or my experiences with it, please comment below!