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Online Courses

Self-study courses to boost your confidence and resilience as a writer

In October 2019, TLC hosted an Interactive Forum called ‘Being A Writer’. The event was the result of months of thinking and planning around the idea of creating a responsive programme that took into account the real needs of writers today. We wanted to create an offer that supports writers to feel inspired enough to write in the first place, and that helps motivate them to keep going – to finish one project, and to start the next. At our Interactive Forum, the event that launched this programme, we asked our audience of writers what mattered most to them. They ranked four key needs in the following order:

  1. Time and space to write
  2. Financial support
  3. Creative support
  4. Emotional support

Being A Writer courses have been devised and created in direct response to the conversation we had with our audience at the Forum. There are no entry requirements, and are relevant no matter the medium or format of your writing: you might be an academic writer, a budding novelist, a screenwriter, or a poet. The courses have been hand-made and curated especially for Being a Writer – you won’t find the course content presented in the same way anywhere else. Each course comes with recommended onward resources, from books to video links, illustrations and audio. We want to keep the creative brain engaged and inspired, and to keep you feeling confident, so you can move forwards.

Being A Writer is very much about process before product. We truly believe that if we can start from the beginning – examining your motivations and equipping you with the means to value and prioritise your creative endeavour – we can help you to become better writers, and more purposeful storytellers. We hope you enjoy these courses. We’d love to hear how you get on: tag us on social media #BeingAWriter and find us by searching ‘The Literary Consultancy’.

Course Overview: Dealing with Self Doubt: Understanding and Overcoming Imposter Syndrome with Sarah Salway

In this five-module course, author and writing tutor Sarah Salway guides you through an exploration of so-called imposter syndrome and suggests practical exercises for you to try at home in order to deal with feelings of self doubt. She discusses what might really be holding you back, and how to respond creatively with different ways of managing your inner critic. While the first two weeks of the course, you will be concentrating on digging deep into your process. The final three weeks look at strategies to push forward with your work in progress.

This unique course includes exercises which be repeated as often as you need – the course content will remain online for you to come back to at any time – and covers tips which will be of practical help beyond completion of the course. You’ll find a helpful array of research, practical exercises, advice, tasks to do from home as well as writing prompts to uncover, and defeat, your self-doubt demons. You will also receive suggestions for further reading, watching and listening to inspire and inform your creative practice.

Duration: Five to Ten Weeks (recommended)

Weekly study hours: 1-2 hours a week

Topics covered:

  • How Imposter syndrome shows up
  • Dealing mindfully with self-doubt
  • Handling your inner critic with care

What you can expect to learn:

  • How other authors tackle imposter syndrome and self doubt
  • Practical tools to tackle your own feelings of self-doubt and imposter syndrome
  • Identifying patterns in your behaviour which are holding you back
  • How to break down problems related to self doubt into more manageable challenges so as to overcome them
  • How to make small but significant shifts in perspective which will confront and change your imposter outlook
  • Tips for building inner resilience to safeguard against self doubt
  • A whole-hearted approach which privileges not just the hand that writes, but also your creative spirit

Tutor Profile: Sarah Salway

Course Overview: Making Time and Space to Write with Julia Forster

Prioritise and protect your time and space to write in this interactive eight-week course with author and writer development coach Julia Forster. Over the eight-week course of self-directed study, you will be invited to address specific time and space management issues which you are confronting in your creative process. You will find a mix of practical exercises, advice and interventions to try at home as well as suggestions for further reading, watching and listening to inspire and inform your writing practice.

This course is designed to run across an eight-week period in total, with the middle module taking a month, the other four modules running to one week each, but the modules can be accessed at a pace to suit you; you can compress or spread them out a bit, depending on your outside commitments and energy levels. Pick this course if you want to tips, tricks and tools to harness your time and create an inspiring writing station from which to push on with your work in progress!

Duration: Eight to Ten Weeks (recommended)

Weekly study hours: 2 hours a week

Topics covered:

  • Time and space management tools for authors
  • Working with both obstacles and opportunities to progress your writing practice
  • Reframing perceived failure and being flexible in responding to setbacks

What you can expect to learn:

  • How to integrate the current pressures on your time and space into a new writing regime
  • How to work with our natural energy patterns at different times of the day
  • Calendaring techniques to make sure you harness your time
  • Creating a writing space with a sense of the sacred from which to write
  • Tweaking your time management techniques to review what worked best for you

Tutor Profile: Julia Forster

Course Overview: Breaking Through Writers’ Block with Sascha Akhtar

Duration: Eight to Ten Weeks (recommended)

Weekly study hours: 1.5 hours a week

This is a deeply creative and heart-centred course/tool kit by a practised poet and mentor; the offering grows out of the metaphor as ‘writer as gardener’ in order to break down perceived ‘writers’ block’ and turn it into something organic that we can incrementally and energetically approach with friendly detachment towards ourselves.

Unlike the other courses, which allow you to graduate from one module to the next, the invitation with this course for writers to allow themselves to guide themselves along the pathway as designed by Sascha. While we don’t impose deadlines, there are plenty of ongoing resources that you can dig into, or circle back to in your own time. Choose this course if you would like to invoke an element of magic into your writing process!

Topics covered:

  • Negative self-messaging and how to re-frame it
  • How to shrink impediments in our creative practice
  • How to capture the seed or essence of an idea and let it bloom and flourish

What you can expect to learn:

  • Different approaches to the ‘seasons’ of time
  • Working with and not against your inner limitations
  • Creative and mindfulness-based practices to use with the resources you have available at your fingertips 
  • A self-reflective survey of your own approach to writers’ block

Tutor Profile: Sascha Akhtar