The moment has finally arrived when I can say that I have completed my Long Ridge Writers Group (LRWG) Breaking into Print creative writing cyber program. While it has taken me two and a half years to finish, I am so glad that I hung in there and persisted. Indeed, there were times when I felt like I would never reach the end but thank God that I kept going. I still remember the first day that I applied to the online writing course based in New England, USA. They gave me a writing test, accepted me into the program, and then mailed me all of the course materials (e.g., textbooks, course manual, and instructor info). During this time of my life, I was living in South Korea as an English teacher. It was an exciting day for me when I received my LRWG paraphernalia at the vocational high school where I was working.
My co-teachers were thrilled for and with me, especially since my main Korean co-teacher had encouraged me to participate in the writing program. They all knew I wanted to become a professional writer and my students knew I dreamed of evolving into a brilliant writer. In fact, I couldn’t believe how much inspiration I discovered when I relocated overseas. Who knew that moving to a foreign country would unlock the door to a macrocosmic flow of creative energy, one that kept me busy journalizing my experiences as an expat nearly every day. Not only was I an English teacher, but also an ambitious scribe going to work each day exuberant to sit at my desk to pen my next essay, journal entry, or poem. My co-teachers were astonished by my passion for the written word and they enjoyed reading my creations.
I breezed through the first part of the LRWG course, which included four writing assignments introducing me to the program and to the basic techniques of fiction/nonfiction writing. Most of those initial assignments focused on my adventures and insights as an overseas sojourner. “Itaewon: A Cultural Smorgasbord,” and “Military Matters of a Young Soldier” are a few titles of articles that I wrote to reflect the people, places and things that shaped my creative production at that time. While I hardly knew anything about travel journalism back then, those assignments served as the springboard for my growing interest in the exhilarating field of travel writing.
My writing instructor supported my strong proclivity for nonfiction writing, assuring me of the huge market for nonfiction freelancers. By the way, who is this writing instructor that I speak of? She has been an incredible mentor that I’ve only known through the virtual world yet have been connected to her for the duration of my writing course. Stay tuned for next week’s (Nov. 8) blog post when I will reveal her identity!