Should I Take a Romance Writing Course?
Whether you should or should not pay your hard earned money out to learn about romance writing is going to depend on the person you are, and the aims you have for writing romance.
Let’s dive in!
What’s your personality type?
I am a big fan of getting to know yourself better and being honest about your traits and work habits, because if you aren’t honest and don’t know yourself all that well, then you don’t have all the info you need to make a good decision about, well, anything really! Now don’t think it is going to require a trip to a yoga ashram or intense navel gazing, because it’s far more practical than that. I’m a huge fan of Gretchen Rubin and her Four Tendencies quiz. It’s free and you can take it on her site, GretchenRubin.com
This will give you an idea of how you respond to expectations, both inner and outer. Her podcast is also packed full of tips to get to know yourself better- I listen to it while I’m jogging in the park.
So, do you know if you are good at researching a task or topic and just getting on with it? If you are then great, a course is probably not necessary. If you are someone who struggles to stick to things and needs outer accountability, the course might be what gives it to you. If you have no interest in what any experts have to say on any given matter, a course won’t be for you, but you must be happy to make your own mistakes.
I am a Questioner in the Four Tendencies framework, which means as long as I can see value and worth in something, I want to do it, so when I found a course held by someone who had been a romance writer for some years and was making a good living out of it, I was sold.
Think about how you have dealt with these things in the past. Have you bought courses before and not bothered with taking them? Or do you finish everything you start? No judgement here, just know yourself well enough to know if this will be a good investment of your time and money, or not. Oh, and talking of money – if you look into buying a romance course, see if there is cashback available first. It’s a long shot, but never let that sweet sweet cashback slip through your fingers if you can help it!
The Aims you have for Writing Romance.
Do you have one single, perfect love story inside you that is begging to be set free? Are your characters fully formed and already smooching in your brain? Then you probably don’t need a course to tell you how to write your story! Just write, write, write and love every minute of it. If you chose to publish, then great. If not, then you got the story onto paper, which is your main aim.
Are you keen to add an income stream to your portfolio? Then this is a half and half issue. You could get started earning a lot faster if you avoid the newbie mistakes, and a writing and publishing course should steer you around them and get your first book sold asap. However, if you don’t have a particular deadline for making money, I would say a course might not be so necessary. In this case, I would probably still advise you to take the course, as what’s the point of a side hustle that takes you two years to make any money? A course will take out a lot of the ‘am I doing this right’ fear as well, leaving you with a clearer mindset to get on and plan your stories and marketing for the year ahead.
Lastly, you are a frustrated creative who doesn’t care about money? Do you just want to put your work out there into the ether, and if people like it and buy it, that’s great, but if they don’t, you aren’t too worried? If you were an artist, would you have a room full of stacked paintings you had no intention of selling? You just had to have that creative outlet? If this is you, then the course is likely not going to be worth the money spent. You are better off getting your juices flowing, writing like a madman, and perhaps paying a VA to upload the stories to amazon for you, if you feel like sharing your creativity.
Of course, you could be a combo of almost all of these personalities, and if you are, I would probably suggest you take a course. I did and once I had put the principles into action, my books actually started selling! Even though I am not hitting the big bucks yet, my earnings are climbing every month- which they didn’t before I took it about 4 months ago – and without it, I wouldn’t have had the knowledge to improve so fast.
One note of caution – If you are not that interested in romance books, I would suggest you think about this as a side hustle carefully. There is a huge readership of romance novels, and they are voracious, but you need to enjoy what you do or your readers will be able to tell that your heart isn’t in it. Also, do a fair amount of romance reading to get an idea of the genres, tropes and to generally get an idea of what the readers want. If a sloppy love story makes your stomach turn, this might be one to swerve!