Pursue Just-in-Time Learning for Effective Education about Writing

Writers should consider just-in-time learning to round out their education

I work at home. My office window looks out at the bus stop. Each school day I see kids waiting to get on the bus. And each afternoon the bus returns them home. They’re mostly excited, but more so when they’re learning for the day is over.

They remind me of my time as an elementary school student, followed by middle school and then high school. Various colleges followed. First a bachelor’s degree and then a second major. Then a master’s degree was next and a PhD and then a second one. I have a lot of formal education. Fortunately, this is behind me. No more tests!Writers should never stop learning.

Though my formal education resides in my past, I’ve been pursuing informal education all my life. I call it just-in-time learning.

Most of my recent education about writing comes from the usual sources:

  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Magazines
  • Critique groups
  • Conferences

I learn whatever I can from whoever I can whenever possible. Along the way I’m also willing to share what I know with others.

However, I’ve recently begun paying people to teach me specific things—what I need, when I need it. This is just-in-time learning at its finest. I’m custom designing my own courses based on exactly what I need to know. Paying people to teach me what I want to learn costs less than one university class. Click To Tweet

Though paying people to teach me what I want to learn has cost several hundred dollars, it’s still far less than the cost of one university class. Plus, taking a class covers many things I don’t care about or need to know at this point in my writing journey. If I take a class I must sift through the material to get to what I need to know.

My approach to just-in-time learning is so much more valuable. As you continue to work on improving as a writer, maybe just-in-time learning might work for you, too.

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

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