When I saw one workshop leader was someone who has had two novels published in the last three years (plus several short stories over the past 10 years), I wondered what ‘qualifications’ one needs to offer workshops or courses on ‘how to write/plot/develop characters’ etc. to other would-be writers.
Not that I’m thinking of doing anything like that, I hasten to add! I don’t want to get into the question, either, of why people pay a large sum of money for an online course when there are masses of articles already online covering every aspect of writing. Real-life courses, admittedly, do give you more opportunity to interact with the tutor and with other writers.
My main question, however, is: at what point does a writer consider himself or herself ‘qualified’ to tutor others in how to write? To go back to the example of the course tutor I mentioned in my second paragraph, I had a quick look at some of the reviews of her books. They ranged from ‘Thoroughly enjoyable’ and ‘Couldn’t put it down’ to ‘Tried to get into this book but gave up after a few chapters’ and ‘the author threw a few ideas together and didn’t expand on any of them.’ And this is the author who is running a weekend course on how to write!
When would you feel qualified to offer tuition to others? I’m not referring to offering bits of advice occasionally to someone, but running a detailed course on writing. I’ve had nine novels published (ten, hopefully, by the end of this year), but I am still learning. Although I could tell people how I write, there’s no way I would presume to tell others how to do it. I would suggest the majority of writers are like this. Many of us are plagued with self-doubt much of the time. Those who aren’t, but have masses of self-confidence in their own abilities – are they the ones who become writing tutors?
What do you think?