Rita, aged 80, took our Getting Started in Creative Writing online course to prevent dementia and boredom; she plans to take more online courses in the future.
'Before doing the Getting Started in Creative Writing online course, I was completing my BA in Literature and Communication at Griffith University, Australia. I graduated in July 2018.
'What inspired me to do this course was to prevent dementia and boredom brought about by disability. Living by myself I need to keep the brain twirling. I am writing stories based on my family history and I intend to publish the history and stories for all the young ones in the family. A wealthy cousin is paying for this.
'Being 80 I am severely technically challenged which could have been a problem for studying online. However the tutor, help desk and other students talked me through problems. God bless them!
'What did I find most enjoyable? Where does one begin? I loved all the information on how to proceed with the units; loved the assistance of my tutor who seemed to hover over my shoulder in times of need; and the support and encouragement from other students - friends for life.
'I intend to do advanced courses on creative writing with Oxford, whenever I can raise the fees. Being only a pensioner it takes a little time to save. In between units I am doing single units at on-line courses from Australian Universities. I don't have to pay upfront for these. My next course is 'Writing Creative Non-Fiction' at Curtin University on 24th February. It is a one unit post-graduate course and you need to be invited to enrol.
'I would encourage anyone of any age and experience to try it and enjoy themselves. People fall over themselves to give help and encouragement. Our tutor, Amal, was magnificent in his support - never impatient: not a sign of negativity. Other students from all over the world were so friendly and interesting. We have formed a group so as not to lose touch. Just writing online gives you a sort of anonymity which helps a great deal if you are nervous or shy. Go on – surprise yourself and gain much self-esteem.'