Carry on Learning


Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.



If you could take a free class at a university, what course would you take?


I would like to complete my education and learn all the things that I never did. Because it’s never too late, nothing you ever learn is wasted.

When I was at school, for various reasons, I missed out on a lot of the curriculum. Largely due to moving around the country and changing schools several times, but also from being saddled with teachers who were not as keen to teach me as they should have been.

When I said I didn’t understand a topic, or hadn’t been taught it, they saw the gaps in my knowledge as proof of either my laziness or stupidity, rather than a fault in the system. This resulted in a mutual loss of interest. It took me two attempts to pass enough exams to start my chosen career.

I only really started to learn at college, where I was taught a subject that I was interested in, by people who genuinely wanted me to be successful. I’d never experienced that before. I found that I had a lot of ground to make up in the basics.

Having long periods at sea with time to learn and a determination to succeed meant that I was just about able to keep pace with everyone else, gain a degree and pass all my professional examinations.


Now I’m retired from paid employment and trying to supplement my income by selling a few books, I’d like to become more proficient in the things that an author needs to know.

I’d love to learn proper English grammar, as well as more about the whole publishing process. Through trial and error, I’ve taught myself a lot about book cover design and I’m slowly getting to grips with marketing. A proper overview would help fill in the gaps in my knowledge.

Having a better knowledge of grammar would help me construct my stories with less time spent on making the words sound right. Instead, I could concentrate more on the tale.

To be clear, I have no desire to edit or proofread my own work, I happen to believe that you can’t really do that to your own words. Having tried with my first novel and failed miserably, I think that you are too close to them, you know what they say, or at least you know what you want them to say. And this familiarity means that you become blind to what they actually do say.

I rely on my editor and my beta readers to catch all the mistakes. They do a wonderful job.

I just want to gain a better understanding of the basic things that make it all hang together and help me to produce a better product.


Until next time.



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10 Responses

    • Richard Dee

      I was told by my English teacher that I wasn’t clever enough to string two sentences together and for many years, I believed it.

  1. Daryl Devore

    I agree and understand. I, also, moved several times and since not all schools teach the same things at the same time – yes, there were things I missed and yes, teachers assumed it was my fault I didn’t know something. I’m glad you found some teachers who were interested in teaching you.
    Tweeted.

    • Richard Dee

      I happened to meet one of my teachers, a while ago. His recollection of events was so different to mine.

  2. Stevie Turner

    Yes I agree about wanting to learn proper English grammar, sentence construction and so on. It would put me off studying with younger students though, who would all learn things quicker than I could.

  3. P.J. MacLayne

    I was good at grammar as a student. I still use an on-line checker before I let anyone see my work. I love it when the program disagrees with itself!

    • Richard Dee

      Grammarly and Word’s F8 have very different opinions regarding the humble comma. I have no idea which (if either) is right.

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