Learn Something New

Learn Something New

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways to increase your creativity. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will share posts that focus on caregiving. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is L is for Learn Something New.

The one thing that frustrates me in life (okay…one of the many things that frustrate me) is how many awesome things there are to learn, and how little time there is to soak up all of that knowledge. The great thing is that there are so many ways to learn something new. And when you do, you can learn to think more creatively.

Learn Something New Online

Online classes are a great way to learn something new. They can usually be completed at a pace that works with your schedule. Sometimes there’s a charge for the classes but often they are free (unless you want to pay for a certificate). I love Open 2 Study courses and Udemy. You can take classes to enhance your career or just to expand your horizons.


MOOC means Massive Open Online Classes. They are a great opportunity to learn something new from the comfort of your home. One thing that sets a MOOC apart from other online classes is the interaction with other students from around the world. In my experience, it’s always enlightening and professional. Everyone has the same goal—to learn something new. Some of my favorite MOOCs are from Coursera and Class Central.

Learn Something New

Community Education

Most cities send out a newsletter highlighting community education opportunities. They have classes so people from toddlers to senior citizens can learn something new. Some classes are free and some have a charge for materials and to cover the cost of the facility. These classes are a great opportunity to get some hands-on experience as you learn something new. You could take a pottery class or learn how to take apart a car engine. Every time you learn something new you add something more to your bag of tricks. That’s one more thing your character can know.

I recently participated in Citizen’s Academy, a course that enables citizens to learn what our city’s police and firemen do in their jobs. I even got to do hands-on activities usually reserved for officers. This information will greatly enhance my mystery novels. It also gave me even greater respect for the men and women who serve our community.

Audit a Class at a University

In order to audit a class, you typically pay a reduced price for the class. You attend classes but don’t need to do the homework (You can but it’s not graded) and the same goes for tests. At the end of the class, you don’t get college credit for the class, but you do know a whole lot more than you did before you took the class. My daughter, Summer, is an Art History major at the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She says that several people audit the art history classes because they are so interesting.

Definitely, consider how you can learn something new in the near future. It may just take asking someone you know to teach you something. Knowledge will expand your word and your creativity!

While you’re here, sign up for my email list to get a periodic email newsletter to encourage your creativity.

What are YOUR thoughts?

I’d love to hear in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!

About Heather Erickson

I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace.

My books The Memory Maker’s Journal and Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer, are available at Amazon.com.

I also blog about living with cancer at, Facing Cancer with Grace.

Have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you! By commenting, you agree to the terms of my privacy policy.

12 comments on “Learn Something New

The best compliment I’ve ever received was when a friend called me a “learner on steroids.” I love the Udemy courses and have also taken several Coursera courses – some significantly better than others. But I didn’t know anything about either Open 2 Study or Class Central. And the Citizens’ Academy? How cool is that? I’d love to do something like that.
Thanks, as always, for the information and inspiration, Heather. Have a great day.

Hi Karen, I often wish I was a more efficient learner because there is so much to take in and so little time. It’s so wonderful to have the world opened up to us through classes, websites and of course, books! Have a wonderful day!

One of my favorite things–learning. The internet gives us so many options!

Hi Jacqui, It really is amazing how many learning opportunities are out there. I always think of Worddreams as an educational site for writers. I’m constantly learning new things from you. Thank you for that!

It’s great to have a parks & rec department that has those classes for anyone to take. (Alas, I haven’t in a very long time.)

Hi Liz. There are some really cool opportunities through Community Education. For my daughter’s 16th birthday, my mom and her took a class on making Spring Rolls. It was taught at a Vietnamese restaurant. There is something for everyone. 🙂

Outstanding advice, Heather! Thank you for the super useful links to online learning websites. I’ve marked them all to look at in May, once A to Z is finished.

Emily In Ecuador

You’re welcome, Emily. I hope you find something you really enjoy learning about!

I’ve been telling myself that I need to do an online course now that I’ve reduced my work days. I even bookmarked a couple – I’m going to check out the ones you recommend and make myself commit to something in the next few months. Thanks for the impetus.

Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
M for Make It Happen

Ho Leanne, I hope you find the perfect course for you. About 2 years ago, I took a class on meat. Yes, I actually said, meat.I learned so much and now I can grill the perfect steak. It sounds silly, but it was a lot of fun.

Well, I couldn’t wait. I signed up for a photography class beginning the last week of April. Thanks again, Heather!

Hi Emily. Wonderful! I think you will love photography. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t. It’s a fantastic way to stretch your creative wings.

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