When I first started writing, I wrote for the sheer pleasure of it. For the joy it brought me to create new worlds and characters who were as close to me as my friends. Looking back, I realize how naïve and how lucky I was. I say lucky because I must have discovered or been born with an innate sense of story and plot and character development. Naïve because I had no idea that I had to read or develop these traits and learn, learn, learn.
There are plenty of opportunities to take classes that will further your skill and knowledge of writing. Romance Writers of America has RWA U classes for its members, free of charge, ranging from Writing for the YA Market to Understanding the Digital Publishing Market. These offer valuable insight.
Chapters of Romance Writers of America offer online classes.
The Hearts through History chapter of RWA offers online classes, ranging from Fairies and Other Magic Folk to Show and Tell: An Interactive Workshop. http://www.heartsthroughhistory.com/class.htm
Savvy Authors offers online workshops ranging from Social Media for Writers to Crafting Memorable Dialogue. http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/workshoplist.php
There are almost always workshops at conferences, such as the Spring Fling Conference sponsored by the Chicago North chapter of RWA. At the conference, workshops are offered from Can This Manuscript Be Saved to Ghost Hunting Through the Ages. http://www.chicagospringfling.com/workshops.php
What does this all boil down to? The opportunities are out there to hone your craft, to learn more about the process of writing. And to be the best that you can be. An author never stops learning to better her writing.
One other thing…there is a contest survey sponsored by Hearts through History for their contest Romance Through the Ages. Please, please take it! Anything we can do to help a chapter better their contest is a plus! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZQ35NVC