As a writer, or indeed any creative person, research is invaluable to creating precisely what you want to invoke in your reader, or viewer, or person that happens to be interested in your work.

Research can take time, and sometimes monies.  And, with busy lives to lead, writers may not have time for an eight hour stint in a library looking up precisely what shades of yellow were available to the eastern vikings living on the Volga for their clothing.  Or any other specialist subject you could want to casually drop into your work to make it internally consistent and give it life through detail.

Fear not!  If you haven’t come across it already, there’s a site called FutureLearn, affiliated with the Open University (and lots of other univerisites around the world) which provides short course introductions to many subjects for free.

We writers like the word free.  I know, I’m a writer, and I like the word free when it comes to doing research and learning.

You can undertake the learning in your own time, which means if you have a variable amount of free time in a week, you can probably fit a course in 🙂  If your course is more than one week long, FutureLearn will drop you an e-mail every week, containing a link to the new weeks learning.

Courses are delivered by leaders in their field, on a multitude of subjects, from arts to law, history to philosophy, sciences, languages, literature and humanities.   Fear not if you’ve never studied at university level, the courses are based for anyone to understand the information and learn 🙂

You can browse their available courses HERE

Did I mention that all the courses are free?  Go to it!

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