School for Grown Ups

I have to admit that I approached this theme with some trepidation. I don’t have children and the whole summer holiday’s thing just passes me by.

But maybe going back to school shouldn’t just be for children. I think as we get older (and I do know a little about that) we need to make the effort to learn new things.

My life up to the age of twenty-four was pretty much all schooling. First, actual school, then University where I studied Ecology and Marine Biology, and finally, studying for my Accountancy qualification while working in London (by far the hardest). Anyway, once that was over, I understandably decided, no more—I was through with learning.

Or so I thought.

Of course I wasn’t. All through life, we pick up new skills. In this age of fast changing technology we have to or get left far behind. But I did manage to put off any formal education for a good long time. And didn’t return to “lessons” until I took up writing seriously and realized just how much I had to learn.

My first venture into re-educating myself was an Open University online course called “Start Writing Fiction.” I loved it. That was around eight years ago after we’d moved to the mountains in Spain—the perfect place to write—and it was my first creative writing course.

I’ve done a lot since then, everything from, writing dialogue, description, branding myself, marketing myself, how to edit, how to crit, how to kill someone with a pointy (or blunt) weapon, how to plot not to plot… There are courses for everything. And I’ve found I really enjoy learning new ways of doing the same things—but of course doing them better (I hope).


But writing is pretty much my life now, and I think it’s important to look outside that and learn something different, some totally new skill. My latest re-education venture is far different from writing—I’m learning to trim my horse’s hooves. I have a mare called Gencianna. Up until now, like most horses, she’s worn shoes. No more—she’s going barefoot, which means she needs a regular pedicure. And so far, it’s a lot harder than learning to plot.


So have you been back to “school” recently? What did you learn? And if not, is there anything you’re dying to study. Let me know for a chance to enter into this month’s draw.

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About Nina Croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

7 Responses to School for Grown Ups

  1. Cutting a horse’s nails? I had to learn how to cut a guinea pig’s nails and I thought that was tough. LOL

  2. Yay for learning new things. My most recent schooling is about writing. But classes I’ve taken in the past include weaving, cheese making, and soap making.

    • Nina Croft says:

      Hi Connie,
      I did an online course in cheese making a while back – when I thought I would start milking my goat – unfortunately she wasn’t too keen on the idea and she was stronger than me!

  3. Sutton Fox says:

    You’re brave, Nina. I can barely do my dogs nails, I can’t imagine trying to them for a horse!

    I think I’d really like to learn the art of oil painting. I love those stormy beach scenes and the mountain ones that look like you could walk right into them. 🙂

  4. I take the puppy to the groomer who clips his nails, but I try to clip the cat claws. If only I could master how to get that darn antibiotic cream in the cat’s eye when he has his yearly eye infection without getting scratched to ribbons…now that would be an accomplishment!

    As for writing, I take a few online classes every year – because there always seems to something I want to learn. So, yes, the learning never doe stop!

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