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A universal trait of writers, and particularly freelance writers, involves that they enjoy learning. Of course, writers generally are readers and likely will learn something from anything that they read. Many writers, however, also like to mix up their learning with different types of activities: some of which involve extensive reading as a subset such in a formal academic setting.

There are many less traditional ways that writers can enjoy learning experiences, however and no writer is likely to have run across them all so a web article with some suggestions could have value for writers as they plan upcoming learning experiences: of which too many to cover in a single article.

A traditional academic program has an obvious nature, of course. The three next closest things to that would involve distance learning programs offered by a traditional academic college as most of them have these days. The next closest thing to this would be traditional correspondence courses offered by privately run schools. Finally, you can find a variety of writing-related courses on the Internet, including some that are free. Most of the correspondence courses and online courses in writing-related programs have a self-paced nature although some do require regular interaction with the instructors or have a maximum time to complete the course.

The next place to look for learning experiences may involve your own family. If you have older relatives with information about different ways from their younger days, you can ply them for information, encourage them to write it down or tape record their memories, or a combination of such activities.

Many communities also offer learning opportunities. These include library programs with guest speaker, history rooms, or both. They may also offer resources such as historical societies which preserve information and artifacts on the historical character of the city. The historical society in Lynn, Massachusetts, for example has a collection largely focused on the historical shoe industry and vintage fire apparatus: both of which played an important part in city history.

Museums also make an excellent place to seek out learning experiences. Within the broad range of museums you can find a variety of specialized choices. You can find museums that focus on the surrounding area, science museums, museums not only devoted to transportation but to specific types of transportation such as trolleys or steam locomotives, and a type of museum known as the living history museum.

Living history museums to greater or lesser degree recreate the way of life of an earlier period. Such museums often include a recreated town or village, exhibits of the kind of transportation the inhabitants would have made use of, craftsperson exhibits, and role players who enact the lives of residents of the town or village. You can find such living history museums scattered throughout the United States.

National parks are another place to find a different type of unusual experience. Some such parks have a unique nature. For example, the National Park in Lowell, Massachusetts teamed up with a state park to offer a multi-dimensional tour experience that includes tours of recreated mills as well as the opportunity for brief riding experiences on different vintage vehicles. This unusual federal-state combination operation allows the visitor to explore the unique transportation system that, historically, served the Lowell shoe and textile industry mills. This unusual system incorporated interconnected linkages or hubs between a lock-serviced canal system, a trolley system, and a railroad system.

These are just some of many examples of ways writers looking to enhance their learning experiences can consider some different types of educational experiences than they may previously have thought about themselves.


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