A Special Gateway to Knowledge and Financial Success

Will Newman

You'll have to excuse me if I sound conceited. But I don't know any other way of saying this.

What I’m about to say has to do with the huge difference in age between the students I volunteer with — who run from 11 to 14 years old — and me at 68 years old.

When I work with them, they’ll come to me with questions about something they're reading or studying. Something not immediately accessible to them.

I usually direct them toward some way of looking it up or finding the answer on their own. But sometimes, I must give them the answer.

So more than once, they've asked me, "Mr. Newman, how do you know so much?" (That’s the conceited part.)

I always tell them the same thing. I really don’t know that much. But my age has given me the opportunity to learn things they haven't.

I also tell them that at a very young age, I developed a passion for learning … pretty much learning anything. (For instance, I taught myself magic tricks and bookbinding just because I wanted to know how they were done.)

That passion for learning has stood me in good stead throughout my careers as a teacher and especially as a copywriter.

That passion hasn't changed over the years. What has changed are the ways I’m most comfortable learning.

I can remember my years in college. Scared at first being among 30,000 other students. Having to use a map to find my way around campus.

But I soon found joy in that environment. Walking among other members of the community. Going from building to building, sometimes having to run to make my next class. Hanging out in the libraries or food centers or on benches if the weather was warm enough.

When I returned to college several years after my first foray, my attitude about being on campus had changed. I was there for only one reason. To learn. Having to go from building to building annoyed me.

My attitude toward attending classes changed even more as time passed with the changing times and changing technology.

As I got older, I preferentially sought out what’s now called "remote learning" … things like webinars and home study programs.

Now, don't get me wrong, I truly love going to AWAI events to teach and learn. But truth be told, if I could get everybody here in my living room and office, I wouldn't travel at all.

That's why I find remote learning so convenient and effective. I can learn at my own pace. In my own familiar, comfortable environment. If I miss something, I can go back and review it, as often as I want.

And I use remote learning frequently. For instance, for no other reason than "I want to," I'm relearning calculus from Columbia University online classes. No credit. No pressure. But I'm having a ball.

So, in thinking about writing this essay, I tried to find if there were other reasons I enjoy remote learning beyond convenience.

Something surprised me when I looked deeply. My enjoyment corresponds closely with when I began developing and teaching Circle of Success Targeted Learning Programs for AWAI.

Looking back has given me insight into remote learning from both sides.

I can see how effectively information can be given to the students. And I see how quickly they learn. How effectively they retain and apply the information they learned.

Remote learning — being able to study at home or in your local library — is a gateway. A gateway to knowledge and success. And if you’re thinking about copywriting as a way to the writer's life, it can be your gateway to that life.

I’d love to hear how you’ve used remote learning to progress along your journey to the writer's life … or how you might use it in the future to help you attain that life. Please comment below and let us know.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: March 1, 2017

19 Responses to “A Special Gateway to Knowledge and Financial Success”

  1. I have studied several AWAI programs from the comfort of home. I really enjoy learning that way because I can go at my own pace. I can receive feedback from my instructor and other students on my posted writing assignments for the programs in the groupsite forums.


  2. I love AWAI's programs. But I am a terrible procrastinator. Recently, I took a free MOOC pilot course, full of valuable information, etc. The difference was that I had to set an appointment to call a coach. The coach simply reviewed my homework assignment, determined that I understood the material, and then opened the next lesson for me to begin. It was amazing and I got the work done with a certificate of completion, my first. Wondering if AWAI could do something similar.


  3. ..online learning is the primary focus for adult learners...

    Guest (KGS)

  4. I love online learning. With the Internet, there is no limit to what you can learn from the comfort of wherever you are. There is no way I would be able to afford to travel or attend "regular" classes to meet my insatiable curiosity.

    Stella B

  5. Hi Will, I love online learning. Mostly it's the opportunity to study whatever I want, whenever I want. That includes several AWAI courses, and others from Udemy, Copyblogger etc.

    I also take Craftsy courses to satisfy a need to play with color.

    And I'm learning to play the violin with one live class a month, and help from instructors on Youtube. What a wonderful and enriching vehicle!

    P.S. And to think I once wondered what on earth I would do with a computer if I had one.


  6. Will, I also became interested in extra learning when I got into seeing how one could learn at their own pace. Attending a class wasn't available and I needed to be home being a care-giver at the time. I'm surprised the children don't know how to lookup on the internet. Alot of the schools now are providing a site where kids are able to get help with their homework through within the school. It's great they have you to help them. Remote learning is a great resource anyone can take advantage of.


  7. My experience includes over 20 years of developing classroom and online training. More and more, we hear from students, "I did not need to come here to learn this."Learning solutions are making increasing use of technology such as online resource centers to deliver just-in-time learning. Many of the same techniques I see in AWAI courses apply when drawing students into training. I hope to use that experience as my gateway to success.

    Guest (Alisa Mead)

  8. Greetings Will, We are the same age. I started an Advanced Algebra correspondence class when my ship left Pearl Harbor for a 6 month cruise to Southeast Asia. When we returned I had hardly completed anything. Everything was done by US mail, it took about 6 weeks to send a lesson in and get a reply back. If I needed help I had no support on the ship. Just saying.
    I do sell a course now with international deliveries and offer email and phone 24-7 support for High Voltage Corona problems.

    Guest (Dan Ninedorf)

  9. I remotely earned my M.A. from U.S.F. while teaching. It was wonderful. However, instructors came to the school where I taught.

    And now, I love learning from home on my trusty computer. AWAI all the way.

    Guest (Beverly Mendenhall)

  10. Personally I enjoy a "classroom" type of learning situation rather sitting at home alone reading something off of a computer screen. It's really dull and boring that way! In a classroom setting, things can be discussed to stimulate thinking.

    That's my story and I am sticking to it.

    Guest (H James Hulton III)

  11. I am more aware than you know. Just trying to figure one crucial thing out

    Guest (Aware)

  12. Since I was a youngster I knew I was a good writer. However, at the ripe old age of 76 my first to fiction novels were published under my pen name of Don Strong. One can buy them at Amazon, Their names are Were those really the good 'ole days and the Legend of Quincy Stone. I am in the process now of writing short stories. If you have any interest in reading them please email me at mdpar3@gmail.com.

    Guest (imnezrider)

  13. Hi Will Remote Learning,is a part of people's lives,and they keep notes on ,what they learn from You. Thank's


  14. Will: Taking a COS Targeted Learning Class with you (as well as working with you on a Writer's Life article) has been a sheer joy. Living off-grid as I do, if it weren't for remote learning I'd have to get "all my schoolin'"from books. Don't get me wrong. Books are great, but there's no hands-on interaction with someone who actually lives the life. The classes are more like having a real-time mentor. Folks, check into COS and the Targeted Learning classes. It'll be the best money you ever spend.

    Guest (Tom Coalson)

  15. I've become an avid remote learner. I can read manuals + written instructions and apply them to the learning process. However, once I was confident that I could REALLY access purchased programs "forever", I learned to truly appreciate the medium. Many times I return to the lesson and "hear" more details that I missed on the first or second go around. I take better notes, too.
    I like the ability to revisit when it fits my schedule - in just a few minutes or more than an hour or half day.


  16. Hi Will, great to meet remotely. It's rare for me to comment like this, but your post on remote learning resonated with me. Though I attended law school in the flesh, I acquired my writing degree from the streets of the internet, i.e., remotely. Oscar-nommed movie scripts, books on Kindle, articles like yours, and of course webinars -- all constitute the curriculum of my quest. As a result, I've written two published books, have two co-writes hitting shelves this month, and two more - another co-write and a ghostwrite - will arrive this spring-summer. Yes, because of learning remotely, people pay me to help them write their books. 6 figures is my goal for this year, and I'm well on my way. God bless. Steve Eggleston

    Guest (Steve Eggleston)

  17. I,like you,am over 65. Attending college for any writing courses at my age is laughable. Heck, it was laughable in my 30s. Online learning is pretty much anonymous at ANY age, wearing pajamas, scarfing a pizza, sporting computer glasses! Technology I can appreciate. LOL


  18. Thank you, Will. I can attest to the validity of your essay. Writing is now my fifth career (they run in 21 year cycles; I'm well into my 8th decade on this planet and not a day has gone by that I haven't learned something new). This extended opportunity has produced an insatiable thirst for learning. However it doesn't guarantee wisdom! I appreciate YOU.

    Guest (Royce)

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)