I've taken the plunge, and enrolled in one fiction writing subject at Gotham. There are many more available if I decide I've gained a lot from this one. Although there are a couple of university writing courses run locally I've always turned away from them, for two reasons. One is that they are horrendously expensive. Two is that I don't want to have to complete certain subjects which don't really interest me in order to gain a qualification (I already have far too many of those), and universities can over-emphasize the theoretical. I also wanted to do an online course where the lack of a physical self might loosen the stereotypes that come with being physically present. We all summarise one another to an extent: young, old; male, female; hip, frumpy; black, white etc. If appearance is irrelevant then the mind and its work becomes more visible. That's my theory anyway.
I'll post an assessment of the course as it progresses for anyone who might be interested, Barbara