I always thought that being a good or great or tremendous writer was something you were just born with.
While natural talent is, of course, a truth to be considered, I’ve now come to understand that like anything else, our creative genius increases and develops with practice + attention, no matter the format.
I believe I’ll always strive to be better at all things, but writing particularly is a place I aspire to be great. It is also an avenue in which I always kind of thought you were simply supposed to let it flow, and magic would spill out…or wouldn’t. You would just work with whatever you got.
That is until I watched the Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold special on Netflix. A freaking fantastic, raw, and touching tribute to a woman who changed the game of non-fiction writing, essays, and journalism (find my thoughts on her The Year Of Magical Thinking here).
I’ve now watched it at least 5 times.
Joan Didion was “born to be a writer”, as we are all born for something, and I always thought she had kind of just become that good through passion and drive (which, also, duh).
It wasn’t until a scene in this docu special where Joan is talking about a tough as nails editor she had had at VOGUE “who taught her how to write” that it hit me…If I want to be a great writer, I have to learn and push myself toward that end.
Learn. Practice. Grow. Repeat.
And so entered SKILLSHARE.
Skillshare has been my NUMERO UNO for so many different creative and entrepreneurial endeavours this year. So, it was THE first place I went when I decided I wanted to expand my writing horizons.
Sidenote: If you don’t know, Skillshare is a badass online learning community, with hundreds of classes available for FREE spanning dozens of creative fields. They also offer a FREE 2-week trial for their Premium Membership (which is amazing). You can crush A LOT of courses in 2 weeks. Everything from caligraphy to SEO mastery sessions awaits you in Skillshare.
***Now, back to our regularly scheduled program***
Over the last few months, I’ve poured myself into several different Skillshare classes and wanted to share my favourites with you.
If you are looking to take your writing to the next level or just become a better writer in general, every single one of these classes has something to offer you.
Here they be:
1. Communicate Ideas through Story with Alyssa Demirjian, Head of Brand & Content at Skillshare
Part of Skillshare’s Creativity and Innovation series, this short + sweet class on storytelling uses the beginnings of Skillshare as a company to exemplify the importance of communicating your ideas through stories.
Alyssa goes over the key elements of all great stories, and how you can turn any idea into a killer story in just 3 steps.
She provided perfectly relatable concepts with concrete examples, some actionable steps and a couple of cool resources to relate back to later.
I was shocked at how much I enjoyed and learned from this 11-minute class. It left me feeling inspired and motivated to craft some stories of my own. It’s almost like she’s a professional or something?
2. Creative Personal Writing: Write the Real You with Ashley C. Ford, Writer, Editor + Speaker
I decided to check this class out, out of curiosity mostly (my favourite driving force) and freaking LOVED it.
Ashley dives into how to craft stories from your memories. More than that, she teaches you how to reconnect with those memories that might seem a little fuzzy and pull them into the now so you can write the most compelling story possible and share it with the world.
It was an angle I hadn’t yet found in another writing course and loved it. You’re provided with clear examples from Ashley’s own writing with prompts and tips to help you recreate it for yourself.
Not to mention, Ashley is a great instructor. Super engaging, fun, and clearly passionate about what she does.
Another short + sweet class that left me feeling inspired and had my creative juices motherfreaking flowing.
3. Creative Nonfiction: Write Truth with Style with Susan Orlean, Best-Selling author, Staff Writer at the New Yorker
Creative non-fiction is a genre I Love love love and with the dawn of the digital age, it’s all over the map.
This class will bring you lots of insight into the art of writing itself, which makes it an amazing class for those of us who are not seasoned authors but, more than that, Susan Orlean walks you through her writing process.
- How she preps for writing.
- How she transforms subjects that may seem ordinary, into extraordinary stories.
- How she revises.
All the good stuff.
If you are the type of person who has a story inside of them they want to share (pssst we all have a story inside of us we want to share) but you’re not quite sure about the structure, or where to start…this is it. Start here.
Susan Orlean demonstrates the power of language, and your ability to wield it. Dramatic? Perhaps. But, I really loved this class.
I promise this class will be a game-changer for your creative process too.
4. Creative Writing for All: A 10-Day Journaling Challenge by Emily Gould, Writer
Before I say anything else, I’ve gotta say, Emily Gould is hilarious. She made this class so fun to watch as well as…honestly…freaking fantastic.
As the title states, it is a 10-Day journaling challenge aimed at getting your creative juices flowing.
If you are suffering from writer’s block, this class is the perfect pick for you. I guarantee it will have the ideas flowing in no time!
She gives you all kinds of examples and prompts. As well as, tricks to push you to revise your own work with honesty
5. Writing for Self-Discovery: 6 Journaling Prompts for Gratitude and Growth with Yasmine Cheyenne, Writer, Speaker, and Self-healing advocate
The title is pretty self-explanatory here.
This course is all about the power of journaling to help you build confidence, mindfulness, and growth.
I have found journaling to be an amazing way for me to build and explore my writing and, in this class, Yasmine demonstrates its power to help you self-heal.
You’re provided with 6 meditative writing prompts, different journaling styles and techniques, as well as tools to help you open your mind and be self-compassionate, so you can make the most of your writing.
I found this course helped me to view writing as a form of self-care, and thus, a daily ritual. Something that I have stayed true to several months later.
*You also get a printable journal, which is fun.
6. Creative Writing: Using Your Mistakes to Power Your Personal Essays with Emily Gould, Writer
After finishing her 10-day journaling challenge, I immediately looked up what other courses Emily Gould had to offer, and this is what I found.
Not upset about it at all.
In this class, Emily tackles the personal essay and shows you how it’s done.
She shares writing prompts, revision tips, and explores 3 of her favourite essays to show you the strategies you can adopt from the things you read.
It’s a great opportunity to explore your personal writing voice, and as a voracious reader, I found this class really cool. It was an interesting perspective on how to analyze her own writing, which, in turn, has allowed me to assess my own writing style from a different perspective.
I definitely recommend checking it out!
Well, there you have it!
6 Skillshare classes that have upped my writing game and have helped me make creativity a ritual and habit in my every day.