Ty Alexander (author of Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died) writes a blog post about how writing is magical.
Writing is magic. Period! It’s hard work but once you get good at it, you hold so much power in your hands. You can help someone see something from a different perspective. You can inspire someone. You can make someone feel seen, heard, and loved. It’s also a way for you to honor your own experiences, thoughts, and feelings. One of the most important things I did to sharpen my writing skills was taking a course on Masterclass. Here are some of the badasses on Masterclass who will help you fine tune your writing magic.
1. AMY TAN
Amy Tan Teaches Fiction, Memory and Imagination. What’s incredible about Amy’s career path is that when she was a child she didn’t read a lot of fiction then she went on to major in English in college. She didn’t start her writing career until she was 33 when she decided to take the leap and invest in developing her writing skills. Her class will help you find ways to take a fully lived life and transform it into a story you can share in a beautiful way that will connect with others. She will help you unlock your greatest tools in accomplishing this: your memory and imagination.
2. JUDY BLUME
Judy Blume Teaches Writing. This was the first Masterclass course I ever took and throughout this course, you’ll notice that Judy dives into the details of writing. Are you struggling with how to write for a younger audience? Not sure how to find ideas? Do you have a hard time creating characters? What about plot structure and dialogue? Judy helps with all of it. Plus, she does a case study of one of her own works, breaking down exactly how she used these exact tools in her own work.
3. ROXANE GAY
Roxane Gay Teaches Writing for Social Change. You may know her as the author of Bad Feminist, or for her writing in publications like The New York Times. In her masterclass, she talks about writing as a Black Feminist, writing from trauma, what her writing process looks like (including her research and editing processes), and how to make your voice heard. She also dives into something not everyone talks about and can sometimes be a mystery in the writing world: the business side of things. Plus, she shares some writing workshops that you won’t want to miss.
4. ISSA RAE
Issa Rae Teaches Creating Outside the Lines. You probably know Issa from her HBO show Insecure, but if you’re a true fan you know her from The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, which she self-produced and shared on YouTube. In this class, she shares how she learned to trust her vision and making her vision a reality. This masterclass is perfect for you if your focus is on more general content creation. She will teach you everything from figuring out where to start to how to get your ideas out there to how to collaborate and receive feedback.
5. JOYCE CAROL OATES
Joyce Carol Oates Teaches the Art of the Short Story. She has won the National Book Award for her writing and has taught for many years at Princeton University. And guess what? She structures her masterclass the same way she structures her Princeton University class. She talks about the importance of reading, how to nail down your structure and form, and how to even find your ideas and develop them into a short story. She even shares a writers workshop and two revision workshops.
6. MARGARET ATWOOD
Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing. You probably know her from her book The Handmaid’s Tale. She shares some incredible writing tools in her masterclass, including how to use the full power of your words to create a world and a story, how to solidify your structure, your point of view, taking advantage of small details to give life to your story, and how to maintain historical accuracy through research. My personal favorite: she addresses what to do when you’ve reached a roadblock.
7. SHONDA RHIMES
Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television. There’s nobody better to teach how to write for television than the creator of Shondaland, which comprises shows like Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Scandal. I love Shonda’s dedication to helping others reach the heights she has reached in her career. In an effort to do this, she explores everything you need to know: script structure, pitching your show, writing dialogue, working in a writers’ room, and breaking into the industry. Plus, she shares some case studies from pilots of her own shows.
Have you taken any of these classes? Share on social media and tag me @tyalexander on Instagram and @lovetyalexander on Twitter.
Want to focus in on your journal writing? Check out this post…
Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died
Coping with Loss Every Day
The grieving process: Ty Alexander of Gorgeous in Grey is one of the top bloggers today. She has a tremendous personal connection with her readers. This is never more apparent than when she speaks about her mother. The pain of loss is universal. Yet, we all grieve differently. For Alexander, the grieving process is one that she lives with day-to-day. Learning from her pain, Alexander connects with her readers on a deeply emotional level in her debut book, Things I Wish I Knew before My Mom Died: Coping with Loss Every Day. From grief counseling to sharing insightful true stories, Alexander offers comfort, reassurance, and hope in the face of sorrow.