On Becoming a Better Writer

JFM

I am not a natural writer. Hell, I’m not even sure what constitutes a “natural writer.” Perhaps Joyce and Hemingway and Dostoevsky all shimmied out of the womb with a quill in hand, but alas I did not.

In fact, I didn’t even become interested in writing until I was in my twenties, and even then my attempts at cobbling together lines of prose were hideous at best, futile at worst. It wasn’t until I was twenty-eight, a mere three years ago, that I became serious about the craft.

These days, I receive innumerable questions about writing, most common of which is, “How do I become a better writer?” If I’ve learned anything over the last three years, it’s that I cannot make anyone a better writer. I can, however, help people write better. Much better, actually.

This is why, every so often, I teach an limited group of students How to Write Better, a class I’m teaching once again this autumn. My students—ranging from teenagers to Ph.D.’s, bloggers to businessmen, poets to fiction authors—have found tremendous value, have grown as writers, and have given me the opportunity to contribute to their successes.

How to Write Better is a four-week online class that takes an unconventional, intimate approach towards understanding the principles of beautiful, interesting writing. Although the spring and summer classes sold out completely, there are still open seats in the upcoming fall class. To learn more or to enroll, check out the class overview and syllabus. You can also peruse the glowing testimonials from past students.

Note: This class fills up every semester. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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