For Tobie's birthday this year, I got him a subscription to MasterClass - you know, the celebrity online learning site which runs ads like EVERYWHERE. But it was around that time that they had announced that Neil Gaiman would be teaching a class on storytelling and so it felt like a great gift idea. But as is the nature of our life, it's a shared account that we can both benefit from, so it's a pretty versatile gift.
We're trying to go through the Neil Gaiman lessons together but that still leaves us free to explore individual courses independently. Thus I know Tobie has explored both the novel writing course by Dan Brown and the magic class by Penn and Teller. And in order for me to also maximize the benefits of the one-year subscription, I've started taking the Margaret Atwood writing class.
Neil Gaiman's class feels like his books - lofty, sometimes high concept but at the end of the day emotionally impactful. He has great advice but he also sets a bar for how you want to feel. There's something about the way he speaks that just lends itself terribly well to storytelling.
Margaret Atwood has the pragmatic tone of someone who has been doing this a long time. At times she expresses the gleeful humor of a grandmother but then turns things around and just reminds you that writing is a lot of work and if you want to write, you just need to do the work.
I haven't done any serious creative writing in years despite Tobie repeatedly encouraging me and reminding me to get started on my writing. I always feel like I have no stories to write or at least no stories to actually write down. These are honest feelings that have been holding me back but at the same time, they're also excuses I know I've been using to not even try. I'm not quite sure if these online courses will finally help me kick past this writer's block that I may or may not have created for myself.
I'm not sure, but this does feel right. At the very least, it all feels quite inspiring.