I’ve recommended online learning platforms before, but never with such vigor as I do with Masterclass. Although it may sound like a made-over TED Talk, it cpuld help you explore another side of writing or pull you through the trenches of a long, creative project. These lectures delivered by journeyed professionals could be the spark you need in your hackneyed writing routine or help you rediscover meaning in your work. Among the better reasons to at least try it, it’s only 180 for an annual membership, half of what any single writing class would be, and will expose you to at least four different semesters of classes.
And yes, you get your fantasy of an intimate conversation with a celebrity almost fully realized. So, here are the five reasons you should go through with it (creep).
1. Get advice from people who know what they’re f***ing doing.
As much as I’m an advocate for myself, seriously, why are you taking my advice? Do you know who I am? Have you even read my about section? Regardless of whether you can validate my recommendation for Masterclass, you can go to the website and see the comprehensive list of successful writers and editors who work in a myriad of genres and fields. Some of the hot names right now are Aaron Sorkin, Malcolm Gladwell, Judy Blume, and James Patterson.
And of course, I wouldn’t miss a beat in telling you that you decide success for yourself (but is that really the reason why you seek my advice?). But, I would also add these figures are successful in more ways than the one they’ve defined for themselves: as business people who market their own work, storytellers who can captivate a wide range of people, and, apparently, thanks to excellent directing, fantastic lecturers who create an intimate conversation across a computer screen.
2. Ask the questions you want without hearing the stoner blab on about quantum lasagna.
If you hate the human race like I do, then Masterclass is for you. Everyone knows the white stoner who said something out of line about civil rights then defend his missteps and identity for an hour of lecture. Yeah, we had to listen to that sh*t. On our dime. I did a tally once about how long it took for a Spock-looking guy get off his rant about how Google was a modern allegory for Satan—in a statistics class—and it cost me approximately 50 dollars. For just three times as much, I could’ve gotten a membership to Masterclass for the whole year and listened to the only people who matter.
3. Own the stereotype as the reclusive and reluctantly social writing stereotype.
You don’t have to talk to people or deal with the aroma of their Tupperware contained salmon Caesar salad. Instead, you can eat in the dignity of your own home and enjoy masterfully produced and intimately composed lectures.
4. Learn at the pace of your projects.
The reason why you’re taking a writing class is to become a better writer and, I would hope, to put this effort towards some big project you have in mind. Now, Masterclass does have assignments in the form of PDFs with a summary and several review questions at the end of each 10-15 minute lecture (there are about 20-30 lectures per class). But, you don’t have to turn them in. Better yet, if you want to incorporate a question you have about the class with respect to your own passion project, you can record it and send it directly to them. You’ll get an answer, and know that Masterclass will never be an obstacle to your writing intentions (screenwriters, c wut I did thur?).
5. “Professor, can you speak as if in front of an audience of toddlers so my hand can keep up?”
The lectures don’t expire, like some BS some other platform might try and pull. For as long as the term lasts, you can go back and reference the recorded lectures that look straight Netflix production grade (as opposed to what you would’ve recorded on your Android from the fifth row).
If you’re interested in taking a Masterclass, you could split the membership with a friend. Or, you can take the plunge for yourself and sign up here.
Melanie Falconer is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. Her writing mainly concerns philosophy, personal experiences, cultural commentary, and her love of the visual and performing arts. If you’d like to reach out to her, you can do so here.