David Sedaris has about 6hrs of content on Masterclass. After going through the course, here are my top 10 biggest take aways. For further reading about our review system go back to the first article here.
1. Write all day. 4hrs minimum.
2. The opening line is everything.
3. Writing is rewriting.
4. The work you do when it’s a struggle is work you couldn’t create when you’re in a flow state.
5. Fear all the essays that you’ll never write by losing a day’s work.
6. Always be searching for story. No Small Talk. Go deep with strangers from the jump.
7. Conversely, go small in your stories. Craft allows for small moments to have high stakes.
8. Despite the opening being everything. Spend the most time on your ending. End with weight.
9. Other countries don’t know your memes. (Pop culture references.)
10. Comedy trick, describe magical things (like ridic sitcom premises) with dry humor. Play the straight man. (If you go to the Macy’s Day Parade, describe it like you don’t know it’s the Macy’s parade, and there are just worshiped balloons strolling down the street. Stuff like that.)
Biggest take away:
I’ve gone through three masterclasses so far out of the 18 writers they have available. And all three have had some variation of, “People ask me how to get published, and I ask them, did you write every day this week?” No one ever says yes. Their takeaway is, stop asking, “How do I get published?
Instead, start asking, “How do I get better?” It was a wake up call.
David Sedaris put it kind of like this near the end of his talks, “A woman came up to me, she was in her eighties, she said, ‘Oh, I’d love to write a book someday.’ And I looked at her and said, you better hurry up. You’ll be dead before you do it. So many people say it’s their dream to be a writer… and then they die.” (All the links are affiliate links and all the quotes are misquotes. But you get the gist.)
If you think Masterclass will help you be a better writer, sign up. It definitely has me writing more. Even if it’s listicles like this one.