≡ Menu
neil-gaiman-masterclass-review

If you’ve come to my small corner of the blogosphere to find out if Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass: Teaches the Art of Storytelling is worth the money, let me answer in three words:

Good. God. Yes.

Before I dive in, let me clarify that I’m not an affiliate for MasterClass, so all opinions are my own. I’m also an All-Access Pass member, which currently costs $180.00. I highly recommend this to all writers, since MasterClass offers thirteen classes by well-renowned authors such as James Patterson, Dan Brown, and Margaret Atwood. But if you can only afford to pay for one class, I do believe Neil Gaiman’s is worth the money!

neil-gaiman-masterclass-review

Here’s what it includes:

  • Nineteen videos, each approximately 20-25 minutes, around five hours total.
  • A downloadable PDF workbook full of extended information for each video lesson, plus tons of writing exercises, and further recommended reading or online references.
  • Access to a community forum that I didn’t take advantage of. Not yet, at least.
  • Enough inspirational quotes to fill a notebook or Pinterest board.
neil-gaiman-masterclass-review

When I started this MasterClass earlier this year, I was in a bit of a writing rut.

Well, that’s an understatement. I was at a severe low-point with my mental health and felt as though I’ve lost my voice, which led me to take an extended social media break at the end of February before COVID threw all of us for a loop.

Even from the trailer alone, I was completely enamored by the calm, confident creative energy that oozes from Neil Gaiman, making me aware of how much I’ve lost touch with my creative spirit.

And how badly I wanted it back.

In my class, I’m going to tell what stories are. I’m going to give you some tips, I’m going to give you some exercises, and most of all, I’m going to give you a little push forward that you might not have had.

He ain’t kidding.

I mean, my God. The man is a total genius and yet he somehow made it seem reasonable and possible for me to reach my writing goals … with lots of hard work, of course. His lessons were wonderfully designed to build upon each other, starting with inspiring classes about:

  • Truth in Fiction
  • Inspiration
  • Finding your Voice
  • and Developing Story.
neil-gaiman-masterclass-review

I must admit that the pen addict in me also loved it when he explained the need for each writer to have a compost heap, opening his jacket pocket to reveal an inner pocket full of pens.

I think it’s really important for a writer to have a compost heap. Everything you read, things that you write, things that you listen to, people you encounter, they can all go on the compost heap and rot down, and out of them, grow beautiful stories.

neil-gaiman-masterclass-review

After hearing this, I immediately went to Amazon to buy these little beauties, (affiliate link,) that are quite wonderful and make for pretty pink compost heaps to keep in my purse. Or black, green, orange, blue, if pink doesn’t suit you. 😉

I also truly enjoyed his three case studies where he read some of his short stories out loud which corresponded to his lessons on:

  • Short Fiction
  • Dialogue/Characters
  • World Building
  • Description
  • and Humor

I didn’t gain much from his lessons on Genre and Comics, but his last four lessons on:

  • Writers Block
  • Editing
  • Rules
  • and Responsibilities are one that I will come back to time and time again.
neil-gaiman-masterclass-review

Now. About the downloadable PDF.

Holy cow. Usually, I don’t pay much attention in general to printable worksheets since many are just repeats of what was shared throughout the lessons. Not this time. Each corresponding workbook is an expansion, offering even more information and tips that kept my highlighter busy. Neil Gaiman also offers many writing exercises, both ones that are standalone and can be done for your novel in progress.

I had SO MUCH FUN with the one about a fairy tale character seeking mental health, told from the viewpoint of a therapist. For mine, I chose the hunter who killed Bambi’s mom.

Turned out quite interesting, I must say.

The workbook alone was so informative it could easily be expanded into a writing craft book. I know I will be referring back to mine quite often!

As mentioned before, the class also comes with an active community feature, where attendees share thoughts, questions, and submit their writing exercises for feedback. I haven’t taken advantage of this … there’s only so many hours in a day, but it would be invaluable for beginning writers or anyone searching for a sense of community.

My overall thoughts:

Is Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass worth it?

Who is it for?

Beginning and intermediate writers as well as advanced writers in need of inspiration and a push.

Who is it not for?

Hmm, I think all writers have something to learn from this. But if you’re looking for solid, fundamental craft advice and tips for getting published and finding an agent, then this isn’t for you.

What’s the biggest lesson you learned from Neil Gaiman?

Hmm. Good question. The part where he stresses the importance of FINISHING a story or manuscript really hit home with me, seeing as how I have countless incomplete manuscripts gathering dust in my computer.

“You learn more from finishing a failure then you do from writing a success. And you definetely learn more from finishing a failure than you ever do from beginning something that is fantastic but stop.”

This inspired me to start writing more short stories and doing writing exercises. In one sitting you can finish something … a beginning, middle, and an end, DONE. Most of them end up being complete terds, but sometimes a little gem appears, so of which I’m including in a short story collection on Wattpad for shits and giggles!

My Previous MasterClass Reviews

Now, what about you?

Have you taken Neil Gaiman’s or any other MasterClass? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Until then, I wish you lots of happy writing with creative courage!

{ 0 comments }

I have my mother to thank for my healthy attitude toward aging.

She’s the reason why I never lie about my age and why I think the whole ‘you should never ask a lady her age’ is an outdated concept that needs to go. I mean, honestly. Nobody ever says, ‘never ask a man his age,’ so if us older gals want society to view our age as an asset instead of a liability … then it begins with us and how we view ourselves.

How old am I? Fifty-one, thanks for asking!

[continue reading…]
{ 0 comments }

Hello, again …

… it’s been a while since my last blog post! I hope all is wonderful on your end and that you’ve been surviving this insane year!

We’ve been doing well and it feels great to be blogging again, no matter how few people are actually reading this. 😉 Turned out, taking a break from social media was one of the best things I’ve done for myself in a long time.

Such a good thing.

Of course, all the plans I’ve made for myself during this break, (and your plans as well,) have been thrown a massive curveball called 2020 … and what’s really sad about this meme is that it still doesn’t cover everything!

But along with the bad, good things have also happened on our end that I’m thankful for. Our business is surviving, we’ve had some amazing family time and fun at the beach, and we’ve grown even closer with our kids!

Speaking of kids, my eldest finished college and is set to graduate with his second bachelor’s degree in December, and my youngest? HE GOT MARRIED!!

The wedding was simply perfect: small, intimate, and charming. They’re still going to have their larger postponed celebration next June, but they wanted to get married this year and they couldn’t have done it in a better way!

We just adore his wife, Kimberly, who has the most AMAZING parents and friends! We’ve all felt like family for a long time now and I’m tickled pink that it’s official now.

Oh, the fun times to come!

I’ve also found my voice again.

It’s been gone for a long time and no matter how many times I’d jump back into writing, I just could never find it. My voice even felt lost over at Joyful Miles, a place that’s felt like home for four years. That was my main goal … to rediscover my passion, find my mojo, and fall in love with writing again!

Okay, maybe I’m not as enthusiastic as this guy, LOL! And my creative courage still isn’t at 100%, I’m still trying to summon up the guts to start an Authortube channel and poor Joyful Miles is somewhat stagnant, although I put together a quick video about my Frederick Virtual Half Marathon experience and I was invited to participate in a fun video with some dear friends!

Oh my gosh, I was rusty and I didn’t realize I had left all my good equipment at the beach! But it felt amazing to share my voice again, however rusty it may be, and I can’t wait to share their video when it’s done!

So I’m thankful for taking the time during the past seven months withdrawing socially. I needed to refill my creative well by working on my novel, journaling, doing TONS of meditating, taking lots of walks, and writing morning pages like a madwoman, as well as blog posts. I have around 28 blog drafts written for here, ready to go!

Oh, and I’ve started Milwordy on October 1st that has been gorgeously kickstarted by Kate Cavanaugh! She and many other writers are taking on the challenge to write one million words in one year … yes, ONE MILLION, starting September 1, 2020!

I was really intrigued by this notion … but I knew it wasn’t realistic for me. The intimidation factor alone would make it too stressful. So I really loved the modification that Camille Myrick came up with. She’s going to write 500,000 words and read 500,000! My reading has been slacking, so I jumped in and started on October 1st, seeing as how things were too chaotic in September with Cooper and Kimberly’s wedding!

More on Milwordy later, since that topic is a whopper. Until then, thank you for reading this post and be sure to let me know how you’re doing in the comments! Take care!

{ 0 comments }

Cross-posted on Joyful Miles to save time. 😉

Well, I did it. Something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time but held off because A.) it’d be a waste of money seeing as how I’m not ready and I lack the talent, B.) I’d most likely flake and quit, just like I’ve done so many times before, and C.) the thought of jumping TERRIFIES ME.

But I did it anyway. I signed up for Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula 101 Course.

[continue reading…]
{ 5 comments }

I better get this post in quick tonight, since I’m about to start a two month digital detox … no blogging both here and at Joyful Miles, no YouTube, (other than watching videos while using my NuFace—momma needs her entertainment,) no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, no nothing.

Oh, Lawd.

I’ll be sharing my reasons why in a post tomorrow morning but the short version is I need to crawl into a cozy creative cave for a while in order to finish my novel. To just live in only two words for a while – mine and a fictional one. Maybe along the way I’ll gain some much-needed clarity and mental peace!

[continue reading…]
{ 0 comments }

Rejoice: Taking time for more joy in my life!

Don’t get me wrong. 2019 was absolutely amazing and fantastic in so many ways! I ran a marathon, finished a novel, took a wonderful cruise with family, saw Paris, and enjoyed many weekends at the beach, my happy place.

[continue reading…]
{ 0 comments }