Become a Master Storyteller: Writing Courses to Reach your Goals

Are you ready to unlock your creative potential and embark on a transformative writing journey? As writers, we all yearn to captivate readers with our unique stories, ideas and frameworks.  20 years ago, a book saved my life. Your voice, your message can be a lifeline for readers and change the landscape of our culture. This can sound like a daunting mission but the good news is that you don’t have to navigate this path alone. In this blog post, we’ll explore the power of writing courses and how they can empower you to become a master author.

Mastering the Art of Storytelling

Whether you’re writing a fiction, non-fiction, spiritual, personal growth, business, leadership, or memoir book, using story effectively will be an essential step in creating impact for your reader and getting you on the bestseller list.

Readers remember content told through story significantly more than content delivered in data, straight information or summary.

This is where the adage “show, don’t tell” comes into play. 

See if these two examples feel different to you:

  1. During WWII, my great uncles were split into different troops. After months of painful separation they found each other at midnight mass on Christmas Eve. 

Now, if you’re interested in family or WWII stories (this one is true) you might remember this mini story. But see if it lands any differently here:

  1. “Have you seen Jerry L’Herault- know if he’s alive?” This is the question my Uncle Bud asked every Sargeant, General, Captain and Private he came across in the long months between the D-Day invasion when he was sent to Omaha Beach and his brother Jerry was sent to  . . . he had no idea where Jerry had been sent.

    At night, the longing to see his brother ate at his liver. The loneliness was so bad, sometimes he’d get wet bowels and throw up the canned meat he’d had for dinner. His division moved from Normandy to countless towns and villages. By December, they’d been taken deep into the Ardennes. The Army-issued wool coats were warm but no match for the cold. The tents were crap. Even sleeping, the men looked like they were smoking when they breathed. Christmas Eve seemed unbearable. He thought of his mother, now dead, singing Ava Maria in the kitchen as she hand-pressed almond Spritz cookies onto baking sheets. There was no smell of almond essence, melting butter, or the crunch of sugar here. 

That evening, the men were told there’d been a cease fire and they could go to church at midnight if they wished. Bud marched with a couple of other guys, also Catholic, through the snow and under the stone archway of the small chapel. The stained glass windows fogged with the heat of bodies. Thick incense snaked in coiled clouds into the air. Bud coughed. 

There was music. A single cantor opened her mouth at the lectern. Ava Maria. It was too much. Bud’s vision smeared. He wiped his face with the sleeve of his jacket. That’s when he saw him. Jerry. Head bowed, two rows up and to the right. Must be a hallucination. What Freud would call “wish fulfillment.” But then the boy turned. It was Jerry. No doubt. Bud shoved past the men in his pew. The singer reached a high C. “Jerry,” Bud yelled. Mass could be damned. Jerry was here, alive, real.” 

What did you notice between the two versions? Whether you like the short, quick style of version one, or the more descriptive paragraphs of version 2, the question is if you found one more memorable or impactful than the other? 

When we write in story, versus summary or data, we bring the reader “into the room” with us. Before I took writing classes I didn’t know the 3 simple moves we can make as writers to elevate our writing from beginner to pro:

  1. Sensory description
  2. Details vs general
  3. Dialogue

Like many of us who’ve not had the opportunity or inclination to take a creative writing course, I’d first write something general.  Example: My mother drove up in her car. 

But think about how much more your reader will engage with your story if you use some sensory detail.

It was May and already humid when my mother drove up in her car. 

We now know the time of year and setting (somewhere warm.) It’s not a ton but the reader is drawn in more than in the first sentence. They may even feel the sticky heat on their arms.

Let’s add details vs generalities.

It was May and already humid in Vermont when my mother drove up in her Mercedes. 

Compare that to:

It was May and already humid in Charleston when my mother drove up in her station wagon.


It was May and already humid in Nebraska when my sixty-year-old mother drove up in her VW Van. 

Without giving a whole bunch of data, we know quite a bit about the mother in your book for just one sentence. We know something about each mother’s socioeconomic status (or at least access), geography, and in one example, her age. This creates interest in the reader, curiosity and a desire to read more.

Now let’s add dialogue.

It was May and already humid in Charleston when my mother drove up in her station wagon. “Get in,” she yelled, loud enough for the neighbors to hear. “I just left your father.”

It was May and already humid in Vermont when my mother drove up in her Mercedes. “Vite! Vite! Allons-y. It’s done.” 

In the first example we have a whole dramatic plot started. The mother has just left the father. In two sentences, you’ve built a world. 

In the second, we know the mother is French or at least speaks some French. We may be curious about where she’s rushing to, or where you are and if the family is visiting from a French speaking country, or if this is an affectation. And we’re likely curious about what’s “done.”

There are many simple but powerful “moves” we can make to elevate our writing to more masterful status. Some writers say they learned the craft only through reading other people’s books.

Gaining Invaluable Knowledge and Expertise

When you “go pro” by taking a writing course or working with a mentor, you’ll learn the secret tricks great writers use to place their work in high demand. As an author and thought leader who availed herself of these pro strategies, you’ll be asked to write articles, guest blog and write more books. Entrepreneur colleagues told me I was wasting my time by taking writing classes. “Everyone knows how to write.” But as Mark Twain said, “the difference between a good word and the right word is like the difference between a lightning bug and lightning.” 

By enrolling in writing courses and workshops, you gain access to top authors and quickly learn and employ their insights, techniques, and strategies that can help you refine your storytelling abilities. The best part: you’ll receive personalized feedback and constructive critique that sharpens your skills and hones your ability to wield words with precision. With the guidance of these experienced instructors, you’ll navigate the intricate nuances of writing with confidence, paving the way to your massive success!


Refining Your Writing Technique

Every writer has a unique style, and good writing courses and workshops will empower you with techniques and strategies to make YOUR style shimmer, not impose someone else’s style on your writing. As sensational as Maya Angelou and Tony Morrison and Brene Brown’s books are, the world already has access to their voices. Now we need your voice, your style, your brilliance. 

Engaging in workshops or critique sessions allows you to gain different interpretations of your work, identify blind spots, and receive constructive criticism that helps you refine your writing technique. These courses provide the ideal space for growth and self-discovery. Combining craft with your brilliance will bring the world something new, and readers will love you for it. 

Finding Your Unique Voice

Your writing “voice” is exactly what will separate you from other writers. Are you funny, persuasive, inspirational, or wacky and sardonic like David Sedaris? Bringing YOU to the page is the goal and you do that by pairing your one-of-a-kind voice with masterful craft. 


Understanding the Business of Writing

Many of my clients wish they could write a book, slap it up on Amazon and millions of people would find and read it. But the business of writing is an entirely second role that all authors must master. 

Becoming a bestselling author requires more than just captivating storytelling; it also demands a deep understanding of the publishing industry’s business side. Attending publishing and book marketing courses is a crucial step for anyone that wants to make a big impact and achieve financial success with her book. 

In our Thought Leader Academy, we spend as much, (or more!), time on the marketing, platform-building and monetizing aspects of writing your book as we do on the craft. Both are important and both are essential to reaching your vision of becoming a successful, published author. 

Thanks to the pandemic, you can now find excellent business and publishing masterclasses, workshops, retreats and classes online. You can do these courses in your yoga pants or your pajamas but you’ll want to dedicate yourself to learning the business in addition to the craft when you start your book. I host at least two free writing/publishing classes a month and there are many generous leaders in the publishing industry who do the same. Twenty years ago, learning the business of writing was challenging. Access was limited to more gatekeepers from the publishing giants in New York, London and Berlin. As an author myself and a book coach, I believe now is the best time in history to publish a book!

Building a Supportive Writing Community

You’ll reach success years faster by being part of a writing community. My career and life opened up in the most exciting ways by joining writing groups and participating in the literary and entrepreneur community. Because of showing up in groups, I’ve been invited to speak on stages, appear on podcasts, moderate panels and present at writing conferences. Big groups have rallied for my book launches and I do the same for theirs. Life, writing, business is so much more pleasurable when we do it in community.  Peer feedback, group discussions, and networking opportunities create a sense of camaraderie that will keep you going and magnify your impact when you publish. 

Embrace the Opportunities for Growth

Ultimately, your journey to becoming a published, bestselling author is one of self- transformation. You’re stepping into a new identity, a new version of yourself.

You deserve the journey to be joyful, fun, inspiring and motivating. This will happen when you go to in person or online classes and events. Every time I go to a “write-in”, take a workshop or gift myself a weekend at a writing conference, I leave vibrating with ideas, passion and excitement about my next book. At the AWP writing conference (an annual event that typically has over 20,000 writers and publishers in attendance) I leave on a high. That excitement and gratitude and new ideas sustain me for months. 

You could attend a writing course or workshop every day for a year online and never leave your home. It’s that easy to get filled up now. 

Enrolling in a writing course will unleash your creative potential, refine your skills, and connect you with a supportive community. Embrace the transformative power of writing courses and embark on a journey that will shape you into a master storyteller. Your dreams of captivating readers and making a lasting impact are within reach. Join us on this extraordinary adventure and discover the writer you were always meant to be.

If you’re reading this, it’s your turn to take your writing to the world.

Learn about our free writing courses and ignite your creative fire.

Don’t forget to join us every Monday at 12:00 ET in The Thought Leader Lounge for valuable tips on writing like a pro and reaching the bestseller list. Plus, check out our inspiring video on the power of writing courses here: