Essential Writing Skills

Elaine Welteroth

Lesson time 06:09 min

Elaine teaches you how to defeat writer’s block and find your voice.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Essential Writing Skills • Mimic Your Manager in Professional Writing • Make It Voice-y • Overcoming Writer’s Block •


[MUSIC PLAYING] - In any field, good clear writing is an essential tool to connect with the world. So in this lesson, I'll offer some tips on great writing across genres from email to Instagram and Twitter to books. It's critical to learn how to hone your voice and communicate it effectively in order to get your work out in the world and to communicate what matters to you. [MUSIC PLAYING] Good writing is crucial for any creative field that you're operating in. And for me personally, developing good writing skills has been such a critical aspect of developing my career. And it's something that I look for in my collaborators. It's something that I'm inspired by. You know it when you see it. And it's really important that you learn how to develop your authentic voice and your professional voice. And they are not the same thing, especially when you're representing a company, right? And that professional voice is distinct from your authentic voice that you might use in your creative work, whether it's writing a book or whether it's Instagram captions or Twitter. There's a different cadence. There's a different flair. [MUSIC PLAYING] Let's start with the professional voice. Because for a lot of us, we start out our careers working for someone else. Listen. For some of us, we've been writing emails for a lifetime. And we could do it in our sleep. But for other people, no one's really ever sat you down and said, this is how you structure a professional email. So if you feel a little insecure about how you're communicating over email, don't worry. One hack that I used throughout my early career was modeling my manager's email style. So I really studied how they communicated in email. And I made sure that format matched their format, right? So if they said, dear Elaine, my response would say, dear Cindy. If they said, hey, Elaine, I might write back, hi, Cindy. Hey is extra casual, so I would err on the side of formality. Try to avoid casual language, overfamiliarity, excessive use of exclamation points. Find your flow. Then proofread, and then proofread again. You want to make sure that you're communicating your professionalism and that you're not distracting from the points that you're making. And to that point, please no essays in email. Folks not going to read your email if it's this long. Brevity is key when it comes to professional writing in emails. [MUSIC PLAYING] Now let's talk about your authentic voice and finding your voice, honing your voice, and really being able to communicate in the most creative way that you can. When you're writing a caption for Instagram for example, it's really about being authentic to your true voice. In my magazine career, whether I was writing or editing, I was always focused on making it voice-y. And what does that mean? Does it sound like you? If not, say the thing out loud. Like literally voice it, and then write exactly as you spoke it. Because, often, that's...

About the Instructor

After a decade in her dream job as editor in chief of Teen Vogue, award-winning journalist Elaine Welteroth realized she had other dreams worth pursuing. Now, the New York Times bestselling author, multimedia trailblazer, and judge on the new Project Runway is teaching you how to get out of your comfort zone and harness your personal values, passions, and skills to custom design a career path as unique as you are.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Elaine Welteroth

Former Teen Vogue editor in chief and multimedia icon Elaine Welteroth teaches you how to harness your values, skills, and passions to create your dream career path.

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