From Malcolm Gladwell's MasterClass

Introduction

Meet your instructor—best-selling author and longtime New Yorker staff writer, Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm outlines what he has planned for your class and reflects on the idea of writing as a calling.

Topics include: Introduction

Play

Meet your instructor—best-selling author and longtime New Yorker staff writer, Malcolm Gladwell. Malcolm outlines what he has planned for your class and reflects on the idea of writing as a calling.

Topics include: Introduction

Malcolm Gladwell

Teaches Writing

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Preview

The act of writing about others is not a trivial act. It's not entertainment. It's not a distraction. You don't read nonfiction for the same reason that you chew gum or watch the Kardashians on television. You read it because you're in search of something powerful and fundamental about what it means to be a better person. Never done a class like this before, and I thought it'd be really fun to do because it's a chance for me to reflect on my career, which is, at this point is almost too long, really, really long, and help other people who would like to pursue a similar kind of line of work. One thing I want you to take away from this class is the idea of writing as a calling. It's an activity that has a higher purpose. It's part of the way in which we fulfill ourselves as human beings, both in the words that we write and in the words that we read. So over the course of these classes, we're going to talk about my career, we're going to talk about where I get ideas, we're going to talk about the techniques I use in my writing, about puzzles and tools and the virtues of withholding information, suspense. I'm going to talk about what I'm not good at as a writer and how I compensate for that. I'm going to talk about writers that I love and what I learned from them. I'm going to talk about what's satisfying to me about the work that I do, and I'm going to try and translate some of the insights I think I have gleaned from my years of writing in a form that I hope that you, listening, watching, can use. I'm Malcolm Gladwell and this is my MasterClass.

Transform the ordinary

Ketchup. Crime. Quarterbacks. Thanks to Malcolm Gladwell’s books, these ordinary subjects have helped millions of readers grasp complex ideas like behavioral economics and performance prediction. Now, the renowned storyteller and best-selling author of Blink and The Tipping Point is teaching his first online writing class. Craft stories that captivate by learning how Malcolm researches topics, crafts characters, and distills big ideas into simple, powerful narratives.

Reviews

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

Enjoyed learning the process of getting into other people's minds and getting ideas for stories.

Malcom Gladwell writes books that I love, but learning how the books are made is far more valuable, for making great things is what we all strive to do.

Malcolm Gladwell is someone that you will enjoy watching and learning from. The classes are insightful, full of ideas on how you can improve your writing. They are with someone who is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about their subject and wants to share that with the class.

Hi, I'm not sure yet how it does, but every time I watched a class I had an idea. I found myself taking advice and adapting to the style of short paragraphs to impact a longer one. I believe it was more effective, because now it is natural.

Comments

A fellow student

Liked the part about non-fiction being a calling. I've worked as a reporter, and conveying other people's ideas and positions has always struck me as an awesome responsibility, which news people aren't always good at. Doing that well, getting it right, and making it interesting is tricky. I'm hoping Gladwell has tips.

Hayley M.

I am really looking forward to the opportunity to learn how Gladwell gets ideas for his writing. I definitely struggle with forming full ideas, and shooting down ideas I have that do not seem to offer enough to dig into superficially.

Christopher S.

I enjoyed the lesson. I need to be a better story teller, and most of the stories I have to tell have to be written and the story of my clients.

Sherry L.

This is a good introduction. I’m glad you are going to tell us what you are not good at and how to compensate. I appreciate the transparency. I’m sure that will be helpful. Thanks

Shirley H.

I have watched mini master class lessons, particularly those on writing. For obvious reasons writers tend to have interesting stories to tell. Having said that, while maybe wonderful writers, not all are great verbal storytellers. I’m not sure if Mr. Glidewell will read this or comments are simply put to the Easter for the rest of us to share but I want to say that of tens if not hundreds of storytellers I’ve known and listen to, you (Malcolm Gladwell) are one of the best. As good a writer as you are, I hope you will do more of this type of thing. Are usually watch to gather information and while that’s true of course, I find myself enthralled because you are so engaging to watch. I think I could watch you tell any story. Apologies if there’s repetition in this post. My eyes are getting too old for this tiny phone screen without glasses. 😳

Robert M.

In 1st grade, where I first learned to read, I would sometimes look up to discover that I was the only student in the room as everyone else had gone without my noticing them leaving. I've always been a great one for reading, now I finally have an explanation why. ”You read because you are in search of something powerful and fundamental about what it means to be a better person.” Thank you very much for that, Malcom Gladwell. Now that I finally have a good explanation for why I read so much, not only will I no longer feel embarrassed by my “bookophilia”, I will now approach everything I read with new purpose.

A fellow student

I find valuable the reflection of writing as a calling, and I look forward to learning new perspectives and applying techniques.

CHADATAN O.

Thank you very much for sharing us your real journey of a writer as a calling :)

Kathy F.

Yes, excited ... transformation is in the books and I love that Mr. Galdwell's philosophy is to search for something powerful and fundamental about what it means to be a better person!

Leander K.

What is there to say? Very excited! Why do I feel like this is different from any other writing class I could have chosen?