Discovering Yourself Through Writing

Walter Mosley

Lesson time 10:24 min

Fiction can be a means for self-discovery. Walter teaches you how to write from your heart.

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

Topics include: Writing Keeps Your Mind Alive · Discovery of Yourself · Live Your Fantasies Through Your Writing · Write Your Truth and Believe It


[MUSIC PLAYING] - You know, we live in the so-called civilized world, where we have hot and cold running water and electricity and airplanes and nuclear bombs, you know, all that crazy stuff. But if you go to someplace, many places in the world today, you'll find, as you find in Western Africa, there are people who either right now or only a generation away from it would plan great feasts and great celebrations. And in those celebrations, they would play things like the talking drum. They would build beautiful, very ornate masks, and spend one evening, or two, maybe, dancing and celebrating themselves, their lives, their ancestors, their gods, et cetera. And on the next day, after it's over, the masks are all discarded because they were only alive that one night. They weren't a static piece of art the way we see art. But there was something living, that we imbued with our own spirits and then left to the side. Nights like that, people like that, places like that, you didn't have an audience and an artist. You had the audience and the artist as one, working together, creating, celebrating. This is one of the reasons that I really think that people should write novels, because if you write a novel, whether you get that novel published or not, you have created something. You have made something. You have started from the beginning and gone to the end of something that is a transformation itself, but also has transformed you in the making of it. As a writer, which you are, and as a potential writer, which we all are, there is a person who exists in your core. And that person is more innocent than you are, smarter than you are, more evil than you could ever imagine being. And the more you write, the more that person is going to gain in influence, in size, and ability. And the more you write, the more you come in relation to that internal person. And as you do that, you become more and more and more talented and capable. And you're able to control things about yourself that your whole life you've tamped down because they've frightened you. Writing about anything that you're really trying to explain, that you're really trying to get an idea across, a feeling across, a character across, that is going to help you define who you are, what you're thinking, and what you think of the world that surrounds you. The ability to stop and to think about something in great detail, not having somebody else tell you what it is, what you should be thinking, how you should be thinking, but you're just thinking about it. You're going, saying well, then he first, he went there. And then he went that. And that really frightened him. But still, he did this thing. No, he wouldn't have done that thing. He would have done this. The whole idea of going through that is something that we never do in everyday life. In everyday life, we worry either about physical details, about what the plot of something is, how I get from here to there, how I'm going t...

About the Instructor

Walter Mosley, bestselling author and recipient of the National Book Award’s Lifetime Achievement Medal, has written more than 60 books over his 30-year career and is celebrated for fiction that addresses our culture’s racial divides. Now he’s sharing the elements of storytelling that have helped him along the way. Learn how to choose the right words, structure, genre, and characters to create the novel that’s in you.

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Walter Mosley

In his MasterClass, Walter Mosley teaches you how to rethink genres and the “rules” of fiction and how to approach writing your own novel.

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