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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 3 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY Show, NPR, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Sold Out

Sold-out theater

Selling out: You expect it to happen at a blockbuster movie premier, at a large sporting event, at a mega-concert. You don’t, however, expect it to happen to you.

At least I didn’t.

Last year I decided to offer a single online writing class. I called this class “How to Write Better.” The idea was simple: I’d dismantle my own recipe, ingredient by ingredient, and then show a small group of people how to…umm, well, how to write better, using my recipe with a few of their ingredients peppered in for individual taste.

But I never set out to be a bona fide writing instructor. Not long-term anyway. I don’t have a college degree or any formal training. Hell, I’ve never even taken a writing class myself. Nope, the plan was one-and-done, and then maybe I’d teach a second class sometime in the future. Maybe.

Then something strange happened—something miraculous.  My first class sold out much quicker than expected, so I offered a summer class, and when it filled up with lightning-like speed, I offered another class, and then another.

It turns out that most of my students—the ones who were willing to put in the effort—found immense value in my little sessions: the class helped established their writing habits, improved their confidence, and strengthened their ability to write.

This spring I’m teaching my fifth class. I’m sorry but you cannot attend that class. It, like the others, sold out well before its start date. (N.B. I allow only 30 students per class to keep the class size manageable—to ensure that I can continue to add value.) I am, however, teaching a summer semester if you’re interested.

I don’t know how long I’ll continue to teach these classes. I suppose that as long as I continue to find value in teaching, and as long as my students continue to benefit from my classes (testimonials), then I’ll keep my hands covered with virtual chalk dust. Ergo, the teacher must continue to grow with his students; that’s been my intention all along. I’ve learned so much about my own writing over the last year, but if I stop growing, then I’ll have to move on to something else.

Since writing this essay, I’ve automated my online writing class. Find out more about the class here.