The Teacher Wears Prada

I couldn’t believe my eyes today. I received an alert from Master Class, the online classroom, that Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, and the creative director of Condé Nast, was teaching a course on leadership and creativity.

What? How could that be? I never thought the woman, who has always been portrayed as a block of ice, was going to spend her time sharing information with the common man/woman.

I had to see what this was all about. I am a yearly member of Master Class, so I was able to access the course immediately.

I spent a few hours today listening to Anna Wintour talk about her life, family, career, aspirations, mentors, team members, new hires, the changes in the editorial world, designers, models, and celebrities.

She certainly didn’t act like the woman Meryl Streep portrayed in the “Devil Wears Prada.” Knowing many strong women in the business world, I’m sure Anna Wintour was demanding, but not anymore forceful than most successful bosses.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for most young people to take this course. Just like the podcast I posted in DigiDame two weeks ago, when I interviewed Frank O’connell, Anna Wintour shared career tips that were invaluable for anyone who seriously wants to do well.

The only requirement is for the student to have an open mind and be willing to learn.

Good luck!

Click here to see a promo of Anna Wintour’s course.

I’m A Master Class Student

I did it. I just committed $15 a month to have access to all of the tutorials and lectures pre-recorded by experts in various fields.

The program is called Master Class and it’s all available online. I don’t know about you, but I am grateful to be living in a time when all I have to do is “click” and “learn.” The great thing about these online classes is that I can take them with me everywhere I go, and can watch them anytime I please. I will let you know which ones I enjoy the most.

Never Stop Learning

I’m going to have a busy 2019. Between listening to all of the books I want to on my Audible list, I’m adding Master Class to my daily routines. There are just so many areas of interest I want to know more about: book writing, chess, film directing, fashion, and comedy.

MasterClass, an app on your smartphone, offers online education. You can access tutorials and lectures pre-recorded by very well known experts in various fields. Some of the biggest names in the business are teachers.

Years ago these notables never would have considered teaching courses like this, but then it became totally acceptable. You really should take advantage of this opportunity. The best thing about these courses is that they give you insight into the area you are most interested in. Then you can decide if you want to delve further with other online courses, or adult education classes.

The idea is too keep your mind active.

We are living in a time when these opportunities are available to us. Let’s not take them for granted.

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

James Patterson Is My Instructor  


Eliot showed me his signed copy of James Patterson’s first novel. I’m not allowed to touch it because any scratch would devalue its worth. 

I consider myself so lucky. A few months ago I decided to write a non-fiction book. I’m not going to reveal the topic until the book is done. It’s a sensitive topic and it requires many confidential conversations.

I also don’t want to talk about it because I’m not sure how I’m going to tell the story. All I am doing now is gathering the information. I’m so grateful to the people who are helping me. I’m also checking out how some of my favorite authors structured their stories. I might follow their path. 

Today, I found out about Master Class, an online video-based tutorial site where I can learn more about writing a book. They also have a few other topics. The teachers are the best in their field: Dustin Hoffman for acting, Serena Williams for tennis, Annie Leibovitz for photography, and James Patterson for writing. I am sure other categories will be added soon. I consider myself so lucky because James Patterson, one of the most successful authors in the world, is going to give me encouragement and tips on how to write my book. 

The best part of this is that the classes are all online and I can go at my own speed. Each Master Class costs $90. I get up to three hours of video-based lessons as well as a series of interactive exercises. I will also receive teaching materials that include some of James Patterson’s early drafts to see how his novels developed. 

I just took my first two lessons today. I can’t believe that so many of my questions have already been answered. Watch the videos below to get a flavor of what this is all about. I am so excited that I am a participant. 

Here are some of my lessons.

Your instructor, James Patterson—currently the best-selling author in the world—lets you know what he has planned for your class and what you’ll need to learn to start writing your own best-sellers.

Getting into the proper mindset is an essential first step to writing a best-seller. This lesson explores James’s secrets for staying focused, productive, and motivated.

How do you recognize a great idea? How do you figure out if it’s worthy of your effort? James spells out the techniques he uses to generate his ideas and then separate the good ones from the less compelling ones.

With the right plot, your reader won’t be able to stop turning the pages. In this lesson, James measures out his unique approach to developing plot lines that keep readers wanting more.


For James, conducting in-depth research not only makes his writing better, it also boosts his credibility with his readers. Find out when and how James conducts his research and how he incorporates it into his writing in a thoughtful way.
James’s secret weapon is a comprehensive outline. Learn how he sets himself up for a fast and successful first draft. No matter what, don’t skip this lesson!

James has never shown the outline for his best-seller Honeymoon to anyone (not even his publisher) until now. Follow along with the outline provided in your Class Workbook as James further explains his process.

Even when you’ve written as many books as James has (76 best sellers and counting), there’s still nothing scarier than staring at the blank page. Here’s how to conquer those fears.


From Alex Cross to Michael Bennett, James has mastered the art of creating complex and memorable characters. Hero to villain, learn how to make your character stay with your reader well beyond the last page.

Grab your readers attention quickly, and make them hold on for dear life. James shares his tips for getting your reader hooked from the very first line.

Dialogue should always push the story forward. Listen to James explain a few common dialogue pitfalls and easy ways to avoid them.

James is well known for his numerous short and snappy chapters. Learn how he propels the reader through the book with an outline as his roadmap.

The secret to suspense is… 


We’ve all read great books with terrible endings. Of the infinite possible endings, learn how James chooses the right one.

James is liberal with a red pen; his editing is key to keeping the reader engaged. Learn how to trim the fat with our interactive editing assignment.

When does James decide to use a co-author and is it a true collaboration? In this lesson, we meet two of his most trusted co-authors who share their process for making a collaboration truly successful.

Author of 76 best-sellers and holder of the Guinness World Record for the first person to sell over 1 million eBooks, James knows a thing or two about getting published. In this lesson he shares what he’s learned.


Readers do judge books by their covers. What should they think about yours?

Before publishing his first book, James was an executive at a top ad agency in New York. Find out what James learned from his time in advertising, and how he used it to change the book marketing game.

What happens when Hollywood takes an interest in your story? Sit back and listen as James shares the best and worst moments from his time on the set.

Every master begins as a student. James shares his long, winding path to becoming the world’s best-selling author.

You’ve been given the tools to help write your next book. Now what?