Too busy for a regular writing class?

Teach yourself—with guidance and analysis from award-winning speechwriter Elaine Bennett

Want to improve your writing? Do two things:

  1. Read great writing.
  2. Write for at least 15 minutes every day.

You’re on your own with Step #2, though I do run the occasional daily writing challenge. But the first step—that’s exactly why I created The Weekly What.

What is The Weekly What?

It’s a year-long series of emails. Every week you get a writing prompt and an inspirational quotation. And every second week I’ll also send you my deep-dive analysis into a piece of great writing—a speech, an article, a blog post, part of a book, a poem.

You’ll get a backstage tour of the choices each author made, so you can begin to make more conscious choices about techniques to use in your own writing.

To give you an idea of what an analysis looks like, I’ve taken an article I posted on LinkedIn last year and turned it into a Weekly What. You can download it here: Weekly What Sample – Ali.

This is how I learned to write—by studying the bones of great writing and then writing myself.

But you won’t be completely on your own. We’ll have an hour-long call to discuss each month’s writing analyses.

  • What stood out for you?
  • What surprised you?
  • What choices did you agree or disagree with?
  • What makes each piece unique?

Share your takeaways, hear what others thought of the works, begin to see how the techniques might enliven your own writing. You’ll leave each call with new insights. And if you can’t make a scheduled call, don’t worry. I’ll record them for you.

Listen in on a section of one Weekly What discussion we had earlier this year. The writers on the call gave me their permission to release this excerpt.

Writing Beyond class discussion—”The Weekly What” from Elaine Bennett on Vimeo.

Are you struggling to find your writer’s voice?

The Weekly What can help you with that, too. As you read pieces by a diverse group of writers, I’ll encourage you to emulate their style from time to time. Yes, on purpose.

The opening of my analysis of a piece by James Baldwin

One sure-fire way to shake loose your own writing style is to write the same piece in three or four different styles—waiting a day or so between each one—and then write it again as yourself.

And if you like that writing prompt, there’s a lot more where that came from: 51 weeks’ worth, to be exact.

“The prompts broadened my thinking and challenged my writing.” — a 2017 Weekly What participant

A writing prompt and inspirational quote accompanying the Baldwin analysis.

I created The Weekly What to supplement my Writing Unbound course last year. But not everyone has an extra two-to-three hours a week for an intensive writing program. So I’m offering The Weekly What as a standalone program—think of it as a self-directed writing class.

Take time to work the weekly writing exercises (ideally 15 minutes a day), read and think about the biweekly analyses, participate in the monthly group discussion. That’s only one hour a month of a firm commitment, for the group discussion. The rest of the work you can do on your own time. Mark it in your calendar; at the end of the year, you’ll be amazed at how your writing skills have increased.

Because—yes—you’ll receive the Weekly What writing prompts and analyses for a full year. (It must be true: it says so in the graphic.) So you can build on your progress and establish the great writing habits that can last you a lifetime.

Yes! I’m ready to invest in The Weekly What!