Through the month of August, I've been taking part in a course run by Moviepilot. It's been both fun and rewarding - and here's all you need to know!
How Moviepilot University works
Each week starts with a video on a particular topic - for example, towards the end there was a fascinating video on sourcing that really made me sit and think. Then, through the week, you're expected to put together five articles. These don't have to be long - although my being quite long-winded, few wound up being short!
Each student at Moviepilot University is assigned a mentor, and you're in constant contact with them. You can bounce ideas off them, and when you've finished an article, you send it to them to review. These mentors show an impressive level of attention to detail - for example, my mentor noticed that I get caught up in a chain of argument and start sentences with "and" a lot. While being a vaguely legitimate approach occasionally, it's so on the edge of grammatically-incorrect that it's a habit I need to break. I wouldn't even have spotted that without the mentor's comments!
Once you've made the amendments, you publish the article, sit back, and let the Moviepilot magic roll!
So why is this valuable?
Let's start with a different question: how do you learn how to write?
The answer's simple. You write. Every time you write, you're getting more experience. Every writing challenge you face - every time you push yourself to write in a different style, or to try out a new type of post - it's a chance for you to develop in terms of your skill. Over the years I've been writing, I've developed to the point where I can look back at early articles, ones that I was really proud of, and realise that they could have been so much better. Over the course of Moviepilot University, you write no less than thirty articles. That's thirty opportunities to develop your writing skills, complete with an editor to give you constructive feedback.
What's more, writing online articles is different to anything else. The fact is, according to Time Magazine, one in three people who open a page spend less than 15 seconds on it before they close it. You know that article you've lovingly put together over the course of days? If you're not aware of some of the basic ways to get people to read online articles, then the odds are good that it won't perform as well as it deserves to. The people running Moviepilot University are experienced in the art of writing high-performing online content, meaning they know all the tricks to encourage people to read on. In the feedback they give you, they're more than happy to share those methods. Trust me: as Head Writer of ComicsVerse, I've learned a lot.
Those mentors are a big reason to go through with this course, too. The fact is, I found working with the Moviepilot staff to be tremendously enjoyable. They were always positive, always encouraging, and pushed me to try out post types that I'd never tried before. In the middle of the course, when I'd written more articles in a month than ever before, they were more than happy to help me battle Darth Writer's Block. They're just the kind of community I enjoy learning from.
Are you interested in Moviepilot University?
The course is now being relaunched - CHECK IT OUT!