Today I want to talk about a learning method I’ve been using for the last 2 years, as well as shine the spotlight on another important part of my writing career.
You might have noticed, on the sidebar of this blog, links to some of the writing courses I’ve written for Highbrow (http://www.gohighbrow.com). Over the last year, I’ve written four courses, and presently have another one in progress. (You can view them all here, and when you sign up, enter JOHNROBIN as the coupon code to get an $18 discount.)
Highbrow has been around for a few years, and I was hooked as soon as I took my first course. To date, I’ve taken more than 50 courses—productivity, economics, history, self-help, business, they cover it all. I still take courses. Every time I finish one, I start another.
The beauty about Highbrow—and why I’ve stuck with it—is you get your courses delivered in the form of an email that takes 5 minutes to read. One course is 10 lessons, so you get emails sent over a 10-day period. It’s the perfect way to learn a little something each day as a part of keeping up on your inbox.
These courses are all very well written. Highbrow is a premium service. You pay an annual fee of $48. ($30 if you use my JOHNROBIN coupon code when you sign up.)
That’s actually an extremely good price: you could feasibly take 36 courses in one year. Even if you only took 15-20 courses in one year, $30 for that amount of learning is a fraction the cost of what you’d pay (sometimes per course) for this kind of information.
What sold me, though, was the quality of the courses. As an author of 4 courses with Highbrow, I’ve also had the chance to see inside their production process for each course and I’m even more impressed. These aren’t just carefully curated email newsletters. Instructors who have a specialty in the area of knowledge they write about have carefully put together a course to teach about their passion. With the editorial help of the Highbrow team, they’ve built these courses to flow well and take you on a journey over 10 days. They are also careful to avoid overlap of information so that the knowledge you have access to will continually expand as you continue to learn through them.
I personally have been changed by a few of the courses. For instance, How to Create A Productivity System gave me the foundation of many of the productivity skills I use now that lead to continual clarity and improvement on a weekly basis. Almost every course, I’ve taken away at least a few things, especially since the way each one is written, the instructor delivers enough information that you can think about it, ruminate, and apply.
The other thing I like about Highbrow is they are continually adding more courses. Even if I took a course every 10 days, there are more coming in.
In practice, I sometimes get behind in email. I’ve learned to use the “star” feature in gmail, so if an email comes in, I can open it then get to it later. This lets me kill my inbox. If something is junk, delete; if it needs a reply, “star” and reply at a later time when I’m in “answer my emails” mode. (Actually, some of these tips come from one of the Highbrow courses I took a while ago called Master your Gmail To Get More Done.)
Now, when I’m signed up for a Highbrow course, I’m going to get an email from them every day for 10 days. (At the end, you get an email inviting you to start a new course, but no more until you sign up for the next one.) In the above spirit, if I’m busy, you better bet since I’m paying for these emails I’m not deleting them! So I hit “star” and don’t worry about it.
In fact, this has created somewhat of a ritual for me: every Saturday morning I go to Starbucks and have an americano and catch up on my Highbrow courses, as well as other emails. These courses not only are designed to teach you a bit every day, but they also flow together brilliantly when you go through the lessons in one large batch like that.
I cannot recommend Highbrow enough! And I’m not just saying that because I want you to sign up for my course. As you’ll see if you check out their course catalog, there’s more than 100 courses, all of them diverse.
If you’re curious about my courses in particular:
- How To Market Your Book Online is about the fundamentals of book marketing for writers preparing to publish a book, a checklist of “what to do” before you publish so you can sell more books
- How To Begin (And Maintain) Your Career As A Writer is about how to prepare for a book launch, and how to keep your author career moving forward
- Foundations Of Mathematics will help you brush up on your math skills, especially if you’ve been away from school and want a starting point
- Great Math Problems For The 21st Century Mind explains some of the most important problems in today’s mathematics, including Fermat’s Last Theorem and the Riemann Hypothesis
The course I’m working on right now is going to be about logic puzzles—it’s one of the projects I’ll be working on after the current draft of my book, A Thousand Roads, which, by the way, I just finished today!
Remember, if you sign up for any Highbrow course, you can get 1 year for only $30 by entering JOHNROBIN as the coupon code.
Are you already a Highbrow student? If so, what are your favorite courses?
Here are a few other courses I highly recommend:
For writers looking to improve their craft:
- How To Outline Your Novel by K.M. Weiland
- Ten Editing Techniques To Perfect Your Fiction Writing by K.C. Finn
- How To Write Best-Selling, Award-Winning Fiction by K.C. Finn
- How To Self-Publish A Book by Emmanuel Nataf
For creatives seeking better goals, clarity, and productivity:
- How To Be More Productive by Dan Silvestre
- How To Make Better Decisions With The Matrix by Kari Beaulieu