Why I Am Finally Teaching a Course

I have finally decided to make my first online course.

I did not want to. Thoughts of “For whom?” and “About what?” kept echoing in my head with every nudge from a friend that went like “You should do a course. That would be cool.”

Of course, the dreamlike result is cool. It is an image of me with a well-liked course that people would purchase. I could close my eyes and easily see it. But when I opened them, images and fear of all of the work and potential for a proverbial “dud” of a class quickly wiped those dreams away.

But last week, a mental collision happened. Not the type of mental collision where your world breaks, but one where two ideas or beliefs you hold dear collide in a meaningful way.

First, each and every one of us had, at least, one teacher that was the best in our minds. Stop for a minute, and ask yourself why? For me at first pass, it was part subject matter (AP Physics in High School) and part teaching style (Mr. Reed was a strict, no-nonsense type). But upon second look, the more important part was that he showed up and did the work. Regardless of how the students acted or the level of interest they showed, he showed up every day and did the work. Why? He did the work because he knew his work would matter to at least one student in the class. At least one, and how thankful I am that he did.

Now for the second reason, Neil Gaiman’s beautiful commencement speech. Watch it if you have not because it reminds us of the creative habit that we must continually cultivate:

“I hope you’ll make mistakes. If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful.”
“…while you are at it, make your art. Do the stuff that only you can do.”

So out of that collision of ideas and some soon-to-be-students who are, I am starting my first online course on Idea Creation. It will begin with a webinar, that you can register at the link below.

It might end up just being me, a small group, or a massive audience. But regardless of the number of students that show up, I have to do the work…I have to make my art. Maybe I will see you there…I hope so.


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