How do you learn and work and produce best?

I’ve been thinking about the power of leveraging your strengths. Of what you can achieve when you know your best ways of working.

Because me, I’m a binge creator. I’m a binge worker. I’m a terrible employee because if you want me to show up, all day, every day, and be ON, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

But when I have the freedom to have up and down times, all-in times and all-out times, I SHINE. You’ll get absolute gold out of me.

Shelly Davies - You'll get absolute gold out of me

Which is why I love MANAVATION from Tūraukawa and Aimee Bartlett. You can improve your reo Māori and your cultural confidence, systematically – tiny lesson at a time – or you can binge it.

That was my inspiration for the way I’ve set up the School of unProfessional Writing™. I’ve done my time at university, writing essays and doing assignments and meeting deadlines, and at THIS point in my life I know that’s not how I work best. I work best when learning is accessible to me when I feel like it.

I work best when learning is punchy and bite-sized and from a place of DEEP KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE but not talking to me like I’m a blank canvas. I mean, come on – I’m a grown ass adult with skills and knowledge who’s just continuing to learn and grow and refine skills and hone talents. Don’t spoon feed me.

I’d like to think that’s how the School of unprofessional Writing™ works.

You can graze or binge (I might rename it ShellyFlix – see, for example, below, where I am most definitely NOT teaching people how to twerk onstage*). 

You can watch a 5-minute video lesson every day on your coffee break. Or you can binge a course or multiple courses. The point is, each micro-sized lesson has something you can use STRAIGHT AWAY to improve your writing. Every. Single. One.

So, what I’m proud of is that I think I’ve leveraged my strengths to bring you a really frikn cool, super useful and relevant and valuable thing: a way to improve your writing on your terms. In a way that works for you. So you have choices. So you can leverage YOUR ways of working.

Here are some of my strengths, that I leaned into, to build this school:

  • My authenticity. I am trying to be nothing other than just me. The same me you’d meet on the street.
  • My high-energy all-in-ness. After making some of those videos I melted into a puddle, y’all! I gave it everything I’ve got. I hope you’ll feel it.
  • My super practical lens. I’m not big on the technicalities of grammar. I’m not a fine detail person. I believe that the best approaches to better writing are grounded in understanding modern readers, not in where to put a semicolon or how to use flash words.
  • My decades of experience. Four universities. 30 years of teaching. 31 years of writing. Thousands of people trained. I peeled away all self-doubt and just brought you what I KNOW to be true.
  • My lens for simplicity and keeping things stress-free. You don’t need to commit time to this. There are no deadlines or pressure or assignments. This isn’t STUDY. It’s SOAKING UP CAREER-CHANGING KNOWLEDGE.

Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine the School of unProfessional Writing™ would be received on such a grand scale. I underestimated how much the world is ready to deconstruct our shitty, old-fashioned ideas about what it means to be “professional.” I was unprepared, but I’m grateful.

Because let’s face it. We’re no longer willing to tolerate practices that alienate. Marginalise. Disadvantage. Privilege. Or even just fucking waste time.

Are you ready to get un-schooled?