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What New Skills Would You Like to Learn?

Skillshare

Do you have any hobbies? Or is there anything you’ve been secretly wanting to learn? For the last few years, the Cup of Jo team has loved Skillshare, the online community that’s great for sparking creativity. You can explore everything from interior design to photography to time management (and everything in between). Here are a few classes we’ve loved lately…

Mari Andrew

What Do You Want to Learn This Year

Creative Transformation: Nine Exercises to Draw, Write, and Discover Your Future

“Sometimes I have trouble thinking about the future without worrying, and wanted a way to help me look forward to it, without dreading it,” says Kim, our editorial assistant. This class, led by writer and illustrator Mari Andrew, helps you unlock your creativity, and draw (or write) what you’d like your future to look like — anything from five years down the road, to who you’ll be as a grandparent. “I found myself drawing my future self as a published author, living on the west coast with my significant other and our dog, Jack! It was so comforting to think of my future self, through the perspective of wonder and possibility.”

Skillshare

Style Your Space: Creative Tips and Techniques

In her hit class, author and stylist Emily Henderson teaches you to discover your own personal home style — and what to do once you’ve found it. The class, which has had over 8,000 students, touches on everything from styling a room in real time to practical tips for buying vintage furniture on Craigslist. A rapid-fire style quiz kicks off the class. “I got ‘mid century modern’, which lines up with the style we have at home,” says Joanna. “I also found myself drawn to the warmth of the ‘Traditional’ style and found great tips for combining the two.” Our favorite tip from the course: “You need a jumping off point — a great rug, a piece of art, a statement sofa — that excites you and gives the room intention and pulls the rest of the room together.” So simple.

Justin Bridges Skillshare

Modern Money Habits: 5 Steps to Build the Life You Want

We also enjoyed this new class by Wall Street investment-banker-turned-freelance-photographer Justin Bridges. He shares his five-step approach to managing money, in a way that is incredibly approachable and down-to-earth. “Don’t put undue pressure on yourself”, he says. “It’s possible for everybody!” If you’re looking to build a basic financial framework (who isn’t?), this video is for you.

Kelsey Miller Skillshare

Creative Writing: The Opinion Essay

Last but certainly not least, bestselling author and Cup of Jo contributor Kelsey Miller has a new class about writing. And there is no better (or more lovable) guide. “You can have an opinion on anything you want! It’s a free country! But when it comes to opinion writing, you really want to start with what you know.” Kelsey walks you through what makes a good opinion essay, including how to structure it and even how to pitch it once you’re done.

Skillshare

There are thousands of other wonderful classes, including author Mary Karr’s class on how to write a memoir and calligraphy and hand lettering, including a class taught by our officemate, Doris Fullgrabe. If you’re curious, you can browse all 25,000 classes here.

Bonus for all readers: Today, Skillshare is offering Cup of Jo readers two months free! You can sign up for a Premium Membership, which will give you access to their entire catalog of classes, here. (Note: A credit card is required for sign-up, but you won’t be charged until the two-month trial period is up, and you can cancel at any time.) Thank you so much, Skillshare!

What new creative skills would you most like to learn? Do you take any classes in your free time? We’d love to hear.

(Photos of Kim by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Skillshare, whose classes we have loved for years. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. Laura Coulter says...

    Be careful using Skillshare! It’s a renewing membership account, without any prompting that the membership will renew annually and NO chance of a refund. Once you’ve paid for the year – that’s it – I’ve paid for TWO years now, with a refusal for a refund and no prompting that the membership is going to renew. I could cancel it BUT once cancelled, you can’t access the year that you’ve paid for. Customer service has been less than helpful. I keep thinking I’ll use it, forget about the site (as I never get any communication from them) and then – pay for another year. These renewing membership platforms cost a lot and the structure is designed to take advantage of one’s overload of platforms/payment plans.

  2. ElisabethWK says...

    Forgetting learning a new skill, I’d rather talk about how beautiful Kim’s hair looks in the photo at the top of this post. She is stunning!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      agreed!

  3. Rebekah says...

    Signed up! Thanks for the promo code! ❤️

    • Ellen says...

      What is the promo code? (Or was this for one day only?)

  4. Thank you for the information. I have a blog, but I have writer’s block in a way. I have so much going on in my brain and I want to put it on paperand then I feel that no one wants to hear what I am talking about. But I will check it out because I want to be a better writer. Thank you again.

  5. Learning new skills made today’s human beings. A very good insights you have given. loves your thoughts. Thanks

  6. Nina says...

    The concept of drawing (or writing) what you’d like your future to look like sounds really promising.

  7. Ash says...

    Master NLP coach.

    Same skills as Tony Robbins but with more grace and calm.

  8. Ramya says...

    Thank you so much for introducing me to SkillShare! I’ve just signed up and have already done a couple of classes and am excited to explore so many others. I have a strong but pretty dormant creative streak, so I’m thrilled about this handy way to hone different aspects of that. Thanks again, Cup of Jo!

  9. CaraM says...

    My new skill is learning to craft elaborate desserts and pastries. On the weekends, my kitchen becomes a “test kitchen.” The main challenge for me is the high altitude (I live in Denver) – so tweaks and constant improvements to recipes are a must. I just need to get more creative with where I can donate my desserts – I keep eating them all!

  10. Longdenlife says...

    I have had hobbies throughout my adult life (sculpture or circus skills anyone?!). Current hobbies include loom weaving, sewing, singing in a band (I think we are pretty good!) and having an allotment – for those not in the UK, an allotment is a small piece of land you rent from the local council and grow your own fruit, flowers and vegetables for pleasure – a great stress reliever and the bonus is freshly grown food too!

  11. Fia says...

    Just a quick questions in regards to the offer. Is it available for previous Skillshare users?

  12. agnes says...

    I would love to draw with Mari! I’ve taken a course with another platform (in Mexico), and what I love is that I feel part of a community and have no pressure on the schedule. It’s a fantastic way to learn…

  13. Liz says...

    I am learning macrame. I wanted to learn something different that could truly be a hobby/creative outlet, and for some reason I landed on macrame. I’m excited to be doing something new that I can fail at without it having any impact on the rest of my life. I finally have a chance to play and I am taking it.

  14. I am taking a class this weekend on building stained glass objects with copper foil and I am over-the-moon excited! I have found that learning new skills is a kind of prayer-making to the muses. The more you learn, the more open to communication they are with you.

    • E says...

      Emma, your comment about “prayer-making to the muses” is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read here. I’ve just written it in my journal. I’m such a proponent of lifelong learning and this sums up my feelings exactly. Thank you for your lovely words!

    • Jean says...

      “I have found that learning new skills is a kind of prayer-making to the muses.”

      Also saving this. What a beautiful idea. I just last week resolved to invest again in my learning with even more intention this year, as I turn 35. I want to be the kind of person who can keep learning instead of falling into saying “I could never do that!” In the past year, I joined my church flower guild and learned a lot about floral design. It’s daunting, but I just made my first large arrangement for the altar, and it was beautiful. I’m committing to yoga and Spanish this year too.

    • Rebekah says...

      Beautiful comment! ❤️ I feel like Liz Gilbert would be proud of that line: “prayer-making to the muses.”

  15. B says...

    I’m excited to use Skillshare to learn something creative during my grad school spring break — maybe an art class, definitely Kelsey’s class!

    My partner actually works for Skillshare, and we both get so excited to see them mentioned on CoJ! It’s been an inspiring and healthy work environment for my partner, with mandatory minimum vacation time and paid family leave. :)

  16. Erica says...

    This year in a complete surprise my husband gifted me a PIANO. I was a lazy and mediocre piano student as a kid and have mentioned wanting to get back into it a few times but hadn’t given it a lot of thought. Ever since my piano arrived I’ve been playing daily. I set an alarm for 30 minutes but often go over if I’m having fun, and I’m working my way through an adult learn-to-play book. It is bringing me so much joy. And I’m actually getting better! The only downside is I now have Canon in D, my current project, running on an endless loop through my brain.

    • TARA HART says...

      That is just SO SWEET!!!!!

    • Emily says...

      So cute!

    • Kim says...

      I love Canon in D!

  17. Marianne says...

    I’d love to learn to throw pottery. A friend of mine has taken a couple of classes recently and loved it. Plus I could add my own pottery to my thrifted stash someday.

    • DO IT! I took some classes back in High School and then another class about 5 years ago. I made about 3 bowls, a few vases, and a few random containers. Eating out of the bowls I made is so special! Bonus: I used matte finish on them which makes it easier to photograph for my blog.

  18. Ariane says...

    my goal for the year is to get out more, not spend every night on the couch. So this month i’m taking a rock climbing course! it’s great fun and forcing me to trust my body and be ok with falling

  19. Hannah says...

    I managed to muddle my way through middle school band and high school choir by “playing by ear”, but never really learned to read music (I always wanted piano lessons, but my parents couldn’t afford them). As an adult, I’ve been involved in theater, cabaret, opera, and church music, and it’s always a little embarrassing that I’m not as competent musically as I should be. Becoming proficient in music reading is the one skill that I really want to nail down this year. I’m excited to try Skillshare, so thank you for this post!

  20. Kathy says...

    I have wanted to learn hip hop since I was 12 – now I’m 52, the desire finally outweighed the fear. Last night was my first class and it was the BEST THING EVER! I am practicing in all the wrong places (no one needs to see my moves in a store line up ;)) and I cannot wait for the next class.

    • Roxana says...

      Oh my goodness. I LOVE this! Brava!

    • Emily says...

      LOVE this too! Good Job!!

  21. Cory says...

    I’m taking an embroidery class right now and I love it so much!! I just stitched my initials on my pillowcases and it makes me feel SO fancy.

  22. D says...

    I need help and inspiration with songwriting. But less technical “How to Write Songs” and more prompts, assignments, tips for finding inspiration. I’m not sure where to find such a class. I probably just need to sit down and work, but it always feels big & insurmountable. Someone to hold me accountable and give me little “gifts”– like, look at this great poem! Use it to inspire a song! Etc.

    • Heather says...

      You might be able to look at distance learning programs – at least about the ‘prompt’ aspect of it as I would think it’s similar to creative writing which works that way. UCLA offers a pretty extensive catalogue.

    • Danielle says...

      You might want to check out the Don’t Keep Your Day Job podcast. The host’s background is in songwriting and I think she may have some programs/seminars similar to what you are describing.

    • Jodi says...

      Cathy Heller has a class on songwriting

    • Jessica Tolliver says...

      I recommend Writing Better Lyrics. It’s really great.

  23. I’ve recently started drawing again. I use the ipad and apple pencil on the couch after my son goes to sleep. It’s been so nice to be able to make something without pulling out a ton of supplies. I’ve been posting the images on instagram and enjoying the feedback! My instagram name is wemadeithome if anyone wants to see :)

    • Clare says...

      Thanks for sharing Haley, your drawings are so sweet! I especially love the teapot lamp and dancing beetles. I usually stick to colored pencils but you’re inspiring me to try an ipad :)

    • M says...

      Just viewed your instagram. You are really talented!

    • I’m so glad you shared your Instagram profile, Haley! I love your work!

    • Verena Längle says...

      nice work!

    • nadine says...

      thank you for sharing Haley! i love your work too :)

    • Kim says...

      I just followed you!

    • Ahhh! This community is the best. Thank you so much ladies for your kind comments! Your encouragement means so much to me!

    • Katherine says...

      So talented!!! I hope you keep it up, Haley!

  24. OMG yes! I do love Skillshare but have been focused on a mid-life career change, from fine art and graphic design to environmental studies! I’ve returned to school majoring in Natural Sources and Sustainability and loving it. At the same time, I’m diving back in to learning French, which I have studied on and off for over 35 years. I’m still not fluent and would like to be, so hoping I can make that happen starting with apps like Duolingo and Busuu, and also using iTalki. I’m also poking around in other languages… Spanish, German, Russian, and Norwegian (long story!).

    I’m not really a coffee drinker, but my partner is and he finally taught me how to make the perfect pour-over cuppa. I have extensive notes on his process and need to keep practicing.

    I am a firm believer in always learning something new, no matter how small. I think it keeps you young and engaged with the world in a meaningful way.

  25. Jenny says...

    I want a systems class! Give me tools to evaluate my current systems, refine, or rebuild them to get me the habits I’m trying to build. Examples: bedtime routine, running, calendaring, positive self-talk, productive hours.

    • Adrienne says...

      Ooo, I second this! Your comment really stuck with me. I tend to think of systems on a professional level, but personal systems are so important, too.

    • Suzanne says...

      I would ABSOLUTELY love this!!!

      Bonus points if it also included google doc templates for organizing all these things!

    • Yum! says...

      I want to learn some baking and decorating techniques. I think it would be such a fun hobby and I would love my kids to have a fond memory of their birthdays because of my cakes/cupcakes.

    • Tenley says...

      Jenny, you should check out Elise Blaha Cripe (@elisejoy on instagram)!
      Her weekly email newsletter has been suuuuper helpful to me, with lots of encouragement and guidance on how to evaluate what your life goals are, and how to take the next steps to meet those goals.
      She writes a ton about goal setting, and also has a wonderful book
      and e-courses. Aaaand a truly excellent planner, Get To Work Book.
      She writes in such a friendly, approachable tone, it’s like chatting with a friend who also happens to be an amazing business/life advice source!

    • Jacqueline says...

      Jenny, have you read James Clear’s Atomic Habits? I really enjoyed it and I think it might be right up your alley!

    • Annelise says...

      Check out @elisejoy on Instagram! She is developing these kinds of classes and she is a genius!

  26. Lauren E. says...

    I just started making money from my side hustle (yay!) but have no idea where to begin with this extra income. Do I register an LLC? An S Corp? Do I invest? Where do I invest? What’s an IRA vs a Roth IRA?? There are so many questions and Googling is overwhelming.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      congratulations, lauren! do you have an accountant? it might be worth getting someone because they can help explain some of this to you (in terms of the pros and cons of an LLC vs an S Corp, etc.) and the difference between an IRA and a Roth IRA or a SEP, etc. i held off on getting an accountant for a while until i realized i was being “penny wise, pound foolish.” our accountant has helped us so much!

      xoxo

    • Meredith says...

      See if there is a small business incubator or entrepreneurship center in your area! They may have free resources to help you decide your next steps in terms of business structure. If not, I have gotten great help/advice from my tax pro/accountant. They can be a great resource for small business info if you aren’t big enough to need an attorney’s assistance yet. And congrats!

    • Heather says...

      I don’t know the answers to your first questions but yes yes yes to retirement savings. A Roth means the money you put in is taxed so any growth is not taxed ( when you take it out). Versus a regular ira which which has the funds excluded from your current taxes and the growth will be taxed when you take it out.

      So essentially – if you predict you’ll have a lower tax rate right now compared to the future at retirement , use a Roth. There are income limits to it though so be sure to look that up.

    • mb says...

      Not sure about the business questions–but can def offer two easy-to-digest financial advice sources:
      This book by Beth Kobliner is great. Look, I wasn’t looking to read a NOVEL. I just wanted the main points in basic English and I got them.
      https://www.amazon.com/Get-Financial-Life-Personal-Twenties/dp/1476782385
      And here she is again–check out NPR’s Life Kit–they have a few episodes about finances. In 2009, as I was starting graduate school I heard an NPR podcast about IRAs and Roth IRAs–I did not fully understand them but I did get the point, open one, the sooner the better. So, don’t doubt NPR for free advice :)
      https://www.amazon.com/Get-Financial-Life-Personal-Twenties/dp/1476782385

    • EJC says...

      Way to go, Lauren! I have to ask- what is the new side hustle?? I am thinking of starting to pursue my own but have no idea where to start…

    • Lauren E. says...

      Gosh, I do love this community. Thanks for the advice, all! Sounds like I need to get an accountant.

      EJC, I’m going to be a published novelist come Summer 2021! Not sure exactly what you’re looking to do, but whatever it is, I say find your community. I found mine on Twitter (of all places) and the feedback and encouragement I uncovered was unrivaled. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

    • Karin says...

      The local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can help with business, LLC, etc. questions. They provide free counseling from actual business owners, attorneys, CPAs, etc.

    • Jacqueline says...

      I signed up for free Skillshare the last time it was offered on Cup of Jo, and ended up learning to crochet! (Def a surprise and not in my usual wheelhouse, I’ve never been a crafter!) It was so satisfying to learn how to do something with my hands, something I could both start AND FINISH, and something I could share with others – I ended up making a baby blanket for my new niece! Thanks Joanna and the gang!

    • Morgan says...

      You may also find stripe atlas helpful! They have a helpful guide for S-Corp vs LLC.

      https://stripe.com/atlas/guides

  27. LK says...

    I recently had a friend teach me how to do Punch Needling (a type of fiber craft similar to rug hooking). It’s SO fun, fairly cheap (you mostly just need fabric and yarn) and it’s so relaxing. Now I’m trying my hand at embroidery and cross stitch.

    • Emma says...

      Hi, Cross Stitching is so much fun for all it is, is the X. I have done a few pieces and now am working on one with beads. I am also teaching myself Embroidery….LOL. All the different stitches is amazing and there is a site called Needles and Threads that deals in Embroidery, the owner is quite the artist in needlework.

  28. Sandy says...

    I want to learn practical skills that will allow me to handle my old house repairs. Due to the dearth of skilled craftsmen of late, I’ve been thinking of taking a carpentry course, but that’s a challenge while working a full time job.

    • Lauren E. says...

      Seconding this! I have a basic skill set for home maintenance, but I’d love to learn basic plumbing, etc.

    • I would also love to learn some of each trade. My dad is a retired union electrician and I just know that if I had been a boy that would have been my path, too. I wish I would have been interested in that stuff when I was younger. My dad can pretty much build anything from scratch, too. The only thing he doesn’t do is plumbing, though that is something I’d love to do, too!

    • ML says...

      There are some really good YouTube videos for this stuff (I learned to tile from YouTube!) and the archives of the Young House Love blog have excellent & detailed DIY tutorials for various repairs like replacing a toilet, etc. For bigger jobs, Home Depot’s tool rental program has been great. They rental staff will usually give you some pro tips on using the rented equipment if you ask nicely, too.

  29. Anna says...

    I write for a living, so love doing manual creative work in my free time: I sew clothes for myself, knit, have tried pottery and draw (should do more of the latter). Anyone else identify?

    • Emma says...

      Yes, I love to sew, so relaxing fun when something is done. Made some nice flannel nightgowns for this winter in pretty pink, so very girly as I am a girl! And am teaching myself knitting and embroidery now. Thank you for your comment as it was nice to see that someone else sews. I am a fabric collector of antique and vintage fabrics.

    • Jo says...

      +1 to sewing!
      browsing through sewing blogs & sewing IG is my favorite way to unwind..Leaves me buzzing with ideas.

    • Lara says...

      100% identify with this! I sew in my spare time for myself and my little one. Instagram is a great source for inspiration… so many wonderful patterns and fabrics. I would love to learn to knit next,

    • Anna says...

      Thanks for your replies. Yes, I find that the are some great new sewing/knitting pattern designers online now, who are designing (simple, timeless) clothes that I would actually like to wear. For anyone looking to get started, I would suggest Grainline Studio or Petite Knit on Instagram (among many others).

  30. Ess says...

    I did a Mari Andrews skillshare class a couple of years ago after learning about Skill Share here and it was such a treat! Can’t recommend enough for a way to connect to a different part of yourself and make some time for creativity!

  31. Calla Martyn says...

    How fun! I’ve been feeling a little siloed lately (I work in science and most of my acquaintances are scientists) and have been hoping to build some other skills and maybe explore career options I haven’t been exposed to. I love Kelsey Miller’s writing! Will definitely be checking out her class