Melissa Menke

“Write of Passage is pioneering a new model for online learning. One built around engagement, deep discussions, shared goals, and two-way support.”

Info about you

  • My personal blog / EM newsletter link is: Website/Newsletter
  • My current job title is: Founder, Venture Partner, Entrepreneur 
  • Best book I’ve read recently: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed
  1. Why did you first sign up for Write of Passage?

I was going through a significant personal transition, from running a company I started to thinking about what to build next. Write of Passage was recommended to me by a mentor as a way to move my ideas forward. What my writing practice has given me is a way to effectively Build in Public: the habit of sharing ideas, the tools to build audience and conversation around ideas and the practice of evolving and refining ideas online.

  1. What did you like most about the course?

The community was incredible and I really appreciated how it kept going after the whirlwind of Write of Passage was over. I have feedback groups and accountability buddies for life. Write of Passage is pioneering a new model for online learning. One built around engagement, deep discussions, shared goals and two-way support streets that together, makes for a much more effective learning experience than anything else I have experienced.

  1. What surprised you about the course?

Going into it and feeling as though I did not have enough to write about and coming out with so many unused ideas. 

Feeling the desire to “save” my best writing ideas as I thought there were only a few of them and realizing that the things that you want to write about the most will give you dozens of essays. 

How extremely different a cohort based course is from other online lecture and learning formats. 

How the right prompts leapfrog small talk and create deep, 10-minute conversations in zoom breakouts.

  1. How has Write of Passage impacted your creative output?

I’ve developed structure and discipline around my writing practice. As someone who took the course to Build in Public and not necessarily to be a writer, I use writing as an “Always Produce” test. What can I share about a new business idea this week?

Like many who take this course, I am a much more conscious consumer of information. Detailed notes and daily insights create richer writing because you collect examples along the way instead of working to fit them in retrospectively. 
I’ve also started to explore topics through writing that I did not think would be related to my work or personal monopoly. I even wrote a short story last month.