There’s no cut-and-dried way to answer this question, but in reality, it depends on how fast you’re going to switch degrees. It took me four years of college and two years of graduate school to complete my B.A in English, and during that time, I had to take a few classes in creative writing as well. But in my first year of teaching, I only had to assign one creative writing class, while language arts classes continued to pile up.
Here, you’ll learn the ins and outs of becoming a creative writer, including guidelines on how long you should teach the subject before you switch over to teaching creative writing. And since this is a constantly evolving field, you’ll also learn about the most recent trends and technologies that have shaped the industry and how technology is enabling a new generation of writers to flourish.
The Evolution Of Creative Writing
Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we? According to the the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) 2017 Creative
Writing in Advertising Report, as of 2017, 13.3% of the American workforce was classified as creative writers, and the employment outlook for this group looks promising. In the report, the association states that the demand for creative writers is expected to grow 20% by 2022.
Back in the day, creative writing was considered a bit of a joke. The thinking went something like this: If you can’t express yourself through literature or song, how else are you going to find the creativity you need to make something worthwhile? But as with any good joke, there’s oftentimes more than one angle to it. In reality, creative writing is no longer a joke; it’s a full-fledged degree with a rapidly growing number of accredited institutions offering undergraduate and graduate programs. As a result, more and more people are finding themselves with a creative writing degree and job prospects that reflect that. At the same time, the requirements to earn a professional degree in creative writing have all but disappeared, leaving ample room for anyone with even a high school diploma to pursue this field.
Let’s take a trip back in time to the early 1900s, when writing, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, was considered to be just another form of communication. Between news reports, social media, and other forms of digital communication, everyone had a voice, and if you couldn’t express yourself efficiently through a keyboard, you could find another way to get your message across.
Then, during the Second World War, the demand for stories, essays, and poetry exponentially increased. Soldiers needed to tell their stories, but they also needed help processing what they had seen and experienced, and the demand for therapists and counselors grew, as did the need for organizations like the Red Cross and the YMCA to provide services for the troops. Creative writing became a form of self-therapy for many, and it continues to be today. More and more people are finding that a creative writing degree provides them with the tools to express themselves, work through their problems, and find a way to be their best selves. As a result, the demand for creative writing courses and degrees continues to climb.
The Rise Of The Hybrid Writer
In today’s world, a hybrid writer is someone who combines his or her writing skills with various other media, such as marketing, design, or photography. The ability to blend those various skills into a single, cohesive piece is extremely valuable, and it’s a skill that takes some training. One of the biggest challenges that come with being a hybrid writer is establishing yourself as an expert in a certain field while still being considered a generalist.
For example, if I’ve written a blog post about fashion, but I also happen to be a pretty good photographer, will my viewers consider me an expert in both areas or just the writer? While we’re all capable of learning new things, it’s a requirement of a hybrid writer that he or she knows how to combine those various areas of knowledge into a single piece, and for that, you need to be practicing.
The takeaway from all of this is that if you’re considering a career in creative writing, you need to have a clear picture of what you’re getting into. It may take some time for the industry to catch up to your expectations, but you can be sure that it will. Nowadays, being a writer is not a joke; it’s a recognized profession with plenty of opportunities and all the required training to make you industry-ready. If you’re thinking about becoming a creative writer, why not? It never goes out of fashion.