In today’s world, everyone is a writer. Thanks to the internet, the demand for content creators is at an all-time high. If you want to be able to write, you’re going to have to take a closer look at your options. There are a number of different writing degrees out there, all with their perks and quirks. Hopefully, this post will help you decide what type of writing education you want to pursue based on your own interests and strengths.
Why Study Creative Writing?
If you’re reading this, you either have an interest in or a background in creative writing. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. For those interested in pursuing a writing career, here are some great reasons to study creative writing:
1. The Job Market
Although the overall job market for writers is looking good, the demand for creative writers is especially high. Thanks to the rise of the meme, a writer’s originality is more valuable than ever. If you want to be able to write original content, the demand for your services is only going to increase.
The good news is that many universities now offer accredited programs in creative writing. When you have a degree from an accredited program, you’ll be able to write more confidently and connect with your audience. You’ll also stand out among your peers as a creative writer who can back up his or her words with extensive research.
2. Build Your Portfolio
The biggest reason to study creative writing is to build a portfolio. Every writer’s portfolio is different, but it generally consists of samples of his or her work. When you have a substantial body of work to show off, it gives you a much better chance of landing that all-important internship or job. Of course, you don’t need to have a portfolio to be a good writer. But, it won’t hurt your cause.
2. Broaden Your Mind
Creative writing is all about thinking outside of the box. When you’re given a free piece of paper, you’re allowed to be as creative as you can be. The best part about studying creative writing is that it forces you to be original and come up with unique ideas. Even better, you’re not always required to be funny or satirical. You can choose to write about something that interests you or about an issue that needs to be addressed.
If you do decide that you want to be a humorous writer, for example, you’ll have to learn how to be funny. However, you don’t have to be a professional comedian to pull off being funny. All you need is the ability to observe and comment on the world around you with a humorous twist.
The point is that, by studying creative writing, you’re going to gain the ability to think creatively and see the world in a different way. To quote Ernest Hemingway, “The main thing is to get the feel of the thing. Once you get that, you can do anything.” When you get that feel for a story, you can write it in any style you choose and it will flow naturally.
3. The Special Skills You Need
In addition to seeing the world in a different way, creative writing also demands you develop certain skills. To begin with, you’ll need to be able to think quickly and critically. You’ll need to be able to come up with unique ideas, which is going to take some time. As you begin to write, you’ll quickly realize you’re not always going to be able to use the language you’re familiar with, so you’ll need to learn new grammar and vocabulary. Finally, you’ll need to learn how to organize your thoughts into a coherent narrative, which can be quite challenging.
To succeed as a creative writer, you’re going to have to develop these skills. It’s not enough to have a good idea or even a complete story. You’ll have to learn how to present your ideas to the world in a compelling manner and how to make the story flow smoothly from beginning to end. If you do decide to study creative writing, don’t be afraid to put in the work. Just make sure you reach your full potential.
4. The Experience
Even if you don’t end up pursuing a career in creative writing, the experience of writing for school or even just for fun is invaluable. Learning how to work with others, how to follow directions, and how to be organized are all skills you’re going to need. Not to mention the ability to write regularly and consistently. If you get the chance to take a class where you can write for fun, do it. The class will most likely be helpful in helping you fine-tune your craft.
5. The Confidence
Once you complete your creative writing program, you won’t necessarily feel confident that you can write effectively. After all, you’ve only been writing for a few months and you’ve never really published professionally. The best way to get confident is to put yourself in situations where you have to write. Sign up for a class or a community writing project and begin contributing. Join a writing group and attend conferences or get-togethers with other professional writers. The more you do, the more you’ll be able to accomplish. And remember, the main thing is to get the feel of the thing. As long as you have that, you can do anything.
6. The Flexibility
There are a lot of writing jobs out there, but most of them require you to be in front of a computer or a notebook every day. If you can’t keep up with that, then chances are you aren’t going to be able to land that all-important job. In order to be successful as a writer, you’re going to have to be flexible about where and when you write. Does that mean you have to take a lot of time off work? Sure, if that’s what it takes. But, if you’re able to be flexible, you may be able to score that all-important writing job, even if you’re not necessarily pursuing a career in writing.
7. The Chance To Travel
If you’ve been dreaming of traveling the world and being on the move for most of your life, then a creative writing degree might be the way to go. Many universities offer fully funded travel stipends, so you’ll be able to take your family on a dream vacation if you’re able to land that all-important internship or job. You’ll be able to use your savings or the money from your stipend to take a holiday when you have a break at your internship or job. Is the idea of traveling the world and being paid to write really appealing? If so, then a creative writing degree might be the way to go. Plus, wouldn’t it be great to wake up one day and find that you’re able to write your own ticket to the world of your dreams?
8. The Social Opportunities
If you’re looking for ways to meet new people, earn some extra money, or simply want to be able to network with professionals, then a creative writing degree might be the way to go. For those who love to write and have the freedom to do so, many cities have literary festivals or writing competitions that you’re able to enter. Even if you don’t win, it’s still a great opportunity to network and meet people who share your interests. Is social interaction and meeting new people a hobby or a pastime for you? If so, then a creative writing degree might be the way to go. You’ll be able to network with other students as well as professors and influencers who can help you get started or further your career.
9. The Satisfaction
Last but not least, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we were able to contribute to the world in some way. Whether you decide to pursue a career in writing or not, the knowledge that you were able to create something which other people might enjoy is an invaluable feeling. If you get the chance to write for a specific audience, whether it’s via a blog or a magazine, the satisfaction that you’re able to contribute something which is both original and well-written cannot be measured.
Writing is an art form that provides both creative and professional satisfaction. There are a lot of different degrees and options out there, all with their perks and quirks. If you’re passionate about writing and want to be able to use your skills to provide for your family, then a Creative Writing degree might be the way to go.