Writing and College

originally posted at my other blog Jessica Sita/Watchful Creature.

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Should you go to college if you want to be a writer? Absolutely.

Do you have to? Obviously not.

There are plenty of famous writers out there who never went to school for English, Creative Writing, Literature, etc. (did someone say J.K. Rowling?).  There are plenty of famous writers who didn’t make it to college at all (including Ray Bradbury and Shakespeare).

I have an Masters degree in English (emphasis Creative Writing). Did I want to teach? No. Do I want to pursue a PHD or an MFA (which is the next logical course of action)? Not at this time. Do I currently have a job outside of writing and housewifery? No.  Why did I do it? Do I value my education? To the extreme. In fact, I had to fight my parents every step of the way just to keep my major as English/Creative Writing in college.  They wanted me to study something with a more solid career path at the end of the line, like business.  I wanted to follow my dreams.  They finally relented when they saw how good of an education I was getting and realized that surely, simply having a degree at the end of all of this meant job prospects. After all, how many of us have jobs that reflect our major in college?

I wanted to be a better writer. And so I learned. After college, I still wanted to be a better writer, so I went back (I really should have chosen the MFA route instead of the MA route but that’s a story for another time). I became a better writer, and just as importantly, especially as an undergrad, I grew as a person.

Now education cannot, CANNOT make up for talent, passion and practice, practice, practice.

My advice is, go to college. At least for something.  Get a good job. You’re going to need it to support those coffee habits while you pursue your true passion. Writing.  Go to college and study Creative Writing. Follow those stars! Be prepared to find a career that has nothing to do with writing.  Or hell, maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones.  But no matter what your “job” is or your “major” is, never stop saying: “I am a Writer.”

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