Many writers wonder whether taking a writing course could actually help them not only get better at their craft but also boost their chances of finding a writing-related job. A creative writing degree is the ultimate writing course, a proper qualification in the filed you are so passionate about.
But in reality, is doing a creative writing degree a good idea? As with any degree, it’s a massive undertaking and requires dedication to studying the craft of writing, as well as writing essays and creative work which will be marked in order to pass and obtain the degree.
Not only that but there is also the question of money. Creative writing degrees can set one back thousands, and without a guarantee of a job at the end, writers have to be pretty sure what they get from the course is worth it.
So what can a creative writing degree do for you?
Improve your writing
There is no doubt that taking such a course will improve writers writing. Here is an opportunity to study the craft, to learn the different techniques and to be guided by a teacher who really knows their stuff. Of course, taking a creative writing degree will require you to do lots of writing too so just by practicing alone your writing will no doubt get better.
Boost your creativity
A creative writing degree will push you to be more experimental with your writing, to try new techniques and to think both strategically and creatively about the way that you work. It can be difficult for writers to do this without help and guidance and creative writing course is precisely the right environment to give writers the confidence and assistance to push themselves to the max.
Provides invaluable feedback
A creative writing degree will encourage students to become more critical of their writing and more thoughtful and purposeful in the way that they write. Not only will peer to peer feedback be given but creative writing will be assessed as part of the course. That’s like having an editor give you masses of feedback on what’s working and what isn’t - which is a brilliant advantage if you are trying to get published.
Of course, there are no guarantees and having a creative writing qualification on your CV doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a job in the industry. However, it does look impressive. A degree in creative writing means that students should gain both critical and rhetorical skills which are valued in many creative industries such as education, copywriting, marketing, editing.
Being a creative writing graduate doesn’t mean you’ll get published or get a job in the industry, but it does give you an advantage, and if a writer can do one and dedicate themselves to it to ensure they make the most of it, it could help to boost their writing career.
I only have a BA in literature, but have wondered if I should consider getting an MA in say, creative writing or some related degree. This has not been a big thought or priority of mine, but it has occurred to me on occasion. One such time was when I was beginning to work on my memoir, realizing it was the longest paper I'd ever typed. This made me believe I would not have trouble writing a graduate thesis, given the length of my memoir. But I have had to consider if having a graduate degree is really necessary, as some have said they are only useful for going into careers that require such degrees. This ill need a lot of consideration.
Meanwhile, I have joined a critique group on Meetup, one that is near where I live, but which meets on Saturdays at 3PM in a very busy part of town. I have yet to attend and am trying to decide when to do so.