Hello, writers! I would like to share my thoughts and experiences on this topic~ because college is an expensive affair. Will getting your English degree help you on your writing journey?
Well, let’s talk about what it did (and did not do) for my writing.
What it did:
1. It exposed me to all kinds of literature
I was blessed to be in a school that encouraged all kinds of reading! Epic poems, banned books, boring-as-all-get-out literature, Shakespeare… I read a variety of works, all quite different from each other, all works that I would have never picked on my own.
2. It made me write on a schedule
Ah, to sit around and wait to be inspired. It’s like a fairy tale… Well, not if you have a 10+ page paper due in 7 days! Muse or not, I learned to sit down for X amount of hours and just write. I was able to see that “feeling inspired” or not, I could always sit and write. Always. Now I no longer wait until I “feel like it.” I just write.
3. It explained modern traditional publishing
I learned how to find a publishing house to match my writing/genre and how to query. I also saw the major shifts that traditional publishing has gone through since the ’90s (when I was young 👵), which made me appreciate self-publishing even more. But now, if I choose to try the traditional route, I know exactly what to do!
What it did not do:
1. It did not make me a better writer
Oof, rough one to admit. I think I hear my student loans weeping. But in all honesty, I’ve learned faster and more applicable writing tips from books by Stephen King, K.M. Weiland, and Orson Scott Card. Reason being: I write genre, they mostly teach about literature.
2. It did not have effective writing workshops
Everyone was very concerned with being nice, which meant no matter what I wrote, the feedback was always “Great Job! 🌟” I mean, that’s very nice, but I highly doubt my writing was free of error. It made it difficult to turn in an updated second draft. Not to mention how many people I offended by simply providing suggestions for improvement. Yikes.
3. It did not make anything easier
To be 100% real with you, I am no better than any other indie author without a BA in English. When it comes to writing, no matter what degrees you have or don’t have, you still have to sit and do-the-work. You still have to put aside writing time, outline, draft, edit… all that good stuff! Then comes the marketing and, well, we are all on the same boat here.
This is not to say earning a degree is not worth it.
It is always worth it to further your education, but traditional college may not be the route for everyone. This blog was experiential- you might have a much different experience.
Earning a degree also allows you to finish what you start, learn to distinguish between false and reliable sources of information, adhere to a schedule, and more. Having a degree also opens up your career opportunities, whether you choose to write or do something else.
Would I do it again? Yes!
The list of what college did for me is actually much longer than 3 items, but I like to keep this blog short and sweet 😉 If you have any questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer as best as I can!
🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜