Posted in 🌻 Blog & Writing Life 🌻

I Earned my English Degree: Was it Worth it?

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 πŸ‘΅), 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 πŸ˜‰ If you have any questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer as best as I can!

Learn on,

YariGarciaWrites

🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜

Author:

I'm an indie author sharing my journey of creativity and faith.

38 thoughts on “I Earned my English Degree: Was it Worth it?

  1. This post really highlights the way I feel about post-secondary degrees. Just because a degree doesn’t neatly and perfectly translate into a chosen field, doesn’t make it obsolete or a waste of time! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nah, you don’t need a degree to write. Once you have the basics (spelling/grammar) and a story idea, you’re good to go. Honestly, I’ve learned a lot about storytelling through author books, not textbooks.

      Write on, my friend πŸ™‚
      Yari

      Like

  2. All of this is true. I got my BA in English and then my MA in Creative Writing. Neither of them made me a better writer. I did that on my own – I write daily. What those courses did was put a structure to the writing/publishing world and give me a foundation of literature. I would do it all again if I had it to do over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to have an MA in Creative Writing 😍 That’s awesome πŸ™‚ But yes, a lot of writing is truly about the work the individual puts in.

      An education is fantastic, but there’s no magic shortcut to writing well. It requires work and heart πŸ’•

      Thanks for dropping by!
      Yari

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If you did it again, go to a school in NYC! I loved the no apologies feedback they gave in my creative writing class! I would go again just for that! I’m glad you gave honest feedback to your classmates. It is so needed today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post. I feel the same way about my art degree. Like you say, a degree shows commitment, opens employment doors, and like any undergraduate, one is exposed to variety, also of professors. I had a few great writing teacher in college/uni, with one very eccentric creating writing prof that was fun. They were also critical, and challenging. Students would sometimes leave the room crying. I loved it. Well, sometimes, my pride was bruised too. The real world demands efficiency and quality at once, which is difficult for all, but especially on a novice, who are often emotionally immature to criticism. Uni builds in a student, if they’re lucky to have tough profs, a constitution to handle it gracefully.
    I published a few things years back, and am satisfied. I may again someday. I finally bailed on Facebook, after so many years of hearing some friends say, You write too much, too personal, and often about marginal or inconsequential things. At last, I shrugged. Writers write! And so, a blog suits me.

    Like

    1. Everything you described is my favorite type of blog to read: personal, about every day life… I don’t much care for highly-polished, extravagant-travel blogs. I relate more to the really honest ones πŸ™‚

      And yes! about everything you said πŸ™‚ I met some really awesome people at college, and some that were a challenge (which only helps you grow). All in all, a wonderful experience!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, my friend! Have yourself a good week πŸ™‚
      Yari

      Like

  5. This post is great. I really love that I was finally able to get my BA this last year. I believe that there is no downfall for anyone to learn more. In fact, we should learn something every day if we can. One of the classes I had in the Creative Writing degree was the importance of a platform and how much the author promotes themselves not relying on a publisher to sell your books. This was surprising to me since so many (including myself) thought that the author just wrote books and then the passed on to the publisher to get the book to sell. I love the fact that I get to add a little marketing to help my book sell. As a retired Retail manager this excites me. Thank you for sharing with us.
    Angie D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats on your BA! And I totally agree ~ I love websites like Khan Academy, JustinGuitar, and DuoLingo for extra learning without breaking the bank πŸ™‚

      I was very surprised to know that a publishing houses still require the author to do heavy lifting when it comes to marketing. And here I thought they just laid back and relaxed!

      It’s awesome to have you stop by and comment! πŸ™‚ Enjoy your week,
      Yari

      Like

    1. There are definitely benefits, but in my opinion, it is still up to the writer to hone their craft πŸ™‚ I do believe that someone who is driven to learn and work hard can write great books, without a degree.

      Thanks for dropping by! πŸ™‚
      Yari

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Yari. Excellent blog. I received both my Bachelor’s and Master’s in English and for me it was well worth it. Though I learned to hone my writing in my early years, what the degrees did more than anything was open the door to better writing jobs … i.e., newspapers. It was there where I really learned how to REALLY write. Also, as I got older and was seeking employment, my degrees helped get me college teaching jobs … 30 years later.

    So yes, your degree was by all means worth it now, and could well be worth it down the road. You still have a lot of living ahead of you, young lady! Best of all possible wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

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