Monday, August 20, 2007

Do Writers need a College Degree to Succeed ???

I recently came across a post ‘College Majors for Aspiring Writers’ that lists the types of majors that would most likely benefit someone who aims to make a career of writing. Here’s the list:

Creative Writing
Journalism
English/English Literature
Theater Arts
Media Arts
Liberal Arts
Linguistics
Communication
Marketing
Technical Writing

But do writers really need a degree to succeed as a writer?

I wonder…

I have a B.A. in Political Science and American Studies which I guess would be classified as a Liberal Arts degree. And while interesting and fun to do at the time, I can’t say that it’s helped much in my pursuit of a freelance travel writing career.

Surely it’s more important for a writer to have a passion to write rather than a degree that says they can…

What do you think?

What was your college major and how has it helped your writing career?

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7 comments:

Theresa said...

I was an English and German major, and if I could do it again, I'd drop English in a second. I'd keep the German, but I'd add History or Anthropology or Biology or Art History or something like that. There are plenty of ways to practice and improve your writing without majoring in English. And I think having the background knowledge of one of those other subjects can help so much. We don't usually write about writing. We write about places with history or great art works or interesting cultures...

KIWIWRITER said...

Hi Theresa, thanks for the comment. I agree that majoring in English isn't necessarily the road to writing success...

Anonymous said...

This is a very cool blog you have on this site. I am 14 years old and I would LOVE to be a writer. I am so scared about my college career and what I'm going to major in. Writing is my passion, and I really really want people to read my boooks and know it is me writing the material they (hopefully) love. Your blog cooled me off: I know now I can major in different things to help my writing, and I dont have to do something involving english. It wasn't much, but it helped. I hope you get your works published!

KIWIWRITER said...

Hi there anonymous,

I so glad to hear that you are finding my blog useful...good luck with your writing...

Cheers,
Liz

Anonymous said...

Well, I majored in English for my undergrad and Information Systems Security for my MS. I work as a technical writer, and I find that my education has been very helpful, not only in getting jobs when I was starting out, but in making my work easier, and it getting higher pay for my work.

I say the education is worth the effort, and a lot of writers who say you do not need them, probably don't have them. It's basic human nature to defend your choices in life, and want to seem your best. Take anyone advising against education with a grain of salt. Just because someone says they are successful online, does not mean they are. (you'll notice I never said that myself)

....at least with a degree you'll have a backup plan in case things run slow, or if you want to get into a niche area of writing.

Online College Consulting - Applywise said...

No not at all. Excellency in writing is a talent which never be taught in University. The only help of School is to develop furthermore their talent in writing.

Barren said...

My passion is writing. I really want to write books for a living. I'm currently writing a book of short stories that all share the same theme, of a horror-suspense but revolve around a twisted love relationship situation. Anyway, I'm glad I stumbled across this because I've been worried about my college choices as well. I thought if I go for journalism it'd help but now I know I really don't have to...I really don't want to be a journalist, in the end I really just want to write books and other entertainment! I know now I'm just going to go for what can better my self and my talents as a writer :)

-=Barren Rynuu Arcane=-

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