Writing Degrees-Are They Practical?

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“To be a writer you have to write, and no academic degree is going to do the writing for you.” —Michelle Richmond

There is currently a debate going on Twitter on this statement. It seems not everyone agrees with it.  While, yes, having a writing degree won’t do the writing for you; but, there are other practical purposes to attaining a degree (like MFA for example).  One individual states that studying and earning a MFA degree helped him to be more adept on the business side of writing.

What are other practical ways writing degrees can help writers?

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10 thoughts on “Writing Degrees-Are They Practical?

  1. I don’t have my MFA (nor do I plan on obtaining one), but I did get my BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing (a mouthful!). I think over those 4 years, my writing grew in a way it wouldn’t have had I skipped college or majored in something else. I was forced to try different genres, different types of writing, etc. and the feedback was phenomenal. Faculty who’d been published, other writers looking for the same feedback, and our workshop classes were mixed with MFA students as well whose feedback tended to be even more helpful!
    Is it practical in the job market? Not really, in my opinion.
    But was it worth it for me as a writer? Heck yeah.

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  2. My first choice was to major in Journalism, but I ended up getting my degree in Physical Education. Although I used that degree a little I ended up with a career in Banking. Go figures. Now I wonder if majoring in Journalism, or even in English/Creative Writing would have helped me be a better writer than I am now…guess I will never know. Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

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  3. If you have the vision, you still need grammar to make it readable. I need a refresher course on things I learned in the sixth and seventh grade. After all these years of not using it I am unsure of myself. I can dream it up and see it like a movie in my mind, but can I put it in words so anyone else can see it.

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  4. I have a BA in graphic design. My creativity is what sparked it. I love writing and always will. I took a couple writing courses in acquiring this degree. I always look online for free learning to enhance my writing. My point is this, learning is not about the degree but about the learning. If you have a specific purpose for your degree, like a position, it might make the difference. However, even with a degree, the constant of learning new things is ever present. Decide what the purpose is for your degree and go from there. After spending $65K to obtain a degree, I am okay going the less expensive route now to increase my learning. Everyone has an opinion, but it is you who will ultimately need to make the choice. You don’t even have to pursue it now. Maybe later when things are more definitive.

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    • Like you, I find it much too expensive to study for a writing degree but learning is still necessity as a writer. Personally, I enjoy learning and look for ways to do this through various free courses I find online. I figure you really can’t go wrong by going this route.

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  5. I think earning a writing degree has several benefits to it. It’s true that it helps with with the business side of writing, learning how to condense ideas and summarize, as well as learning the language to talk about your work. But the coursework also helps you to learn how to revise (often requiring you to revise) and allows opportunities to be in workshops with other writers, where you learn not only how to give feedback, but also how to receive and utilize it.

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