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What is your writer education?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So, did you go to college to become a writer?If so, where and what classes?Did you just jump in,and if so, how?Did you know the right people?Did it fall into your life?Are you still trying whatever you can to ba a writer?Tell me your story!Thanks!
post #2 of 10
My bachelor's degree was in English with a minor in Creative Writing. I went to school to be a writer. I am still trying to do whatever I can to be a writer. I recently thought about doing an MFA program (my master's degree was in teaching) and a "real" writer told me when I asked that if you aren't planning on teaching writing at the college level, then an MFA isn't worth the money to get it.
I still wonder. I like the focus of workshops in the school setting and deadlines.
post #3 of 10
What kind of writing? I'm a fiction writer; I mostly write fantasy. My goal in life is to become a published, professional novelist.

No, I didn't go to college to be a writer. I did take one English class that was about fiction writing (genre fiction) but mainly because I needed more credits and it sounded like fun.

I started writing as a kid. As a teenager I joined a fanfiction club and write fanfics. That's mostly what I wrote for about a decade. They say you have a million words of crap in you before the good stuff comes out and I think I got at least a million words out writing fanfic. Then one year some buddies from one of my fanfic clubs and I joined NaNoWriMo and we spent a month writing novels and egging each other on. Some friends in another group had gotten involved with a serious writing workshop, so I submitted my novel and was admitted to the workshop the next year. That was in late 2002 and since then I've mostly been trying to write fiction seriously, no more fanfic, just marketable stuff. I joined a weekly critique group which I have been attending for about 5 years. Through the workshop and the crit group I developed a network of friends with similar goals, most of whom have now sold novels or at least several short stories to professional publishers. I sold my first story to a pro market in the spring and am trying to finish the 3rd draft of my 3rd novel so I can market it to book agents. I submitted the novel to a respectable literary contest earlier this year and just found out it took 2nd place in my category, which is awesome because one of the "prizes" was a party with book agents who were actually eager to talk to us winners.

I suppose it depends on what you're writing but most of the writers I know didn't take college classes, though many do occasionally attend workshops or retreats. Since my circle is composed mostly of SF/F writers, most also go to writing-related panels at science fiction conventions.
post #4 of 10
I did a writing-intensive honors program in college, and I had freelanced as a proofreader. But mostly, I learned journalism on the job. It's been six years and I feel pretty confidant.
post #5 of 10
I went to college for journalism. I wasn't planning on it...just enjoyed my media classes. Became a journalist at a paper, but it didn't work out. Ended up sending out lots of pitches to become a freelancer and then just made contacts from there.

I can safely say that anything that has come my way has been through hard work and just a little bit of luck. Every time a door has slammed in my face, I either pick up a brick and shatter that window or go next door and start a knocking.
post #6 of 10
Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post
) and a "real" writer told me when I asked that if you aren't planning on teaching writing at the college level, then an MFA isn't worth the money to get it.
I plan on getting my MFA in non-fiction. Once my kiddies are no longer at home, I plan on either teaching college level or at one of those "fancy" private/boarding schools.

If you just like the deadlines, you could always see if there's a local class you could join in first...
post #7 of 10
I have a B.A in English. I wish I could go back and do my focus in film since that is my real passion. Oh well; I'm teaching myself!
post #8 of 10
I studied literature and languages in college. Then went to the Peace Corps (that was an education in itself). Then grad school for literature (dropped out). Then an MFA for poetry. That was useful for developing my craft, and the time and space it gave me to devote to writing, as well as the community of writers.
But the best thing about writing, I feel, is that everything can be an education. And everything is material!
post #9 of 10
I have a degree in English, I did hope, like a lot of people that I'd be able to making a living from writing novels....but alas not yet. So now I'm a Technical Writer, writing User Guide / Manuals for software companies. But I haven't stopped writing always hoping to get published at some stage.
post #10 of 10
I have a bachelor's and one of my majors is English. I focused on old literary canon stuff. My college's writing-intensive course requirements allowed me to do a lot of writing through my studies. I'd have liked to have followed up with grad work in literature, but that didn't happen for a variety of reasons. Like a PP, I volunteered with the Peace Corps. I agree that when you're a writer, you are open to absorbing as much of every experience as you can...and this is all education!

I didn't pursue my education with the intention of becoming a writer. Rather, I have written my way through life, and I intend to keep that up.
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