Did college help you become a better writer?
Hi, I am an aspiring writer and I am taking college-course writing classes and I am wondering if, as a writing, your college literature and writing courses benefited you any. And if so, which benefited you more: the study and analysis of literature, or the enhancing of your writing skills in your writing course? #author #literature #creative-writing
Hi Theresa - I certainly think that the writing courses I took in college helped me refine and learn to think critically about my writing. While not a literature major, the liberal arts honors program I was enrolled in required that I write a great deal about a variety of topics and in a variety of styles. Ultimately, however, this was just a framework for how to approach structuring and editing my work. The most growth came, quite simply, from writing.
Writing is just like any art, practice helps you learn what works and what doesn't as you refine your literary aesthetic. Most artists like to both study the work of other artists and do exercises to strengthen their technical expertise. I'd recommend not practicing in a vacuum though! Most metropolitan areas have writing meet-ups, if your school doesn't. These are great (and terrifying) because sharing work and getting constructive criticism from other attendees is often part of the sessions. There are also some online communities that function the same way - share a writing sample and get feedback. Above all, strong writing skills are always a valuable job skill and are applicable to many positions across many industries (I'm also in IT like Eva :D ).
College did not. High school did. A lot of writing where I went. However, writing papers for high school or college is not the kind of writing you'll be doing for film or television. The job is not to describe what's happening on the screen - everybody can see that - but to add to what is being seen. If you read a script I wrote for a film, you'd have no idea what was going on since you are not seeing the picture. You don't have to say, "John walked down the street and entered a drug store," since you can see him doing that. A line like, "John knew where he could find the solution to his problem." Make sense? For some people, this style comes easy. For most, it does not. Learn by doing and failing, then doing again.
College is an excellent place to sharpen your skills as a writer. Not just because it will be easier to market yourself to various writing jobs, but also because it can help you to better form your ideas. Talent isn't everything, you need discipline to deliver on a deadline, accuracy in form and structure, and a full comprehension of the various styles already being practiced all over the world. This is what a college education can offer. If you are already there, don't allow a mediocre teacher, or some tedious lower level class to distract you from your goal. It is worth it to finish.
Great question! Congratulations on deciding you want to be a writer and looking into the best way to achieve that.
I'm a writer and community specialist (online communities, social media, blogging, etc.). I was a Literature major in college, and only took one writing course (creative writing). I think what helped my writing the most was all the essay writing in Literature courses. That said, I'm sure writing-specific classes would help you as well.
College majors don't matter nearly as much as you might think - not after your first job, anyway. I majored in literature and ended up working in tech. It's far more important that you learn to be a good writer, regardless of which courses you take to do that.