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Is being a short story writer a career path?

Being a first generation college student means that I'm going in blind in this. None of my family members ever finished school so if I go and ask them for help/advice they can't give any. School counselors are not much help so I'm turning to the internet. I've never really excelled in anything, I'm horrible at math, can barely keep up in science classes, my critical thinking skill don't seem to improve (even though I've passed the classes). The only thing I seem to be good at is creative writing, but do I need to major in English for that? I mean I'm taking these college level English courses and I suffer with these essays. I'm no good at writing essays about deconstructing a poem/book and be super analytical about it. I like having creative freedom and not having to worry about MLA format. #general #college #english

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Emily’s Answer

If your school offers creative writing as a degree or concentration I would take it. I know of some authors that write short stories. So I wouldn't be surprised if becoming an author is something you might like doing. In the long run though, it will really depend on what you want your career to be after you graduate.

I would start by identifying what your end goal is first. Once you figure that out then it will be easier to figure out your filters when job searching. You could just keep writing to build out your portfolio for when you do figure it out. One thing to add if you enjoy creative freedom is maybe dipping your toe in the sketch comedy field. It gives you opportunity to write comedy which can be a lot of fun. So that could be another direction to go with it if you choose to.

Whatever you do choose to do the more you learn about the world around you the more you'll have to write about. Learning about human existence, music, movies, politics, history, etc..... can add to what you'd like to write about. Creative writing can have more outlets than you think and can be fun depending on how you choose to pursue it. The world is at your finger tips. Learn what you can and just write. It'll come to you.

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Simeon’s Answer

In general, if you take English and writing courses/majors, you are most likely setting yourself up to be a teacher or professor, depending on if you want to put the extra years (and debt) in to become a professor versus a grade school teacher. The likelihood of someone writing a successful book and living off of being an author alone is very unlikely. Think of this outcome as being similar to being able to make it into professional sports. There are success stories out there like JK Rowling, but success stories are misleading because they do not tell the stories of all the people that tried and failed. There are crowds of people writing books these days and the most successful authors often create a flood of books to keep the income going, so its hard to break into the market. That is not to say to not do creative writing, but not to rely on it for an income. Many people who have gotten into writing had a different job to support themselves on while they worked on trying to create a successful book, but it's impossible to predict when that success will come. If you want to be a writer, I would recommend also getting a teacher degree to support yourself while you work on writing.

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Rebecca’s Answer

Hi Francisco, different people have different talents and interest. No one in the world is perfect. It's great that you know what is your strength and weakness. If you are interested on writing especially short stories, you can write more. You can consider to setup your own blog and publish your stories. Practise makes perfect!
At the same time, what subjects you have taken in the college? You can consider to take some relevant subjects that can help you to polish your writing skills, e.g. English Literature, Journalism, etc.
In the future, you can consider to be a author, teacher, journalist, etc. You can explore more on these careers. You still have plenty of time to plan for your future career.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!