Some people think that being a creative writing major is a joke. Well, they are wrong! I am sure you’ve heard that this major won’t get you a career and that it isn’t one that matters, unlike math and science. It’s hard hearing such negative things about something you love. So, don’t let it get to you and choose this major anyway!
I went to high school at a charter school that did dual credit with a local community college. I was lucky enough to have the state government pay for my credits and I graduate high school with my honors diploma and Associate of Liberal Arts. Of course, this meant that the minute I started college, I needed to know what major I wanted.
I love to read and write, and I thought publishing would be an amazing career. But as I’ve gone through the last couple of years working towards this degree with this major, I’ve had my doubts. So, here is a list to remind you and myself why we should continue to choose a creative writing major.
1. We Will Always Need Books
If the apocalypse were to start tomorrow, if people had to start living underground and growing their own food and becoming their own teachers, we would still need books to survive. They are not just entertainment, they are a source of hope. They teach us so many things and open our eyes to other possibilities. It would help that next civilization begin to grow again.
We will always need books, and becoming a creative writing major with further that idea. So as Shia Labeouf said, just do it!
2. Creative and Critical Thinking Skills
Being in the creative writing program, I have taken creative writing courses as well as English Literature courses that have taught me to have creative and critical thinking skills. Creative writing classes are great because the professors will give you many prompts that will require you to think creatively to begin your story.
I was very lucky to have a great English Literature professor as she had great methods of teaching, but she also grew with her students. She pushed hard which meant I pushed myself hard and my critical thinking skills have grown immensely. It feels so good to read a novel and be able to break down sentences to find different meanings. I feel super smart while doing it and you will too!
3. Always New Ideas
There will always be a new idea in this field. There is always that fear and anxiety about hitting your “writer’s block”, but I’ve had so many authors tell me that “writer’s block” isn’t real. Sit down and just write, it doesn’t matter what about, just let the pen move. I promise you’ll find your next best idea while doing this exercise. Many creative writing courses will make you do this as an exercise. Let your ideas flow. You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with.
4. Using a Typewriter
Okay, so this one isn’t super related, but if you become a creative writing major, you have an excuse to buy a typewriter and actually use it! I’ve never used a typewriter before and I really want to. I know some people say it gets annoying, but I think it would be so cool. I would totally dress the part as well just to use it. Maybe haul it to a coffee shop and annoy everyone with my clacking keys.
5. Many Kinds of Jobs
I’ve had a lot of family members tell me that there are not many jobs that come out of a creative writing major. This is my biggest worry when it comes to my major, but I have had a couple of professors calm this worry with lists of the different kinds of jobs that accompany this major.
Being an author is one of them of course. Taking a job in a publishing company and becoming an editor. You could own a bookstore. You could get another major in a different language and translate manuscripts. There are many different options out there, you just have to talk to the right people and read the right sites to find them.
6. Always an Excuse to Drink Coffee
If you are a huge coffee fan, there is always an excuse to drink coffee while being a creative writing major. There will be many nights where you will be up typing away on the essay that is due the next day and you will need your energy. Plus, it is the thing to go to a coffee shop and write or talk about writing. Just make sure you keep mints or gum in your pocket because you don’t want to hit people in the face with coffee breath. It isn’t great.
7. Meeting New People
Being a creative writing major, there are multiple opportunities for you to meet new people. Being in the Portland, OR area, I have had a lot of opportunities to meet authors since they come to Powell’s books all of the time to read their work. My college also has a Visiting Writers Series and I’ve had the honor of going to dinner with some of the writers they bring to campus.
It is crucial to have a network while being a creative writing major because the people you meet during this time will be the people to help you become successful later on. Make sure to keep in touch with them throughout the years. You never know you might need a helping hand.
8. Learning to Take Criticism
My writing is my baby, and I used to have the hardest time taking criticism. I would feel really hurt if anyone said anything remotely negative about my work. But, I’ve had to learn and it was hard, but I did it. I’ve come to understand that these people don’t hate me or my writing, they are trying to help me better my writing so that I can become successful. Becoming a creative writing major will help you come to that understanding as well.
9. Learning to Give Criticism
You will also learn to give criticism on other’s work. It takes confidence to openly give edits to someone because if you are like me, you don’t want to hurt their feelings. The courses you will take as a creative writing major will help you learn how to be respectful about someone’s writing while also giving back constructive criticism so that they can also better their writing.
10. Your Voice Will Be Heard
The last thing I want to say about choosing a creative writing major is that one day, your voice will be heard. We all have stories that will benefit the world. You have millions of stories inside of you that might change the world one day and the world deserves to hear them. Don’t be afraid to get your ideas out there and keep pushing your writing. Whatever you choose to do as a career after becoming a creative writing major, you will impact many people for words live much longer than we do.