Getting a degree in creative writing can open opportunities in your career that you might not have ever imagined, even beyond the expected writing-related career positions. Leaving university with a creative writing degree casts a wider net both in the skills you’ll gain, as well as what you’ll have to offer than some may realize. There is more to creative writing than simply writing for the sake of creativity—developing short stories, poetry, personal nonfiction, etc. In fact, the skills creative writing students walk away with at the end of their education make them highly valuable in many areas of the job market. Having a mastery of language, and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively, can land a job with almost any employer who needs a creative outlook on their business.
Here are 5 reasons a creative writing degree is worth it:
1. You’ll Tell Stories Like No One Else
A creative writing degree offers a unique opportunity to delve deeply into the art and craft of storytelling like no other college program will. It teaches you how to weave intricate narratives, develop compelling characters, and create immersive settings that captivate readers. You’ll learn to articulate your unique voice and perspective, enabling you to tell stories in a way no one else can. Having this ability to shape a narrative and captivate an audience is something that will benefit you in many situations including sales negotiations, business pitches, proposal writing, digital marketing, and so much more! Through consistent practice, feedback from experienced instructors, and exposure to a variety of literary styles and genres, you’ll acquire the skills to craft stories that are distinctively yours and extremely persuasive. This degree ultimately equips you with the tools to shape your imagination into narratives that resonate with readers, allowing you to make your book, products, services, corporate brands, and yourself stand out.
2. You’ll Learn How To Navigate The Publishing Industry
A creative writing degree can be like a backstage pass to the publishing industry. You learn the ropes on how to pitch your work, what editors are looking for, and how to deal with rejections (everyone gets them, seriously). You’ll get to study under professors who’ve been there and done that – they can share insider tips and maybe even hook you up with industry contacts. Plus, lots of programs bring in guest speakers, like published authors, literary agents, and editors, so you get a firsthand look at the publishing world. You’ll learn not only how to create awesome work, but also how to get that work out into the world. Many creative writing programs provide detailed courses about publishing such as bookbuilding (formatting, designing, and printing your book), and editing your book for publication.
3. You’ll Make Influential Contacts
Getting your degree in creative writing means you’ll find yourself submerged in a vibrant community of unique and gifted individuals who can help you navigate your writing career in ways you never thought possible. These peers of yours serve as a treasure trove of inspiration and potential collaboration—bridges to fresh ideas and possible publishing opportunities. Beyond your peers, you’ll find another rich vein of wisdom and opportunities through the creative writing professors. They can guide you to internships, campus engagements, and even lay down pathways to full-fledged careers.
4. You’ll Notice the Details and Think on Your Feet
Creative writing can be very personal in nature, but there is more to gain from the major than fleshing out your own ideas. A major facet of creative writing is analyzing other works, whether you’re studying the classics or the work of your peers. Creative writing encourages you to become an observer of the world around you. Whether it’s capturing the nuances of human behavior or describing the intricacies of nature, you will learn to pay attention to details and extract meaning from themes that might be outside of your zone of comfort. This not only enriches your writing but translates it to real-life situations, where you can evaluate information and make well-informed decisions.
5. You’ll Develop Discipline and Drive
Immersing yourself into a creative writing degree program isn’t just about mastering the art of words—it’s also a journey of developing discipline and drive. Each writing assignment becomes a lesson in perseverance, pushing you to write, revise, and polish until your work shines. Meeting deadlines instills a sense of responsibility and trains you in time management, while overcoming writer’s block teaches you resilience. The consistent effort to improve your craft, the determination to create compelling narratives, and the drive to engage readers fosters a disciplined work ethic. Moreover, the relentless pursuit of finding your unique voice fuels your drive, inspiring you to write with authenticity and conviction. Ultimately, this degree is more than just an academic pursuit—it’s a transformative journey that shapes you into a committed, driven, and disciplined writer.
A BFA Creative Writing student at UNCW, Conner DiGiacomo is an author known for short stories and poetry in the realm of magical realism. He has won awards for his poetry since high school, written multiple published investigative articles, and is an active participant in the creative community at large. If you’re in Wilmington, you can find Conner volunteering at WHQR Public Radio, reading at open mics, and perusing local record stores.