Hello Ebi! Hello Fam!
I touched upon this topic some time ago, and I think this is a great time to revisit it. It’s been two years since I earned and received my Master of Arts in Creative Writing and English. When I started the process, I was excited but nervous. Between all the work I had ahead of me, future debt, and the nay-sayers who said, “It’s not worth it! Keep your money,” I contemplated whether it was the right decision. Fast forward to the present, and I ask myself, “Was getting an MA in Creative Writing worth it?”
Pros and Cons of an MA in Creative Writing
For clarification, there’s a Master of Arts (the study of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, etc.), a Master of Fine Arts (research, essay writing, working one-on-one with academics), and so forth. Each has a somewhat varied approach to its curriculum. Check out this informative article on the difference between the two degrees. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/ma-vs-mfa-study
- The courses I took helped me to develop my skills and hone my craft.
- I discovered what it truly meant to ” find my voice” and writing style.
- Professors introduce you to genres you may not have read on your own.
- You realize just how large the writing community is. Writing which tends to be a solitary endeavor, doesn’t have to be.
- Connections can be made—whether with other students or instructors who are enthusiastic about your success.
- Most of the time, you’ll receive fair but constructive criticism from counterparts and mentors.
- I did an insane amount of reading—this can be a pro or con! But you develop a better understanding of literary elements like character development, plot, setting, etc.
- Job opportunities may come from it—before, during, or after the program is complete.
- The first obvious con is debt. Hard to avoid unless you have the dough stashed away.
- As I mentioned, reading A LOT can be a con if you’re unprepared for it.
- Don’t assume that you’ll be presented with the book deal of life or the job of your dreams after graduation. Be realistic. It may open some doors, but you’ll need to step forward courageously and independently.
- Courses are deadline intensive. If you’re not mindful of your time, you’ll need to change that or watch your hard-earned money slip through your fingers.
- You may have outstanding professors or come across one or two with a big chip on their shoulder—just a warning.
- Perhaps, your manuscript still needs plenty of work after graduation. Research editors, beta readers, etc., get what you need to perfect your story.
- Get some Visine! Your eyes may burn while working on your thesis! But seriously, working hours at at time in front of your computer can take a toll on you.
At the end…
Not everyone needs a degree in Creative Writing to succeed in this field. There are plenty of notable writers who have done without it. It has been two years, and I still believe getting an MA was worth it for all the reasons I mentioned above and for the positive ‘writerly’ things that await me in the future. YA Fantasy coming soon to a bookstore near you! Pursuing this program was one of the steps I took to improve myself personally and professionally.
Are you wondering whether pursuing a Creative Writing degree is meant for you? Whether it is “Yea” or “Nay,” I invite you to share your thoughts. Thanks for visiting, and come again soon! If you’re interested in my earlier content, please check out https://sharonlmitchell.com