At times I’ve wondered if going back to school was the right decision. I mean, couldn’t I have learned the writing craft by reading good books, by listening to webinars, by participating in virtual critique groups? Couldn’t I have done this on my own?
Maybe. But then I would have missed out on what is probably the most important benefit of being in school: People. More precisely, people with similar interests and goals. Yes, I’d met similar souls online on various message boards. But I never truly felt connected to a community of writers like I do now. Even us solitary types need coworkers to bounce ideas off of or to vent our frustrations to.
And school has also provided opportunitites I wouldn’t have otherwise had. For example, last spring I took a class on social media for which I had to write a paper that is going to become a chapter in a published book. I saw the proof yesterday, and I can tell you it’s inspirational to see your name printed at the top of each page destined to become part of a tangible product. This particular work won’t define me–it was, after all, first and foremost a class assignment. But it’s one more push forward, toward the career I want to have. And it’s a publishing credit I wouldn’t have sought on my own.
Just one more reason I’m glad I took on the challenge of becoming a student once again.
One thought on “Worth It”
Good stuff there. I’m taking classes again and it’s been a real good thing for the writer and human being inside of me. I got a degree in journalism in 1992, and didn’t write a thing for years. I blogged for a bit, but it was just pointless, really. Just being around other writers (and I’m talking about the professors and a few select students) has opened my eyes again to the extremely hard work at making good writing look easy. It’s intoxicating. And workshops? Awesome!
So keep taking those classes. I’m torn because I want to get an MFA in Creative Writing, they say I could start whenever, but real life is something I can’t turn my back on at the moment.
For now, there is adequate challenge in the classroom. Fiction is kicking my ass, and I love it.
Thanks for sharing!