General Question

talljasperman's avatar

If I become a creative writer can I bypass the need for a degree?

Asked by talljasperman (21739points) March 16th, 2014

I’m still looking for the easy way to get a career. With my short attention span I am looking for the one that I can do from home and spend very little start up money.

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16 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

You do not need a degree to write cheap crappy novels.
But success is not very likely.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

An associate of mine wrote articles for magazines, he sold three a year, maybe. That would buy a couple of cases of good Scotch. His day job was a history teacher and having the summers off gave him the time to write and sell his articles.
Creative writers need an audience, an agent and must have something special to sell.

creative1's avatar

I wouldn’t choose a career based on how easy it is to do or get because it may not even be worth your while. It has been my experience an easy way out isn’t always easy or has the ability to provide you with enough pay to make a living.

Sometimes there is no easy way out and not having a degree in a lot of careers can hold you back and I think this is one of them.

I found the best way at least for myself to move forward has been going back to school and taking online classes, I am finding I can do the classes whenever I have free time and around my children’s schedules. I highly recommend it if you are able to do it.

Good luck with what ever you decide to do.

asmonet's avatar

That dream job description doesn’t exist. And if you’re old enough to post on Fluther you’re old enough to know nothing comes for free in life. You may be able to write interesting stories and characters, but finding a publisher is a hell of a task. You could self publish, but based on what I’ve seen on here you’re not a terribly good writer in terms of grammar and spelling – you’ll either need to hire an editor/proofreader (which costs quite a bit) or count on someone you know to be able to do that for you on a professional level. Without a large fan base or publishing house behind you it is unlikely you will make a living wage in this field, never mind being comfortable. And provided you’re looking for an easy job and you think that this fits, I don’t think you understand fully what working for yourself entails. I’ve done it. For every hour I was doing the actual task that made me money, I spent an average of three hours promoting, organizing, budgeting, etc. With self employment you have to be disciplined, you have to work harder than you would just showing up to a cubicle for eight hours. You have to bust your ass and stay focused at all times or it crumbles around you. And my job had a constant source of income – unlike writing where the work takes place up front and has no guarantee of a payday when completed.

Now, if you have a short attention span and you’re looking for an easy career, there is honestly no way I think this would be a good idea. You’ll certainly need a more traditional source of income while you work on this if its your passion. And if it is your passion – GO FOR IT. But don’t think it will support you immediately.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

A degree is for those who attribute value to paper and ink.

Is your value reducible to paper and ink?

kritiper's avatar

Possibly. But no one may take you seriously if you don’t have the diploma.

plethora's avatar

There is no easy way to get a career. There is a way to make it “seem” easy, and that is to find something that you absolutely love to do and then devote yourself totally to becoming the best you can possibly be in your field. That is most likely going to require a degree.

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pleiades's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Actually that paper and ink has landed a great number of jobs to my friends. Unless ones portfolio is stacked and they are polished networkers it’s not possible to just be accepted in such a community especially one as elite as the writing community.

My suggestion? Stop chasing the easy way and follow your heart. Creative writing is not for weak as one will be torn to shreds through critique.

bolwerk's avatar

One route: keep a blog, get followers, hawk your works to them.

Another: submit stuff to creative writing magazines.

twothecat's avatar

Many successful people are college dropouts. Although a degree is always a good thing, it’s not a necessary thing. The important thing is that you don’t give up! I highly recommend you listen to Get Busy Living by Benny Hsu. This podcast can be found on Itunes and it’s great for inspiring you and giving you some practical tools to get your dreams to become reality. Dreaming is great, but you must DO THE WORK, to make them come true.

pleiades's avatar

@bolwerk I agree! That’s a great way for audience and enter the professional publishing realm. And of course you could do both!

livelaughlove21's avatar

I’m still looking for the easy way to get a career.

What you need to understand is that there is no easy way to get a career. Sorry.

gailcalled's avatar

Idiomatically, you don’t “get a career” “have a career.”

NanoNano's avatar

A degree in journalism would help if you want to write in the industry, but you don’t need it for fiction writing. Many people take classes and go to workshops, but that can work against you as well.

The best way to become a successful writer is just to sit down each day and write, and also to read alot…

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