Yesterday, a fellow blogger asked me a good question about formal education as a writer versus no formal education as a writer. A lot of writers struggle with this. Some see education as the end all, be all that will make them a best-seller. Others who don’t have this education sometimes feel inadequate.
It took me four and a half years to get my bachelor’s degree which is in the field of Professional Technical Writing. Unlike beginning authors without training, I have a pretty good grasp on grammar and the technical parts of writing. I learned much of this in high school though and a small amount of it in college.
You don’t have to go to school to be a writer. Writing is a craft. Reading and writing will undoubtedly make you better. You just have to read books on the craft of writing and study hard on your own. Don’t just throw something together and think it will sell. You must edit and proofread meticulously.
Being in the Creative Writing MFA has put me in contact with some great influential writers. You can build similar contacts by going to writing workshops or joining groups.
Publishing houses and literary agents tend to take formally educated writers more seriously. If you can get some of your work published in magazines or anthologies, this will open doors for you.
You don’t need a degree or two like I have. You just need to write good stories, and send them to publishing houses and agents who will read them. If your work is good, the book deals will come.