Choosing to lead a writer’s life is always difficult. There is no steady income; chances are slimmer than winning the lottery. What’s worse, you are constantly haunted by characters from the past and future: some bursting inside you, waiting to be born, others are demanding a happy ending. Sleepless nights, too many cups of coffee, and eyes that are constantly in search of a story, a twist, come to define you. All in all its not an easy life, certainly not for the fainthearted. Yet those bitten by the writing bug will not choose any other. For them, writing is not just a means to earn a livelihood, it is a compulsion, a tearing need to express. As essential as breathing.
Creative writing is a skill that comes in handy in all fields. So there are opportunities galore. From lawyers to TV reporters, eloquence and out-of-the-box thinking stand to benefit one and all. So even a basic course in creative writing can add to your resume in whichever profession you choose.
Intensive creating writing courses are generally taken up by aspiring writers. You can create original written works as a poet, writer, or a lyricist. The advertising sector is constantly in search of copywriters who can think creatively and come up with catchy lines. Similarly, you can work in the publishing industry: as a book editor. Public relations and corporate communication are also some of the avenues open to those with a flair for writing.
Completing an article, a book or even a short story can often be a struggle. So you need to be highly motivated to write. There will be tight deadlines to meet whether you are working on your own book or on a project. It may take you a while to find a publisher for your work. But if you truly love writing, then keep at it, and maybe someday you will hit gold!
How it works
It is often said that writing cannot be taught. In fact, many of today’s bestselling writers followed non-arts related career paths and eventually turned to writing. But if you are serious about the craft, you will need a creative writing programme to whip your writing into shape.
What to study?
While you do not need any specific degree or academic background to become a professional writer, a degree in English literature and Creative Writing is recommended. If you want to specialize in journalism, many universities offer journalism or mass communication courses at undergraduate and post-graduate level.
- Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi: Creative writing is taught as part of Master of Arts (M.A.) in English Literature.
- Jadavpur University, Kolkata: Offers practical courses in Creative Writing and Theatre Studies as part of B.A. and M.A. in English.
- Delhi University: B.A. Honours (Hons) in Creative Writing
- The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad: B.A. (Hons) English and M.A. in English Literature
- Indian Institute of Mass Communication New Delhi: Post Graduate Diploma Course in English Journalism
- Asian College of Journalism, Chennai: Post Graduate Diploma Course in Journalism (Print, New Media, Radio and Television.)
- Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication Pune: B.A. and M.A. (Mass Communication)
- Oxford University, in the U.K.: Master of Studies (M.St) Creative Writing is a two-year, part-time course for post graduates.
- Cambridge University, the U.K.: Master of Studies (M.St) Creative Writing is designed for those who wish to develop high-level skills in creative writing both in fiction and non-fiction.
- Columbia University in the U.S: Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A) in Writing.
Some creative writing courses require you to submit a manuscript along with your college application.
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