10 Things Every Creative Writing Student is Tired of Hearing
If you chose to study Creative Writing, you might have already found that there are some people out there with strong opinions on just about every aspect of your degree.
Here are ten things you’re probably tired of hearing by now.
1. On your chosen subject: “What are you going to do with that degree? Isn’t it a bit useless in the real world?”
I’m sorry, I didn’t realise words were completely useless in the real world. My mistake.
2. On their chosen subject: “I wish I’d done Creative Writing instead now… it seems so much easier!”
You keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better…
3. On your lectures: “So what do you do, just read?”
Wouldn’t that be a nice way to spend three years?! In truth: we get just as many assignments to complete as you… and funnily enough, reading four 500 page books a week isn’t as easy as it sounds.
4. On your dissertation: “All you have to do is write a short story? That’s not fair, that’s so easy!”
We can assure you; writing a 10,000 word story is as difficult as writing a 10,000 word essay. If anything, it might be more difficult – when there’s no right or wrong answer it’s impossible to know whether you’re on the right lines or not.
5. When you’re low on cash: “Can’t you just write a book and get it published?”
Yes! What a brilliant idea! How did we ever forget that becoming a millionaire is as easy as spewing out a few words and sending it to a publisher. We’ll be rich in no time, thanks!
6. On the creative process: “How do you come up with stories? Where do you find inspiration?! I could never come up with something like that!”
It either comes to you or it doesn’t. There’s no secret place where all the ideas come from. If you can’t think of any ideas, you probably aren’t meant to write anything. And no, we can’t “give you” any of our ideas…
7. On your aspirations: “So you are going to be the next E. L. James?”
God, we hope our degree might have given us a little more skill than that…
8. On what you’re writing: “Can you tell me what your book is about?”
Sorry – it’s top secret stuff. If a writer doesn’t want to talk about what they’re writing, don’t pressure them to.
9. When you’re trying to find a proofreader: “I read a lot, I could edit your stuff?”
Chances are we know somebody who could do that job better… and they wouldn’t just be looking for an excuse to judge our ability to write.
10. On your ability to proofread: “Can you edit my work for me?”
Just because we can proofread doesn’t mean we want to fix the mistakes you’ve made.
Now you know. Seriously.