Should an aspiring writer be in college

Educate yourself through college to become a writer ... Connections?

Why should it be either / or?

College (actually a college diploma) is often seen as the key to something else. However, it is generally just a pass key for entry-level jobs.

However, this doesn't mean skipping college.

College diploma does not mean that you will be published

Let's say you go all the way and get your MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) in Literature, then write your cover letter.

Dear Jane Q. Verlag,

I just got my MFA in literature. Please read the attached manuscript, publish it as a book, and mail me a check for at least $ 50,000.

Many Thanks,

Author name

Obviously it doesn't happen that way anyway.

Obtain every tool you can

College can be a tool. A tool for learning. It can also be a waste of time and money.

Write the best book possible

Imagine the following scenario. You sit down and write the best novel possible. You convince 10 people to actually read it and actually give feedback.

The challenge here is:

  1. You have to write the novel
  2. You have to convince people to read the book. (It will be a lot harder to get 10 people to do it than you think.)
  3. You need to get strong feedback. Make sure these people are really honest with you. You will be afraid to be honest.
  4. If they're honest, you will likely find that your first novel attempt isn't great, and maybe even total crap. You have to go with it get around and change .

Most likely, this means that you are throwing away your first novel and possibly the first novels you write.

You have to write to get better

You can't get better reading books about writing and thinking about writing a novel. You have to write the novels and (probably) throw them away.

As you read this

Think about what you were thinking of while reading this part. Did you think, "This SE poster is an idiot. It can't be like that."

This is a protective mechanism that can keep you fooling yourself into thinking that it won't take that much hard work. We all see the finished products of great writers' novels, but we seldom see their lives before publication and their lives when they sit alone and write for a long time.

Maybe college fills the time

Perhaps college fills up the time while you write these novels. But it doesn't have to be. You could start today and write your novel in two weeks if you feel like it.


To get published you have to write. The faster you write your novels, the faster you will get Feedback and learn and vary .

College is likely never going to give you much feedback on your novel anyway. But that doesn't mean that writing and literature lessons have no value.

Why not just do everything? Start writing your novel and enroll for college today. Just keep writing while you take classes and put everything you know into your writing, employing whatever skills you get from writing back into your college classes.

It is possible, and it may be the best way forward.

One final point about publishing a book

Imagine you've written three books and your third novel is getting really good feedback from your focus group. You do another edit and this novel actually shines. People ask you if they can read it because your focus group told them about it.

Now you send the manuscript out over time and an Acquisitions editor will notice it. She reads more than the first paragraph and starts to like the writing and the story and she contacts you.

That is a far more likely story.


Sometimes authors are then asked to put their first efforts into print. Often times these are not that good ... And sometimes they comment later on that they wish they could rewrite the book and know what they learned ... :) ... but you can't get to the point D arrive without going through points ABC.