Friday, March 29, 2013

The Awl: "What Writing Programs Ought to Teach You..."

A couple hours ago, The Awl published this article. It sheds a lot of light on the problems contemporary writers face. The part about student loans is certainly accurate. As someone who's never fully been in favour of educational programs teaching creative writing (teaching creativity is something I can't get behind, and writing is a component of most arts programs anyway), the idea that someone with a MFA would be a more qualified writer than I am is mildly disturbing. I certainly don't see creative writing as a viable career option, both in terms of the ability to get paid and the motivation for writing. Economic incentives can severely change a writer's output...

...which brings me to suggestion #1, The Unworkshop. I don't like its name, which is too much like Uncollege for my liking, but I love the concept. I'd gladly participate, especially as the person who would stand to gain financially. I wouldn't view it as much of an exercise in improving my writing. It's the industrial relations student in me that would get the most fun.

The Accounting sessions would be good. I'm a huge proponent of financial literacy. As someone who's learned the business of freelance writing through continuing education and found it highly educational, at a fraction of university cost no less, this is something I can support.

All I have to say about the Grant Writing section is that if this statement, "Even more important than your own writing, which is what it is, is your ability to write in such a way that people will give you money", isn't sarcastic, it's alarming. If your goal is to make money, writing's about the last thing you should do.

Charm Classes, Sex Ed, and Concentration Class? Sure, why not.

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