Writing as a career presents some challenges, such as having a job to pay the bills while you work on getting noticed by publishers. Thankfully, we are not alone in our search or predicament. Author Day Jobs: 7 Authors Who Worked On the Side lists a handful of famous authors who have also had day jobs to help support their writing careers. Now I feel better about working in retail! Some famous authors even kept their day jobs after acquiring fame and finances. Poe War’s Glossary of Writing Careers lists jobs that utilize the writing skills young writers are developing in school to help find that needed day job.
Speaking of school, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, or the AWP, give us Ranking the Writing Programs Best for You as a tool to help guide us aspiring writers into what kind of program we belong. Although the website does rank writing programs in a way, this article is more than just a list of programs. This article provides insight on how to select criteria on which to base your writing program selection. The article stresses how much of a personal choice a writing program is. This made me feel better. The article opened up my eyes to how important the write program is. To look at how the program is taught, studio versus traditional teaching methods, class size and most important, learning environment. No matter how hard we try, authors are affected by their surroundings. It is so vital that you pick the right environment for you studies. I prefer a medium sized class of 15 to 20 on a campus that has around 15,000 students total. Someone else may want to city environment because city life is what will stir them creatively. What the program studies is also important. Do you want modern works or all the old classics from England? A degree in writing is a very personal choice like picking out your underwear. You want a comfy fit that won’t ride up, bunch, or shrink in the wash. The graduate program should help you along in the direction you want to go, challenge you but not drive you away, have the right amount of writer to writer interaction but not drive you away in a year.