2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge: G is for Graduation

2015AtoZDay07Graduation is one of those time-honored accomplishments one can celebrate. High school, college, law school, whatever. It’s a proud moment when your studying produces a piece of paper that says you made it. I graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a Creative Writing concentration. First one in my generation to do so. That is a big deal in my family.

But I question whether graduation has any real value. When I transferred to a four-year university, I changed my major. I went into the program thinking I would produce numerous books and make money. I accomplished what I set out to do. And I have a document that says so. But I wonder what it’s worth. I mean, I still have said document in its mailing tube. (I haven’t found a frame big enough and not super-expensive for it.) I take it out once in a while as a reaffirmation that I went to school and that I finished. But does it mean anything? On paper, yes. Am I doing anything with it? No. I have a full-time job that is outside my field. I don’t have manuscripts I’m submitting to editors just so they can rip it to shreds. Outside of this blog, I have nothing.

I’m not saying that the five years of studying, changing majors, and the occasional failure was not worth it. And I’m not saying that people shouldn’t go pursue what they want to do. Far from it. But it’s harder nowadays to find a job in the field you studied. It’s especially worse when your field is in the arts. Being a Creative Writing graduate doesn’t always equate to success in the working world. It won’t reinforce your value as a writer. It doesn’t guarantee that the book you write is going to sell. And when you’re not the best-selling, hot shot author you thought you’d be, you begin to question if this was the right thing.

After reading craft books, I came to the realization that you don’t necessarily need a degree to be a writer. Some writers pursued different degrees. Some never finished high school or college. What made them successful is confidence, hard work and discipline (There’s that word again). And as much as I question whether or not I have what it takes to be a writer, I don’t regret pursuing my degree. I found something that I love to do. In the end, that is what matters.

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Author: G. R. McNeese

I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

3 thoughts on “2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge: G is for Graduation”

  1. If you found what you loved to do that’s what’s important. I agree, confidence and an ability to cope with rejection is what can make you a successful writer. Still, I wouldn’t give up my college years for anything–best years of my life!

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  2. It is true “you don’t necessarily need a degree to be a writer,” but it certainly doesn’t hurt. I started a blog when I began college. It is called Journey of an English Major. I basically posted my writing assignments. I got A’s right off the bat so I thought it would be a good idea to keep them all in one place. Well looking back at the A work I did my freshman year, compared to the A work I did my senior year it’s hugely different. Quite frankly, the A work I did my freshman and sophomore years sucked. Pardon my language. So while I did not “necessarily need a degree to be a writer” I did absolutely need the additional education to be a better one.

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  3. I found your blog post interesting and informative, as were the responses so far by Scarlet Embers and legreen! I agree that as long as you are doing somehting you love, that’s what counts, and what Scarlet says aobut writing better, although, like you, I am begining to wonder if college educations are worth what hey cost! ( a bit different I know) I have always been a supporter of education. Pushing my kids to do well, go to college, … but now they are out of school, neither has found a career path, neither is working in their field, and neither is making ehough money to pay back their huge college loans! As I look around, I see many ohter s in their age range in the same boat…children of friends, neighbors, cousins….there are a lot of disenchanted workers out there! We have to do something. College should be more accessible, less expensive in my opinion. I was always a believer in the liberal arts, now I’m not so sure, it seems you have to train for a career, you have to be able to support yourself with that college degree. maybe I forgot to emphsixw that point with my daughters! LOL

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