Learning to Write...do you need a degree?

"It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way." -Ernest Hemingway

There are mixed messages in the writing community about getting a degree in Creative Writing, many professional writers think it's unnecessary and you're either born a writer or not, in other words you can't be taught how to write. I do think there are gifted, talented natural writers in the world and then there's those of us who work at it everyday. Do I think I will be a better writer when I have a degree in writing...hmmm. I think I will be more aware of my strengths as a writer and will be able to use those strengths to my advantage. Surrounding yourself with teachers and other students who share your passion for any subject can't be a bad thing. When I worked for a local newspaper I worked with some wonderful editors and they had the ability to take my rough work and make it sound...well, professional. I also think there's a time when you have to take everything you've learned and just throw yourself out there. You also learn by your mistakes, so every query, every rejection, every comment by a helpful editor or fellow writer is all part of the process. You can make the mistake of being a student forever and never putting your work on the line. What do you think?
Today, list all of your writing strengths and then list some things you need to work on. And for a fun diversion, check out this writing contest at Cool Stuff 4 Writers. Contest deadline is January 31. Now get back to work!

The Writing Nag