What courses you should take if you want a career in writing?


Our sQoolink mentor, Jess Magnan, continues to share her experience of how she prepared herself as a writer while studying at Grand Valley State University.

Don’t limit yourself to “creative” or “professional” writing

While you want to follow your inspirations, don’t let yourself get too trapped. When you stick to one track, you lose out on valuable skills that can be used in any writing career. Great storytelling uses both creative and professional disciplines.

Creative writing courses often focus on workshops, developing storytelling skills, and working with constructive feedback. For the “professional” or “technical” writer, this helps builds your understanding of utilizing constructive criticism and reaching an audience. Alternatively, technical writing classes emphasize professional documents, web writing, and perhaps design skills. All of these can benefit a creative writer by giving them experience with web writing and developing professional communication skills. It is in your best interest to at least get an understanding of both.

Don’t underestimate tech skills

If your program offers courses in web writing, document design, or other courses that are technology, software, or multimodal based, take them. A huge portion of writing is done online and through digital mediums. Where are you reading this right now? Are you looking at a screen?

Courses that strengthen technological skills can be underestimated, especially for the creative writers. Are you an aspiring novelist looking to self-publish? Are you going to hire a designer to make your book cover, or could you make one yourself? It could be the difference of a class focused on building your technological skills.

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4 thoughts on “What courses you should take if you want a career in writing?

  1. Yes to all of this! My first jobs all went much more smoothly because I took a couple document design and technical writing classes. While I would like to focus on creative writing, sometimes the professional, technical stuff is what pays the bills at the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great advice here – I wish I would have utilized more of the tech classes in my writing program. I am enjoying your voice Jesse – you are helpful and good at explaining things and your material is presented clearly and in an interesting manner. Wish I would have had all of these posts when I was getting started at school!

    Liked by 1 person

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