For centuries, creative writing has been a profound and much-admired form of expression; bridging the gap between the inner workings of the human mind and the world around us. Words have the transformative power to provoke thought, stir emotion, increase understanding and ultimately inspire action.
But in our rapidly evolving world where tech is transforming the way we communicate, work and live, lovers of the written word may wonder what place it holds in an ever-shifting future. Are creative writing degrees worth it? How can it impact your career trajectory?
From honing the critical skill of creativity to unlocking unexpected opportunities, there are a number of doors creative writing can open. In the article below, we explore five reasons why a creative writing degree is worth it and how you can go about obtaining one.
5 reasons why a creative writing degree is worth it
If you’re reading this wondering “should I study creative writing?”, you’re not alone. Each year, thousands of Australian students undertake postgraduate studies to bring them closer to their career and creative aspirations. Deciding which degree is right for you will depend on what dreams you’re aiming to fulfil.
When it comes to creative writing degrees, there are a number of compelling advantages to obtaining a qualification.
Creativity is still crucial
As AI becomes more prominent and infiltrates a wide range of industries, some Australians are concerned about job security and employment prospects in the future. But industry experts predict that the rise of generative AI will also increase the demand for - and value of - human creativity and originality, which can’t be replaced by machines.
Already, the global creative economy is one of the largest sectors - worth an estimated US$985 billion - and it’s showing no signs of stopping. Deloitte has predicted that creative sectors will grow by 40% by 2030.
Not only will creativity be a strong differentiator, but a sought-after critical skill. And contrary to what some believe, creativity isn’t just something you’re born with - it’s a skill that can be honed and developed with the right training.
Apply your skills in a range of settings
The skills you obtain in a creative writing degree aren’t limited to the confines of novel-writing (though they will certainly come in handy for it). The ability to write creatively requires a number of sought-after skills that have far-reaching applications in both creative and professional settings - and beyond. These skills include, but aren’t limited to:
The art of storytelling is more than crafting a compelling narrative; it’s the ability to perceive, understand and activate human emotions. It’s the ability to move people. This ability is incredibly valuable in many aspects of our everyday lives; from leveraging its power to drive action in professional settings, to campaigning for social change, to simply connecting with and engaging others to build and solidify relationships.
Creative thinking is the ability to see and explore a situation from multiple perspectives and find unique, innovative solutions. This skill is undeniably essential when it comes to creative writing, but its uses don’t stop there. In a professional setting, creative thinking is a highly valuable asset that correlates to improved business performance and leadership. In a personal setting, the ability to see a situation from another’s perspective can be invaluable when it comes to fostering healthy relationships and understanding diverse points of view.
Empathy is essential for creating a realistic and multidimensional character in any story or narrative. It’s also essential to cultivating strong connections with others, navigating conflict in both personal and professional settings and improving our overall health and wellbeing.
Someone who possesses strong empathy is not only able to understand the perspective of another, but able to respond in a helpful and healthy way. Empathy is highly valuable when it comes to workplace success as it is key to strong negotiation skills. Like creativity, empathy can be learned and mastered with the right training.
Communicating your personal point of view is one thing; convincing others to share it is another. Compelling communication - or the art of persuasion - is a core component of creative writing to ensure readers buy into your story. It’s also a core component of various professional roles. Whether with clients, customers or internal stakeholders, effective communication is instrumental in strong leadership and stronger business results. It’s also essential in healthy relationships; as they say - communication is key.
Gain personal satisfaction
Don’t underestimate the value of creative expression and exploration. Studying an expansive course like creative writing can boost your creative, professional and personal fulfilment. The subjects provide strong opportunities for self-discovery, reflection, personal satisfaction and artistic growth.
You’ll learn skills that benefit your personal development as well, such as contemplating nature and writing in response to the world around you. Further, learning itself has been linked to ongoing happiness and thriving; as it boosts self-determination, self-confidence, motivation and more.
Deepen your understanding of creative work
Creativity is often mistaken as something that is exclusively inherent - something that can’t be taught. But in fact, the art of creative work can be learned. A Master of Creative Writing is a great place to do this. The postgraduate course will help you gain a thorough understanding of the process behind various creative works and the difference between various genres - from ecopoetry to science fiction - and much more. The deeper your understanding of creative work, the stronger your own will be.
The ability to write creatively opens a multitude of doors for both professional and creative progression. If you’re considering a Master of Creative Writing to explore opportunities outside of your current role, the degree will put you in a great position to participate in literary events, writing challenges, mentor aspiring writers - or, of course, write the novel you’ve been dreaming of.
It also provides great networking opportunities, according to ECU Online Associate Professor Donna Mazza.
“The ECU writing team is very supportive and students will become part of our network through the community we build in the course and later as one of our alumni,” she explains.
“Lots of the activities in the course are based on the things that writers do in the real world, so that learning can be applied right away by our students in their professional roles.”
If you do decide to apply your learnings professionally, there are a range of careers that benefit from creative writing - including copywriter, content writer, editor, English teacher, online author, literary agent - and many, many more.
Why study creative writing with ECU?
Is a master’s degree in creative writing worth it? If you study at the right institution, there’s a high chance that the answer will be yes. A Master of Creative Writing at Edith Cowan University (ECU) provides a tailored educational experience for the standout creative writers of tomorrow. There is also the option of Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate of Creative Writing for those who require an entry pathway.
The curriculum - which is completed online and can be fast tracked to suit your schedule - has a strong focus on storytelling that embraces diverse themes, genres and forms. Students benefit by learning from world-class and award-winning writers, who will equip you with the cutting-edge techniques and methodologies to thrive in a contemporary publishing environment. One such writer is Associate Professor Donna Mazza.
She says, “The ECU online Master of Creative Writing, as well as its Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate, take an approach that prepares students for a diverse range of writing opportunities and embraces a wide range of genres that readers love. The course includes lots of skill building but also prepares students to be a professional in the writing sector.”
Dr. Aksel Dadswell, course lecturer, agrees. He says, "ECU’s suite of online postgraduate creative writing courses give students a fresh approach to telling stories that they won’t find anywhere else, with content lovingly crafted by staff who have unique passion, expertise and publishing experience.”
Tell your story with ECU Online
Is there a story you want to tell? Whether you’re looking to hone your skills to advance your career or give yourself the gift of creative exploration and expression, learning the art and science of storytelling can open many doors.
With ECU’s Online Master of Creative Writing, you will discover how to enhance your creative skills and develop captivating narratives. To find out more, reach out to one of our Student Enrolment Advisors on 1300 707 760, email email@example.com, or download a brochure.