If you work as a professional writer, or you do a lot of written communication in your current field of employment, you may begin to wish that you could come up with the written content on your own. Instead of writing product descriptions or detailed correspondence to clients, your own dream might be to write a novel, a book of poems or an original screenplay.
In order to learn more about writing creatively at the highest level, many students choose to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. If this subject interests you, then you may want to learn more about the program itself, what kinds of careers are available for graduates, how online education can save you time and money and how to be successful in this competitive field.
Learning More about the MFA in Writing Creatively
The MFA is a master’s degree program in the fine arts that lasts for one to two years and prepares students for writing careers after graduation. Since the emphasis is focused on fictional literature, students are taught how to come up with new plots, new characters and how to avoid the dreaded writer’s block.
Courses are led by accomplished authors in the field and usually relate to writing fictional novels, creative nonfiction and poetry. At this level, most students already have a firm grasp of grammar and punctuation, but those will be addressed to some degree as a refresher for students. Expect to come away from the program ready to tackle new projects and having the expertise to know what will be marketable and what won’t.
Career Prospects for Graduates
Most graduates will want to work as authors, but stiff competition may lead them to take on additional writing work while they continue to polish their manuscripts or screenplays. Other jobs that creative writers might pursue include working as a greeting card writer, as a writer for advertising firms or products, as a travel writer, writing the dialogue and plots of fictional video games, earning advertising revenue as a blogger or even writing a column for a newspaper or magazine. Each of these careers is interesting and can pay well, but the competition is tough and will require lots of marketing on the end of the author.
Benefits of Online Education
There are many great reasons to pursue an online education, but for creative writers there are more than ever. Since most creative writers will need to work while earning their master’s degree in the fine arts of writing creatively, online programs allow them to pursue a higher education during their free time. Your work schedule or family commitments can come first without your grades or education suffering. Simply log onto your computer and begin working or studying whenever you have free time in your schedule to commit to the program, and avoid long commutes or unnecessary group sessions that may not prove beneficial to you.
How to Be Successful in a Competitive Field
Unfortunately, the job demand for writers and authors will rise by only 6% in the next decade, a small number compared to the national average according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In order to stay relevant in this competitive field, it is important for writers to update their resumes, market themselves regularly, commit to applying for new jobs frequently, continue their education with an MFA and treat every job, even the smallest projects, as professionally as possible.
Although writing is a competitive field, and creative writing even more so, it can be a very fulfilling and enjoyable career for the right candidates. An MFA degree in writing creatively can be just what you need to get ahead in the field.