If you’re a creative writing major, or are thinking about pursuing a degree in that field, you’re likely going to run into several problems. This can range from the teacher’s way of thinking, how they view certain styles of writing, or simply the lack of support you might have. So, before you run into a creative writing degree, its best you have an idea of what to expect and prepare for. Continue reading to see what some common problems you face in creative writing courses!
You Can’t Please The Teacher Completely
No matter how much you try, the truth is that some teachers, especially in writing, will not grade you in a fair manner. It’s just the truth of it. Unlike with certain majors, like math or science, creative writing skill and expertise is subjective. A writer, simply, cannot please everyone. People have different ideas of what makes a writing piece “great,” and teachers are no exceptions to this.
They’ll expect you to meet their ideas of what the writing should be, even if its an original story. They will place you and your work, no matter how creative, at their mercy. This will seem unfair, especially when you consider another key issue – the teacher’s bias.
Creative Writing Teachers are Very Biased
Creative writing teachers, as a whole, appear to be biased towards literary fiction and against genre fictions. There’s nothing wrong with literary fiction, it just tends to be the type where the writing is more important than the story being told or the characters explored. Genre is far more popular for a reason – its designed to entertain. Creative writing teachers, as a whole, don’t view these works as having merit. They do. They just don’t realize it.
Even if you attempt to mold the story or piece to the preference of the teacher, they might still not be happy. They will still dislike some aspect of the work, and this bias will be apparent either in grades or comments made during review. This isn’t very helpful when working towards perfecting your writing, another key issue.
Working for the Teacher, Not for Craft!
A student will, as expected, be forced to write for the teacher, not for themselves. While this isn’t always a bad thing, throwing around suggestions and ideas should be encouraged, it becomes an issue when the student writes to please the teacher. The creative work should be just that, creative. It’s not the teacher’s vision that matters here, its the student’s, and if the student is forced to write as the teacher desires, it stops being their story. Its the teacher’s.
There’s nothing worse than having a student’s creativity stifled because they wanted to please authority, especially if they had true passion.
Read More: 3 Bad Tips Writers Tell New Writers
So, if you’re looking at attending a creative writing course, majoring in creative writing, or even going to teach a course on it, keep these things in mind. A student of art, which is what writing is, should be free to engage in their passions, not forced down a railroad by some one else. Please yourself with your story and write for an audience of one!
Thanks for tuning into this little blog today, I hope to see you around the bin again!