As a writing minor and a positive advocate for writing in general, it was inevitable that I would write an article like this at some point. While my opinion towards this topic has always been strong (and maybe a little pushy), this particular article is inspired by the creative writing class I just recently finished.
I’d taken creative writing courses in high school and loved them--it was basically an entire period dedicated to writing stories and at that point in my life, that was all I really ever wanted to do. The difference between taking writing classes (even if it’s just an Intro course) at a college-level is the amount of time spent on progressing your work. Sure, we had a lot of time to free write and express our ideas as they were which was great. But my favorite part and probably the most important part was the exercises and tactics we practiced within our writing.
Until this semester, I never even considered little things like the order and placement of dialogue in my stories or the pauses at the end of each line in my poems. These are techniques I probably never would have learned had it not been for the class I took this semester. As a requirement for my minor, I was not expecting to take away half of the lessons I did.
I know some of you are probably over this rant by now because you aren’t writers. My follow up question to this thought is: says who? I promise you, there is no deity picking and choosing those of are worthy enough of being a writer. Writers don’t wear labels or name tags; we don’t walk around proclaiming our talent. Being a writer is as simple as having the ability to express your thoughts, emotions, and imagination through the mode of pen and pad (or, more realistically, computer).
The sole purpose of creative writing classes like the one I took is to help enhance the talent that is already there. And how do you know that you’re able of that talent if you never try to coax it out? The benefits of creative writing are endless, even if you absolutely hate writing. It stimulates your mind, expands your imagination, and can even help you relate to other classes--which is something I would never have realized.
I’m almost done with this very long plug for my Intro to Creative Writing class. Almost, but not quite.
Yes, writing is amazing; it allows you to burrow yourself into your own mind and find things you never knew were there. However, another part of writing (and writing classes) that is equally as rewarding is interacting with your peers. I know, I know, we all hate peer reviewing. It’s awkward and uncomfortable because we hate feeling vulnerable. That’s the beauty of writing, though--the ability to expose parts of your thoughts to others and vice versa. Trust me, the feedback you get is amazing.If I can leave you with one thought I hope it’s this: if you’re debating taking a writing class, do it. Even if you know you have no desire to take a writing class whatsoever, do it anyway. I promise you will take away something worthwhile.