I got this e-mail on Sunday (scroll down to read) and while I do intend answering it to the best of my abilities, and while I’m very happy to detail my experience and explain how I managed to become a professional writer as well as a professional animator/artist, I’m horribly aware of the fact that I never finished college. (I had to leave through lack of funds) As a consequence I have no real understanding of the benefits ( or pitfalls) of attending a graduate course. I’m quite worried I might inadvertently suggest that attending college is not necessary when, in fact, it may be of huge benefit to this person’s future.
Explaining this, I arranged with her to make her question public, hoping to get a good, well balanced reply to her concerns. I’d particularly like to hear from those of you who have been through college, or are currently studying in college, and also those of you who are industry professionals ( you writers, editors, publishers and journalists out there) but perhaps any of you who have a similar experience to mine (who have made it as professionals without the benefits of third level education) could also chime in?
see below for e-mail
From: Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2011 3:52 AM
Saw on your website that people could email you. I hope this is an honest email that does go to you, and not through the publisher or something. I have an honest question that I really want someones advice on, and in a way I feel like I see your situation similar to something that could be mine.
I am in undergraduate at an art institute currently. I have two passions, neither of which I am willing to give up. Ceramics and Writing. Here is my question. I will graduate soon, and am looking into what I can do outside of undergrad. I am thinking about going to graduate school for Creative writing, or merely taking some time off to develop my ceramic work and writing on my own. I intend to eventually go to graduate school for Ceramics, but want to wait to develop my work before doing so.
As someone who shares two passions, such as drawing and writing, I was curious, what did you go to school for? Do you think that in today’s society, I would need a graduate degree in writing to get work published? Do you have any advice for me in pursuing the writing side of my passions?
End of e-mail.
So, that’s it. Have you any advice that you can give?