Does Schooling Create a Better Writer?

Hello Everyone!

2020 has already proven to be full of surprises as well as change within my home. I have learned many new skills being a Paraeducator – my most recent adventure is being a 1:1 sub for a little boy with behavioral and social needs. I have learned so much from the wonderful staff and have been enjoying my time with him no matter how trying it may be at times.

I have also changed my schooling plan – again! Shocker right? Not really. I have been struggling a lot with what it is that I want to accomplish and I have decided that a teaching certification would allow me to be both financially stable as well as give me a job that I enjoy while I work on my MA in a few years. I think that it is important to continue living life before throwing myself one hundred percent into school… again.

That being said, I still plan on working on the blog as well as working through book reviews and practicing and refining what I do while I continue on a new adventure.

That leads me to the topic that I wanted to cover for this week. Does having a formal education make you a better writer? The short answer is maybe. Here is the longer one: Yes and No. Almost the same answer. Let me explain.

Schooling teaches you thinks such as: grammar, paragraph structure, new styles, and critical thinking. It helps to expand what you read if you tend to lean one way only for books and it shows you new techniques.

Here’s where I think that school gets int the way: You don’t have time to practice. Writing the way that you want to takes time and practice. Personally, when going to school I did very little writing that wasn’t for an assignment and I didn’t get to develop the skills that I wanted to.

While school does help to broaden your horizons a bit, nothing beats practice and experimentation. Try something safe then do something crazy. Write a horror story that ends with the person playing barbies and then write a horror story where the person is being used as the doll by the monster under the bed. Write in first, second, and third person. Figure out what you like, what you hate, what you are good at, and what you are bad at. Without knowing that there isn’t a way for us to move forward with our craft.

Some of the most awesome things we write can be a result of an experiment that went horribly wrong. I tried to write a short story that was a thriller/horror and it turned into a crime/murder mystery novel. It’s written in multiple perspectives – which is something I’d never done before – and I have entire sections where no names are used, only pronouns.

I do think that school helped me to learn about writing, but I think that it also showed me where my curiosity was. I rediscovered my love that had been destroyed by “real world” thoughts and I didn’t know what real happiness was until I allowed myself time to explore that.

I learned what it is that I want to read. Every author should write something that they would want to read – I think that that is what is most important.

Moving aside from that, I do think that a writing community is very important too. I have a couple that I am apart of on Facebook and I have even been working with some of them to set up pen pals- which is something that I’ve always kind of wanted! I am very excited to try another style of writing and get to know a lot of amazing people through this process.

As always any comments, questions, or concerns are more than welcome!

Till the next chapter,

Amanda

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