Learning the Art of Writing Well

“I already freaking know how to write!” I used to say to myself when I felt my writing was monotonous, but wasn’t honest enough with myself to take ownership of different possibilities to change things. “To hell with going to school to get an English degree or whatever!”

While I am still pretty adamant about not returning to school to get a degree, I am pretty jazzed about the fact that you don’t really need to go back to school to brush up on your writing and English skills (or other languages if you write in a language other than English). There are so many programs that offer the exact courses you need to brush up online. These programs are either standalone MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, or live on platforms like edX and Coursera.
Through my state I’m able to get the certificates from Coursera for free (which you normally have to pay for), so I use that platform for all of my learning needs. With these programs and platforms there are no more excuses. If you want to be a writer and you don’t feel like your skills are up to par, there are free curricula out there to help you get better.

Now that we’re in the 2020s getting a college degree for career paths like writing and such may be a bit unnecessary. Unless your parents are paying your way through school, you get a ridiculously amazing scholarship, or your schooling is somehow paid for, I personally wouldn’t go back to school for a writing degree in any form, whether it’s English or Communications or what have you.
Some young people might want to go for the college experience, but if you’re like me and way past college age, it’s probably best to stick to the resources available, whether they’re free or cost a teeny, tiny little bit of moolah.

It was a hard pill for me to swallow, not having a writing degree tied to my name and with no intention of attaching one, but at the end of the day, becoming an author doesn’t really require that. Many of my favorite authors did not go to school for writing. Some of them didn’t go to school at all. It’s all about perspective, perseverance, attitude, and a willingness to fill in the gaps on your own.

∞ Aminah Jamil