My answer to this question is no, of course you don’t. You can pick up a pen and notepad and scribble away, or tap tap away on your laptop. Writing is something you can do at anytime. I don’t know how many authors have degrees, or how many have become famous without one, so why do a degree in Creative Writing? To be honest this is why I have been posted missing for the past four months, because I started one. The route I had in my head was Writing & Photography, this would cover both my passions and to learn about them in a different way. I have attended several writing courses, The London School of Journalism and The Writing Bureau to name but two, but I still feel I need to perfect the art of writing.
Obtaining a degree has been an ambition I’ve wanted to achieve throughout my adult life, but as we all know, life gets in the way, as mine did, but I still believe it’s never to late, no matter how old you are. Here I am at 58 years old, in my first year of The Creative Arts Degree from The University of Creative Arts – the online version. You can of course just do a degree in Creative Writing or Photography but I have chosen to do a joint degree. Having said that…. watch this space. The reason I say this, is because the mandatory first course is actually split into five sections. Contemporary Art, Creative Reading, Visual Communications, Photography and Textiles. You get to sample five different options. Contemporary Art was never something I’ve been particularly interested in, however, it pretty much blew my mind. I experienced a love for the art world that I never expected and a passion to learning and researching that I just didn’t realize existed. You are given the tools to explore the University online, but are also sent a lovely binder containing all you need, delivered beautifully wrapped (it was lovely, made me feel something special had arrived). I can honestly say, I have loved the whole experience of the first section on Contemporary Art, I did get a little nervous with my first assignment, which was understanable, however I got great feedback from my tutor and I just learned so much from the experience, that I was really excited to start Part 2.
Part 2 is Creative Reading, which is the Creative Writing part. It hasn’t been as visual as Contemporary Art, however I am realizing the benefits of being taught in an academic manner and again just finding the experience liberating. The course has been designed in such a way that you are self teaching, you have to want to find the information either on the internet, you tube, websites, blogs etc, or your local library, book shops and the OCA book they provide to study along the way. Self motivation is a must. I am now close to finishing this second part and just thinking will I still take the two original routes. I hope it will still be Photography and Creative Writing, but I am now fascinated as to what will come next in the following three sections. I will keep you informed but if you are interested then please go to my OCA blog and have a browse jeanjeannieocablog. It is still early days, but I’m hoping by the end of the degree I will have held a photographic gallery of my work, written a book and my blogs will be reaching many people to inspire them that anything is possible. This is my aim, and I believe with the help and guidance of the OCA I will be able to achieve this. Hence, No you don’t need a degree to write, but if you want to perfect your writing and to learn in a totally different manner, then perhaps Yes is the correct answer.
https://jeanjeannieocablog.wordpress.com/ – beginners blog by Jean Taylor for The Creative Arts.