Hayden's Ferry Review


Poor Starving Writers? I Don’t Think So.

“I’m a creative writing major, and, well, I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that I’m not going to make any money...” I heard this recently and I wanted to die right on the spot. I graduate in two months. If I have to live from paycheck to paycheck for the rest of my life, I will…(please insert tragic suicide methods of choice.)

After my initial upset, I pondered if writers are really financially poor people. There are few writers who can earn a living strictly by writing the stories in their mind and the feelings in their heart, we all know that. Most writers have day jobs. And with a creative writing degree, a good day job shouldn't be hard to find, right?

Every company, school, government office, church, hospital, non- profit organization, and hair salon needs at least one good writer. They might not know it. Not until a writer tells them they need one.

Here are some professional examples:

Accounting: I was talking to my roommate’s dad about a week ago. He is a partner at an accounting firm. He told me that even though the employees his firm wants are mainly number crunchers, they do need people who can write reports about the numbers.

Law: My dad majored in engineering for his bachelor’s and masters. Then he went to law school and became a patent attorney. All he does is write. He never imagined when he was a student that his job would require him to write as much as he does. There are a lot of English majors who go into law.

Technical Writing: Our world is booming with new technology. Cities are expanding. Policies are changing. There is a constant need for technical writers.

Rutgers University lists a few more careers for English majors. These include copy writer, media analyst, nonprofit administrator, campaign manager, critic, journalist. There are more.

I feel it is a defeatist attitude to say that there are no opportunities or money for writers. We’re talented people. Our dream might be to wander the streets of Rome soaking up the inspiration, then riding our Vespa to a Café and gracefully scratching out our masterpiece with a quill. But… then we would need money for a plane ticket…and…we would need to write in order to afford it.

Creative writing majors not only acquire grammatical and stylistic training, but they are also encouraged throughout their college career to think outside of the box. They are encouraged to research their subject matter; to be thorough and realistic. Creative writing isn’t the most popular or the most recognized major. However, it provides a well-rounded education for the student. This is why creative writers are beyond desirable. For all sorts of jobs.