Friday, May 1, 2015

It's Okay to be a "Self-Taught" writer.

One of the things that have bothered for years is the idea that it's not realistic to become a writer unless you were specifically trained to be one. If you didn't go to college to learn screenwriting and drama, the chances are that you can't become a great writer.

This is the point of view that is shared by at least some people in the academia. If you didn't learn drama the way they did, there must be something wrong with you. If you're trying to do it your way, well, things don't look too good.

Now, in my opinion there's nothing wrong in general about getting educated. I'm not a person who's against learning stuff. In fact, I think that one of the most important aspects of being a human being is to get educated and to become an informed person.

At the same time, when it comes to a thing like learning drama through formal education, I'm not someone who thinks much of it. In my opinion there are many aspects that speak against that. I don't think that people should go to a school to become a writer.

So what are the reasons that a person shouldn't go to college to study writing? After all, it's hard to think that studying something that you're interested in could actually be a bad thing. It sounds weird to say the least. 

In my opinion one of the problems with learning and teaching writing in general, is that it's difficult to learn if you don't have enough talent to begin with. You need to be talented as a writer, otherwise there's not that much that can be done.

Secondly, if you are a gifted writer, why would you go to a writing school in the first place? If you have the talent, shouldn't you be writing already? You aren't really looking for advice on how to understand drama, are you? You already know, that's your gift.

What's worse, even if you did go, what are the actual chances that the people who would be teaching you would actually know enough to help you? Screenwriting is one of those crafts where it's easy to point out the mistakes, not what to actually do.

Teaching writing is really that difficult. The fact that it's hard to give clear instructions and that there aren't that many 'rules' makes writing so difficult compared to other crafts. That's something that every aspiring writer should take into consideration.

For me it's always been pretty obvious. I have never seriously thought about going to study writing. I have never seen the point in doing that. My intuition has told me that it wouldn't lead to anything good and that it wouldn't really make me a better writer.

In my opinion, the truth is that most of time we as writers are on our own. If we can't figure out most of the things by ourselves and if we need someone to tell us what drama is about, we're probably not supposed to be writers.

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