Monday, June 11, 2012

Caveat Scriptor

When I took Latin years ago, I never thought I’d be using it to come up with blog titles. In the spirit of total honesty, when I took Latin, personal computers didn’t exist.

On Saturday, I met a young woman at a wedding that I hadn’t seen in several years. She told me that she was attending a new university and majoring in creative writing. And for a moment I was stymied. I wanted to hug her and say, “Wonderful!” But I also wanted to say, “No! Major in accounting or nursing or some field where you can get a job to pay your bills.”

In all fairness, it is possible to get a degree related job. I majored in English Literature, and when I graduated I got a job with Harcourt in their Academic Press division. Another English degree friend of mine actually makes a living writing fiction. But we both know that we’re the exceptions to the rule.

On the other hand, a writer will write, even if they try not to. The addiction is too strong. And if you’re going to write, you may as well learn to do it well. So, friend, enjoy your writing classes! But, please, minor in accounting. 


  1. :) When I left school, I was majoring in Liberal Arts with a focus on French language. Now I live in France where no one in their right mind would want me teaching them to speak. So yeah, it would have been a pretty worthless degree here. I agree, the addiction is strong. Thankfully I took at least one writing or lit class a semester back then. But for some reason it feels like all the ruels have changed since i was in college:)

  2. If you're going to be a full time writer someday, I think it's important to have a fall back job to pay the bills. It's essential.

    I wish I took Latin in highschool. My French comes in handy but I love using Latin to think up names and places in my books!

  3. I totally agree you really do need a back-up degree until you get going.

  4. I have a writing degree and my daughter wants to major in English, but I feel torn too. I make a little money teaching ESL and writing for a local magazine but not enough to support anyone on. Luckily my husband makes enough to support us with his job.
    Do what you love or what makes money? it's great if you can do both, but not always possible. I got in the nursing program when I had my daughter, and a friend who was a nurse encouraged me to start writing instead. For me it was the "Write" decision, cuz I hurt my back, but maybe not right for everyone.

    Also, I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. click on the link to my blog for more info!