On the face of it, what's not to like about spending several years writing in the pleasant groves of academe, with a prestigious and an almost guaranteed degree at the end of it?
(Failures are rare, as are wave-throughs) Unfortunately, perhaps, but fascinatingly for those who like living in liminal areas, it's not as simple as that.
Despite what conventional capitalistic American wisdom would have you believe, there are motivations besides money for doing things.
The reasons for getting an advanced degree in a creative writing field are as varied as the students enrolled in the programs — the ability to teach; an opportunity to focus on producing a publishable work, or study with a particular professor; the prestige of an advanced degree; a desire to switch careers or prolong entry into the "real world," and so on.
I've just submitted mine, after four years, and await the viva examination, at which the examiners can wave it through, ask for minor corrections, major corrections, or total revision, or fail it.
In addition, I'm a working novelist, not an academic.I also hope that commenters will be able to add other thoughts and experiences, and that writers in other forms will forgive me for using 'novel' as a catch-all term for a major body of creative work.If some of what I'm about to say sounds negative, it's partly because I'm playing Devil's Advocate.There are roughly 1.7 million students currently enrolled in some sort of graduate program in the U. Not that I like to think of myself as a number or statistic, but I'm one of them.Since 2012, I've been enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting program at Temple University in Philadelphia (go Owls! So far (I have three more semesters to go), the experience has been both incredibly rewarding and intensely challenging.And there's no Writing License Association of America that mandates specific training to be a writer (although maybe there should be, so shit like this stops happening).Theoretically, if you go to grad school, you become a better writer and that may up your chances of writing a bestseller or Broadway-caliber play, but let's be honest — if you're going into writing because you want to be rich, you're as misguided as Kim Kardashian doing this photo shoot.I’ve watched my work come to life on stage (and chewed my nails down to the quick the entire time); I’ve learned to appreciate writers like Samuel Beckett and Bertolt Brecht more than I ever thought I could; hell, I’ve even taught a class of my own (and realized that I did not appreciate teachers nearly as much as I should.But one of the most surprising things I’ve learned is that for most people, graduate programs in creative writing remain something of a mystery.So what kind of creature is the Creative Writing Ph D?Creative Writing (henceforth 'CW'), as an academic discipline, is the study of creative and imaginative work-in-progress, and so research is “practice-led”, using the act of writing creatively as a research process, as well as studying the process and product of that writing.