Creative Writing degrees are worth something for sure, but, I’ve always been of the school of thought that writers, like artists, are just sort of born with it. If you’ve got it, you’ve just got it and no amount of instruction, degrees, classes, and practice will make you one if you aren’t. The wrath of English teachers and creative writing MFA’s everywhere may rain upon me but I’m serious! If you don’t have the gift of storytelling, no one can really teach you. You can improve for sure, but excel? Perhaps not. Beverly Cleary I think would agree. She often said in private interviews that she didn’t really study other children’s books, she just wrote from her own experiences. When children would write to her for tips about writing their own tales she would say that when the time came when they should write, if they indeed should, they would find their own way of writing and would “not need tips to guide them.” Beverly Cleary actually struggled in her first few years of school to learn to read. Even though she struggled, she was obsessed with reading and ended up getting a degree in Library Science from the University of Washington, Seattle. She didn’t write her first book until she was in her thirties, but she would become one of the most award-winning children’s book authors ever with her tales about the adventures of Ramona Quimby.
If Beverly Cleary pinned, I think her boards would be quite inspirational for the self-taught and the self-motivated. If you’re good at something, no lack of opportunity or educational experience can really stop you. Beverly Cleary just read, and read, and read, and then she wrote…very well might I interject…and we still can’t get enough of her.
Happy new week everyone! Mondays really can’t help being a drag, but it’s now officially Autumn and October is just a week away so that’s something to celebrate!
– <3 A.