In Writing Arts, we are all part of a community that fosters learning and exploration in writing. How will writing look in our lives when we are no longer directly connected to that lifeline of ideas and encouragement?
There are a million things you can do with your writing degree, there are a lot of different ways to approach post-graduation life, but here my top three tips on how to be a writer beyond graduation.
The first is to find a new writing community, and to stay as connected as you can to Writing Arts. For tips on finding or making a writing community, read my article from last semester. You can choose or create a writing community that caters to your new needs as a writer, and it will help keep you on the up and up with your writing. You’ll get practice, peer review, and a social outlet, as well as a place to spark new ideas. And Writing Arts is always there to support you. You can stay connected by following the WA social media accounts (@rowanwriting) and attending alumni events. Send in your accomplishments as a writer! WA is always happy to celebrate the success of its students, both former and current.
The second is to find a writing routine that works for you. Now that you’re no longer in school, or even if you are pursuing a higher degree, it’s likely you have a new lifestyle to work around. Maybe you’re living in a new place, working different hours, adopting a new pet, planning to have kids. Whatever it is, you no longer have the routine and assignments of school keeping your writing sharp. It’s up to you now to work in time for writing on your own. You can set aside times to write every week and writing goals for you to reach for. Many of us already have a writing routine, but structuring a new one and sticking to it can be hard, especially in light of big life changes. Remember, the most important thing is that you’re writing and that you’re doing it in a way that works for you. You’ll get all kinds of recommendations and advice, requested or no, but if it doesn’t work for you, scrap it.
And finally, figure out the next steps to take on the writing path you envision for your life. All of us are using our Writing Arts degree and concentration(s) for something different, but no matter what, it’s important to know where you’re going in life. If you’re looking to become a full-time author, start trying to get your work published. Submit your work to small presses, literary magazines, or maybe even venture into self-publishing. If you are getting involved in the publishing industry, as an editor or administrator, apply for internships or positions that can help you get experience. Editors need versatility and know-how in many different areas, so branch out and keep learning. If you’re still figuring out what you want to do with your writing degree, check out my article on how versatile Writing Arts is and take a quiz on writing careers, like this one.
No matter where you go, take what you’ve learned from Writing Arts--techniques, networking, and writing, writing, writing--and apply it to your new life. Embrace what comes after you step off the stage at graduation as a new chapter, and maybe even--write about it.