What to study to be a writer

Person thinking what to study to be a writer

Surely more than once you have asked yourself the question of what to study to be a writer. It is possible that you think that for this you do not need anything more than the passion for the letters. Or, on the contrary, that you are of the opinion that you have to train to be a “real” author.

The truth is that both theories are correct.. There are people who do not need to study anything to be a writer and be successful. And others need adequate training to give consistency to their ideas and make their books good. Do you want to know more about the subject? Then read on.

what is it to be a writer

Girl who doesn't know what to study to be a writer

Let's start with the simplest. And it is knowing what is considered a writer. This can be a person who writes and, we assume, is good at it.

In other words, is a person who is going to dedicate himself to writing and who creates books, stories, poetry, etc.. But not because you know how to write you are already a writer.

Many people write well but do not have the facet of a writer. So what sets them apart? Well, specifically an important part: the talent.

Some experts say that writers can be 'born' or 'made'. The contrast is that if one is 'born a writer' it means that he has a talent for creating stories, he is creative and ideas are always running through his head. On the other hand, the one who 'does' would be the writer who, with training, discipline and technique, reaches that goal, creating works that are really good.

Is there a writing career?

Table with a pen and ink

The easy, quick and easy answer is "no", there is no such thing as a writing career. But yes there are courses and careers that are related to it and that, sometimes, they are the ones that are recommended to study to be a writer.

Not by studying them you are going to be considered a writer. There are many people who study them and who are not successful in that branch. Because sometimes it takes a "pinch of magic" that is what defines your pen. Or explained another way, you need to know how to narrate and this is something that they do not teach you in school or in high school.

And what are those races? We comment on them.

Bachelor of Arts

One of the best known is the Hispanic Language, where the Spanish language is studied from its birth to the present, seeing the nuances that have changed, the spelling rules, studying the classics, etc.

Of all the careers, we could say that it is the closest to the writing profession because allows you to get a handle on words that not many get. In addition, by studying important authors of literature, you have references and examples of works that have succeeded, or succeed on a day-to-day basis.

In this it is possible that some jobs are not only book reviews, but also apply the knowledge in stories or stories that you will have to write from scratch.


Another career related to writing is Journalism. But be careful, because This training prepares you to learn the process of research, information gathering and writing a journalistic article.. And although many things can coincide with literature, the truth is that not everything. For example, writing this article is not the same as writing a book. It totally changes the way you express yourself.

Even so, it can be a good option, especially to "know how to sell yourself" as a writer.

a film career

An option that not many consider, and that nevertheless it does have many outlets and involves a job as a writer (more specifically as a screenwriter), is the film career.

It is not exactly a career to learn to write books or novels, but it is to turn them into movies and/or series, since it will give you the bases to know how to synthesize a work into a script.

And the workshops, courses and masters?

A writer starting to write

Surely you have seen many courses related to writing advertised on the Internet: how to write a novel, detective novel course, horror... Even to delve into the plot, the characters, the endings...

It is true that are much more focused on the needs of a writer, and that there is no doubt that they will serve you much more than university degrees that are more general.

But depending on the course, how it is taught, syllabus, depth in the topics, etc. It may or may not be considered good. Especially so that it really works for you.

The most important thing to be a writer

Regardless of what many may personally consider One of the most important things to be a writer is knowing how to write.. Spelling mistakes, misusing words and/or phrases, not knowing how to apply the minimum knowledge of spelling, grammar and linguistics means that a person cannot be considered a good writer. Fortunately all this can be learned.

What else is needed? Creativity. In a literary market where it seems that everything is already created, getting a work out of the “top hat” that is original and that shows a realistic and well-spun story is very important.

In conclusion…

We cannot say that you have to study to be a writer. Many of the ancients did not study at all. And they were good. They are still considered some of the best in literature today. But we don't really know how they got their pen to become a hit. What if they spent hours and hours reading or attending classes with other speakers to discover the secret of literature?

Thus, we could say that there is several knowledge that is important to have:

  • Characters. It is not enough to create them and that's it. If you really want to be a writer you have to get them to empathize, to be realistic, to have a past and a future that marks them.
  • The narrative. The way of narrating, of telling the story, is more important than you think. And this is not something that they encourage in schools or institutes. To achieve this, reading a lot and writing a lot are two essential tasks.
  • stress points. It would fall within what narrative is, but they are important parts because they are the ones that can end up destroying a novel.
  • How to sell a novel. Although it seems that this is not a topic that a writer should deal with, keep in mind that publishers do not usually do promotion unless you are a best seller and have shown that you move masses. Until you reach that, you will have to be a writer and commercial of your own work (even when you publish with an editorial).

If you do not have the financial means to study to be a writer, then we recommend that you read a lot, of all genres, and analyze how other authors use language in favor of their stories to captivate the attention of readers. Even if you don't realize it at first, little by little you will apply the knowledge you acquire indirectly. Of course, be careful with choosing the type of book and author.

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  1.   Freddy Valero said

    If there is a career and it is called (literary creation) there are already several universities that have it within their proposals.

  2.   claudia said

    In Argentina there is training in Writing Arts.
    The UNA University of the Arts is public and free, it offers a training that guides and accompanies the student to go through the different areas of writing, poetry, screenplay, narrative: stories, essays, novels, nouvelle writing in the science fiction genre. or police. As well as approaches from criticism.
    The career began in 2016 and already has graduates, publishers born there, reading cycles, etc.