By Anna Warnell
Whenever I think about creative writing, I usually picture someone who is more hip, more stylish, and smarter than me. I think, “creative writing, that’s not for me. That’s for someone else.” Picture: eclectic coffee shop, oversized reading glasses, maybe a handlebar mustache. But what if I told you that you don’t need to drive a hybrid or have your own organic garden to write creatively? What if I told you that the skills learned during creative writing processes help in creating resumes and winning over future employers?
The Creative Writing Program at UGA offers students the opportunity to combine their creative, artistic voices with academia. According to their webpage, the Creative Writing Program, “fosters serious conversations among our students about aesthetics and criticism, experience and culture, and politics and history” (The Creative Writing Program).
After sitting down with Christine Lasek-White, I was able to understand just how wide the CWP’s reach is. In addition to the program itself, which is available to both undergraduate and graduate students, the CWP has many different affiliates that allow students to expand on their creative writing abilities. For example, Stillpoint magazine is an affiliate of the Creative Writing Program, and can serve as an outlet for students to get their work published.
Not only does the CWP allow students to work in a creative space that allows them the opportunity for publishing, but it teaches students methods and techniques that aid in completing non- creative papers, both in the classroom and post graduation. Lasek-White mentions that when creating a resume, students are “creating a character that is someone that is competent, and professional, and a good fit” for a particular position.
When asked about how the skills that students learn in the program help them after graduation, Lasek-White makes an important point:
folks come into the English department because they love to read and write, and more often than not, folks will look for careers that give them the opportunity to read and to write. Anytime you have a job where you’re producing something, some kind of document, it’s almost always going to be a collaborative effort.
She stressed the importance of students learning to work collaboratively with others. She mentioned how she has seen the professional world become more and more collaborative. This skill to work collaboratively is one that English majors and Creative Writing students sharpen and hone, as many of the class revolve around peer review and open class discussion.
When asked how she might persuade a student to enroll in the CWP, Lasek-White says,
it’s a lot of fun!
So it’s true. You don’t have to avoid the mainstream to be a creative writer, you just need to want to have fun.