College majors for writers

Last week, Pat Wrede posted about college majors and degrees for writers. This is a topic I always find interesting to read about, despite my not having any experience with being in school as a fiction writer–or maybe because it’s fun to play the “if I’d wanted to be a writer back then, what would I have studied” game. (Or the “if I went back to school, what would I study” game, which is not. going. to. happen.)

In early adulthood, I wanted to be a physicist, so I commented:

I didn’t want to write until I was in grad school, and I didn’t want to have a fiction career until quite a while after that.

Which means my undergrad degree is in physics, and my electives were in more physics, math, chemistry, and biology, and I got a master’s in physics…and then I started writing fiction and went to journalism school.

I wish that when I was in college I’d taken more history, anthropology, sociology, etc. courses (I took four history and one economics, everything else was math and science). On the other hand if I just made myself read more nonfiction I could build up a solid foundation anyway.

Perhaps I should explain that I didn’t go to journalism school to be a novelist; writing novels helped me realize that I liked writing, and I went to journalism school after quitting physics to jumpstart a career in nonfiction.

Reading isn’t going to give me anywhere near the background that a degree would, but see above about not going to happen. I’ve been–very slowly–going through Anthropology for Dummies [1], which was the only general intro on the shelf at B&N the other month.

What have you guys studied, or what would you major in if you went back to school now?

[1] I love the url they’re using for it. It’s really for dummies.

1 Comment

Filed under Writing

One Response to College majors for writers

  1. Pingback: Learning online: Coursera and EdX | Elizabeth Shack

Leave a Reply