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I'm currently a college student studying psychology. I have always been interested in becoming a freelance writer. I'd like to write fictional stories. Do most authors today have degrees solely in English or communications? Are there any relatively successful writers that have degrees outside of the writing field? I'd like to start my writing out as a hobby, and perhaps some day get a book or two published. What is the process one has to go through in order to get published? Is it realistic for someone without a degree in the writing field to get a fictional book published, and actually make some sells? Thanks!

Dear Maurice,
Thank you for your question and for sharing your aspirations with me. You're on the right track if you follow a career path and do freelance writing as a hobby. Usually it takes at least a couple of successful books before you can depend on writing for your income. Therefore, you will want to get a degree in a field that interests you, where you can make a living.
Journalism is a good field for writers. Many journalists eventually segue into full time writing on their own projects. Law is another good field, because you can use your writing skills in your work, while you accumulate ainteresting material for future stories. Psychology is also a good field. In addition, being a published writer can help your career.  Like, if you choose education as a career, they say "publish or perish."
So, study what is meaningful to you.
Education is good for a writer, but nobody would reject good writing because the author has a degree in law or psychology, instead of English.
Also, it helps to join a writing group and take creative writing electives. Another thing that can help is study American literature (if you're American), or any body of literature. It pays to know what has come before, so you have a context of where the art of literature stands by the time you get into it.
It's also good to study languages. Some writers swear by their knowledge of Latin (or other languages) as the source of their writing skills.
I hope this helps,

P.S. Here is my page for writers:

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Nori J. Muster


Writing and publishing books, including e-books.


I have been writing for publication since 1981, including years as a staff writer, associate editor, editorial writer, and freelance reporter. At this time, I have eight Kindle books for sale at

Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World
Cult Recovery Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life
Child of the Cult
Learning to Flow with the Tao: The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching
Positive Quotations: Wisdom from the Master Mind
Collected Writings: Five Books by Nori Muster
Noriland Art Gallery: Secrets from the Vault
Spiritual Summer and Other Short Stories

UCLA Extension Writer's Program, 1988 - 1994
Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University, 1991

Awards and Honors
USA Today, Los Angeles Times, BBC World Services Focus on Faith, BBC Sunday Programme,, Glamour Magazine, Portland Mercury News, W-Five TV (Toronto), Publisher's Weekly, Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC TV News - 20/20, ABC radio, Associated Press, The Age (Melbourne),, The New York Times, Religious News Service, Dallas Morning News, Columbia Journalism School, Whole Life Times (Los Angeles), Toronto Sun, the John Dayle Show (KFYI AM, Phoenix), the Eliot Stein Show (syndicated radio and Internet broadcast), Discovery with Josh Wagner (KKUP, 91.5 FM, Santa Clara, California), KOGO (News Radio 600, San Diego), Jupiterís Girl syndicated radio show, Lakes Log.

Book Reviews:
Publisherís Weekly, Feminist Bookstore News, Yoga Journal, New York Post, Choice Magazine, Boston Herald, Nexus (Colorado), Gentle Strength Times, Coastlines (UCSB alumni), Theology Digest, Nova Religio, Rapport, India West,,

Book Signings:
Prescott College reunion; Gentle Strength Co-op, Tempe; Different Drummer Bookshop, Laguna Beach; L.A. Times Toastmasters; Biltmore Plaza Border's Books, Phoenix; Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles; Health & Life Enrichment Expo, Pasadena; Sacramento Reads book festival, and others.

ISKCON World Review, Van Dhal Publications, Gentle Strength Times, Arizona Woman, Lakes Log, ICSA Today, Cultic Studies Review, University of Illinois Press, Kindle,,, Apple Books, and others.

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