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Writing Books/Writing experience/degree needed?


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I am a beginning writer.  I have college degrees in other areas but not in English or Journalism.  During college, my English professor pulled me aside and suggested I consider a career in writing but of course I didn't consider it.  Is it necessary for me to obtain a writing related degree in order to write and be taken serious as a writer?  I have enrolled in an online writing class through Writiers Digest.  There are several available.  Will these courses help me develop my writing skills or must I pursue a college degree?

You would greatly put my mind to rest by giving me your feelings on this subject.

Thank you so much.


Dear KHW,
Thank you for your letter. You do not need a degree in writing or journalism. The Writer's Digest classes will help you. I took their novel writing class and got a lot out of it. I'm sure their other classes are up to the same caliber.
Make writing your passion and a lifelong learning project. Read lots of writing books, stay involved with other writers in writing classes and writer's support groups, and write every day.
Also, get a day job that earns money. Or, get a job in journalism, research, teaching, business, or any career where you use writing.  
Writing only turns a profit after you have a following to buy your books. So, two tracks: one to earn money and one to follow your passion. When you are earning enough money in writing, then quit your other job.
I hope this helps,

P.S. My page for writers is:

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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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