Most of those who think of discovering themselves as writers also imagine being discovered as writers by others: dreams of literary achievement are usually partly – and sometimes primarily – dreams of commercial success and/or critical acclaim. The ambition to be published is natural and entirely understandable, but it’s worth remembering that there are many forms of creative fulfilment.


No reputable creative writing course will offer you a guarantee of success in the crowded field of literary publishing but all good courses will help you to advance in your understanding of the craft of writing. For some, this will give readily measurable results – an agent, a publisher, good sales figures – while for others the benefits may be more modest, but no less important: for a student who begins with limited confidence and ability, the eventual production of a handful of well-written poems can represent a very real achievement.


While emphasizing this point because even the most basic statistical analysis will make it clear that many of those who complete programmes of creative writing study don’t in fact go on to achieve literary success in the public sphere. But if you bear in mind that publication isn’t the only measure of a course’s value, you’ll be open to the full range of possible benefits.



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