Equivalent Experience Versus A Degree

My dream job would be an author. I would make enough money to just sustain myself writing whatever I wanted to write in a time frame that I felt comfortable doing it.

Unfortunately, I am a long way off from my dream. I am nowhere near well known enough to be able to support myself just through writing. Plus, I have not finished a full-length novel before due to lack of discipline and problems pacing my writing (two things I am working hard to fix).

But until that end can be met, I am working on getting my name out there through this blog, my fledgling freelance business, publishing on Coffee House Writers and Functionally Fictional, and joining online groups and communities where I can promote my writing and be held accountable for my writing goals. And I have to support myself financially somehow since none of these things will do that for me.

So I can get a job in retail or be a waitress to pay the bills while I go to school and write. But looking to the future, I realized I have a couple of options.

First of all, writing for both CHW and FF give me “experience” in the writing and publishing industry. If I stay there for 4 or more years (which I am fully planning to at this point because they are awesome and supportive groups of people) then I will have what is considered “equivalent experience” to the degree in English Creative Writing I am currently working on. Without paying a dime. And, admittedly, not getting paid a dime, but the people and support they provide are well worth the sacrifice.

But, if I get a degree it shows dedication and follow-through of goals, no matter how long it takes me. It will take me six years to get my degree total if I don’t take any breaks. I will graduate in December 2022. That is about 11 months after I will reach the four year (and equivalent experience) mark with CHW and 9 months after I reach the same mark for FF.

If I do both it would greatly improve my resume, for sticking to three things for so long, when everything else lasts for about three months. I have trouble staying in a job I hate that is mentally taxing for me. The only thing I’ve really ever done is cashiering. That is mentally draining for me because I am an introvert. After eight hours of talking to people all day all I want to do is sleep. I have to find a job I can keep in the meantime that doesn’t involve much human interaction, like an overnight stocker at a store or something similar.

But which do employers prefer? A degree? Equivalent experience? If both is an option (which it is for me) then I’m sure they would prefer that. I have to consider what is best for me and what is most feasible right now.

If you want to join the Coffee House Writers unpaid, resume-padding, experience-giving internship, apply here. You will have to complete a phone interview (no pressure and easy, they just want to get to know you!) but it is one of the most supportive writing communities I have found that accepts people from all walks of life.


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