In the current economical climate, where Art Council grants are being cut and libraries are closing left, right and centre, and university fees are soaring, making potential students think twice before they embark on a creative degree… we have to take a stand.
We have to fight for our right for art, for culture, for our means to be creative. These areas of our society are not deemed essential, and technically they aren’t – we can survive without art. But that existence will be compromised, anaesthetized and jeopardised.
Art is not a meaningless product of a society – it is at the heart of society. It is the purest testimony of human insight and feeling, it documents and conceptualises. It gives a voice to a multitude of people, through entertainment and expression. Art trains our minds to think outside the box, process our emotions and develop our understanding. I can’t think of anything more damaging to a society than to take that away.
Despite the looming threat of art cuts, creative writing courses have never been more popular. Perhaps it is something to do with heightening technology, where aspiring writers can connect directly to their literary heroes through blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
Perhaps it is to do with the vast amounts of adaptations in the media – it seems almost every blockbuster film these days was based on a novel. Perhaps it is to do with the increasing popularity of e-readers and the accessibility to books and e-books through online retail giants. Perhaps it is the lure of self-publishing success stories.
Whatever the reason, more and more people are exploring their potential as writers, gaining qualifications and learning from established writers and fellow students alike.
What are your thoughts on creative writing courses in the current economical climate?