Your personality type affects your learning style and preferences. For instance, by their very nature, online degrees are an appealing education option for those who may consider themselves more introverted than outgoing. Online learning allows you to set your own pace and find the space that is most conducive to your learning preferences. In addition, . people interested in certain career paths or professions may be drawn to online learning. Writing is one example.
Many writers would classify themselves as introverted, finding their energy through their inner world and needing time and reflection to best communicate via the written word. So when it comes to choosing a graduate program, it comes as no surprise that writers may be especially attracted to online writing degrees.
It’s important to note that not all writers are introverts and being an introvert does not mean that you are shy, or anti-social or a loner. But it does mean you may have preferences for an optimal learning environment and characteristics that allow you to thrive while earning your writing degree online.
Enjoy the Solitude
Aside from the obvious benefits web-based learning brings to introverts, an online MFA (Master of Fine Arts) has other plusses specific to the nature of the coursework itself. Simply put, writing is a solitary act.
Even if you were enrolled in an on-campus or low-residency writing program, chances are you’d do the bulk of your reading, writing, and revising alone, either at home, at the library, or your study location of choice. Earning a writing degree online is no different; you’ll still get the alone-time you desire, but plenty more of it. With no in-class meetings, required campus events, or traditional group projects, you can learn and work independently, while still having the ability to interact with your professors and fellow classmates.
Of course, enjoying the solitude of online writing degrees does require finding a comfortable and quiet place at home!
Enjoy the Freedom
One of the biggest benefits of any online degree program is flexibility, which is quite appealing to students with full-time jobs or families. But the freedom inherent in the flexibility provided by online learning is especially fitting for writers; while there will still be deadlines and due dates, you can access your online creative writing courses when and where you’re most comfortable. Working at your own pace and on your own time can be refreshing if you’re not fond of strict schedules or required socializing.
Contribute to the Classroom … On Your Comfort Level
Students who learn towards introversion in their personality type may find it intimidating to participate in an in-class discussion. Some may be anxious about getting called on unexpectedly. Others might not want to draw attention to themselves for asking a question. By design, online writing degrees can combat those concerns by allowing you to participate and engage with others in a way that feels comfortable for you.
Susan Cain, author, and expert on introversion explained in a webinar that it can be taxing when everyone in a classroom is calling out ideas at once.
“The nervous system of an introvert at that point is starting to shut down a little bit, right?” she says in the recording. “If you can incorporate online and other methods of reducing all those inputs at once, it allows all students to engage.”
Cain offers some wise advice there, and it’s exactly why introverts may contribute more — and in more depth — in an online environment. While some individual online creative writing courses may have a few scheduled live chats, for the most part, you’ll be able to ask, answer, comment, and reply when you’re ready.
Find Support… When You Need It
Online writing degrees might seem like completely independent endeavors, but at schools like National University, you’re never really alone. When you have questions or concerns about classes or other school-related items, you’ll be able to reach your instructors or other staff members online or even on the phone. At National, you’ll also receive one-on-one mentorship from an established writer as you work on your final creative project.
Online MFA programs also allow you to build a writing community, which can be a support network in itself. You can interact with your peers through group discussion boards or private messages in the school’s learning management system or via other on- and offline channels. But what’s important here is that you can engage and interact when you want to.
Gain Real-world Publishing Experience … from Your Own Desk
Extracurricular activities can enrich your academic experience, and those offered by creative writing programs seem custom-made tailored for those who like to work independently. As an online MFA student at National, for example, you’ll have a chance to gain practical publishing experience on your own time through the student-run literary magazine, GNU Journal.
It’s important to remember that anyone with the drive, skill, and talent — extroverts and ambiverts included — can succeed in a writing program and career; however, if you are a writer who likes to work on your own schedule, at your own pace, and at your own preferred location, online writing degrees were crafted with you in mind.
Interested in researching online writing degrees? Visit National University’s online MFA program page to learn more about our online degree with options in poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, and screenwriting.