Literary Arts Careers

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Literary Arts Careers (1:28)

“It’s not a business and it’s not a career. It’s my life. I do it 24 hours every day. I never stop thinking about my books. I never stop thinking about my characters. I love talking and writing with other writers, with anybody who will listen. That’s what gives me a lot of joy, is I don’t consider it a job.”

Video Transcript

There’s an old saying: “Is life imitating art, or is art imitating life?” And that all comes from the whole dynamics of storytelling.

A good story consists of complex, authentic characters, because as people, we’re complex. If you start with complex characters and authentic characters, they really drive your story.

The most rewarding part is coming up with something that didn’t exist before I imagined it, and being allowed to share it with a larger group of people.

It’s not a business and it’s not a career. It’s my life. I do it 24 hours every day. I never stop thinking about my books. I never stop thinking about my characters. I love talking and writing with other writers, with anybody who will listen. That’s what gives me a lot of joy, is I don’t consider it a job.

When I’m writing for theater, I’m definitely thinking about my audience more. When I’m writing my poems, they’re so personal. The poetry for me is such a personal space. And I believe that poems can save lives. And outside of performing, I teach. And so I build curriculum in juvenile detention centers.

You’re able to step into someone else’s shoes. You’re able to take that journey. You’re able to see through their eyes. And with that, you expand, I think, who you are coming back from that journey.

Discussion Guide

Independent Learning Guide: This all-purpose guide can be used by educators, parents, and mentors to jumpstart a lively discussion about careers in the literary arts.

Classroom Lesson Plan

Do you like to create worlds with your imagination? A novelist, poet, filmmaker, producer, and playwright share why they are passionate about their careers in creative writing.

Classroom Lesson Plan: This step-by-step lesson plan is available to guide a more in-depth “before, during, and after” learning experience when viewing the video with students. This lesson plan is also suitable for use in after-school programs and other educational settings.

Empowerment Activities

Use Empowerment Activities as a fun way to reinforce the video topic and build community with your students.

Related Empowerment Activities:

Fun Page Activity

Fun Page Activity: Try being a literary artist. Use this poem “starter” to write a poem about the real you — what you dream about, wish for, and can’t wait to do!