Eoin Leydon O’Connor – BA (Hons) in Writing & Literature and MA in Creative Practice

Name: Eoin Leydon O’Connor

From: Sligo

School: St. Mary’s College, Ballysadare

I wanted to deepen my creative practice and undertake a Masters to try and grow as a writer. I enjoyed getting to know my classmates through creative discussions about each of our individual art forms. Several times throughout the course, we were asked to present to the class what we were currently working on and explain why we wanted to work on it. It was an interesting and entertaining way to engage with the other students on the course and learn more about each other.

The Masters is self-directed, so much of it will be up to you and how self-disciplined you are as a creative individual. It will give you an opportunity to discover what you want to learn about your own art form, what you’re passionate about making and what you’re not.

I enjoyed working collaboratively with a visual artist to create a short comic book based on a short story I wanted to write. Together, we presented this comic to the public during an exhibition. The feedback we received was insightful and it also helped me get a better understanding of what process works for me as a writer. 

As a creative writer, I learned that my work is better if I write spontaneously. Often times, I have a tendency to plan what I’m going to write and overthink the story, rather than just sitting down and writing it. I can’t sit down with a plan, I have to go into a story blind, unsure where it’s going or what will happen. Working in several pieces of fiction during my MA, I found that writing spontaneously yields better results for me as a creative individual.

After completing my Masters in Creative Practice, I went on to self-publish my first collection of short stories on Amazon which garnered a positive response. I am currently working on my next book and am seeking out literary agents to see if there is interest in my work.

I am a self-employed writer and work from home. The self-directive nature of doing my MA is key to working in this field as you are essentially your own boss and have to discipline yourself. I feel more motivated as a writer and have more direction in what I want and where I want to go as a creative individual as a result.

Ask yourself what you want as a writer. What kind of writer do you want to be? What are you passionate about and what do you love to create. Start with that and work from there. I wanted to be a novelist and despite people telling me that I wouldn’t have any job security or financial stability, I kept working at it and feel happy with myself as a result.

I enjoyed meeting other creative people, whether it be writers, actors, designers, painters, architects, printmakers etc. It was inspiring seeing other people’s art forms and learning about their creative backgrounds.

Make sure you’re honest with yourself about what you want to study. I’ve had friends who insist they want to study a certain course, but they only say that because they think the course will lead to stable employment. Soon they realised they hated the course and dropped out before choosing the course they really wanted to study in the first place. Be honest with yourself about what you want to study and go from there.

Find out more about AU929 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Writing and Literature

Find out more about AU930 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Writing and Literature (Online)