Last year I was fortunate enough to have the creative component of my PhD published as a novel. Would I say my PhD has taught me how to write novels? I think, rather, it helped me write that one. As Helen Garner has famously said, ‘we have to learn to write again for each new book’. For context, I’d already had one novel published; for further context, that too had been developed through a higher education program – a masters. Clearly I’m in favour of formal learning, but coming to the end of our highest arts degree I’ve been reflecting on what, exactly, it’s taught me.
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