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What Is Creative Writing? Is It Worth Studying?
As loose as the definition of Creative Writing is, it’s not always easy to understand. Sure, writing a story is Creative Writing. What about poems or personal essays?
Also, how does Creative Writing even help one succeed in university and career life? We empower our Creative Writing summer school students to grasp the power of creative writing and how to use it.
How? By giving them access to personalised tutorials with expert Creative Writing tutors from prestigious universities such as the University of Oxford and Cambridge.
Creative Writing doesn’t have to be confusing or intimidating. In this article, we’ll take you through a simple explanation of what Creative Writing is and why it’s helpful and relevant.
What is Creative Writing?
The simplest description of Creative Writing is what it’s not: it doesn’t revolve around facts like technical writing.
Technical Writing vs Creative Writing
You encounter technical writing in your daily life. You’ll find it in newspapers, journal articles, and textbooks. Do you notice how the presentation of accurate information is necessary in each of these mediums?
Because the goal of technical writing is to explain or relay information as it is.
But in creative writing, such is not the case. The primary goal of Creative Writing is not to present complex information for the sake of educating the audience.
Instead, the goal is to express yourself. Should you want to share information via Creative Writing, the objective becomes persuading your readers to think about it as you do.
Hence, if you contrast Technical Writing and Creative Writing within this context,
- Technical Writing: share information without biases
- Creative Writing: self-expression of how one feels or thinks about said information.
If reducing personal opinion in Technical Writing is virtuous, in creative writing, it is criminal.
Self-Expression in Creative Writing
One must express oneself in Creative Writing to entertain, captivate, or persuade readers. Since Creative Writing involves one’s imagination and self-expression, it’s common for Creative Writers to say that they “poured a part of themselves” into their work.
What are the different ways you can express yourself in Creative Writing?
Types of Creative Writing: 2 Major Types
The two major umbrellas of Creative Writing are Creative Nonfiction and Creative Fiction.
1. Creative Nonfiction
“Nonfiction” means writing based on actual events, persons, and experiences. Some forms of creative nonfiction include:
- Personal Essay – here, the writer shares their personal thoughts, beliefs, or experiences.
- Memoir – captures the writer’s memories and experiences of a life-changing past event.
- Narrative Nonfiction – a factual event written in a story format.
2. Creative Fiction
The bulk of Creative Writing literature is found under the Creative Fiction category, such as:
- Short Story – shorter than a novel, containing only a few scenes and characters.
- Novel – a full-blown plot line with multiple scenes, characters, and subplots.
- Poem – uses specific rhythm and style to express ideas or feelings
- Play – contains dialogue and stage directions for theatre performances.
- Screenplay – script to be used for film production (e.g. movies, video games.)
In short, Creative Fiction involves stories. Do you want more specific examples of Creative Writing? Then, you may want to read this article called “Creative Writing Examples.”
Why Is It Important to Learn Creative Writing?
It’s essential to learn Creative Writing because of the following reasons:
1. Creative Writing is a valuable skill in school and work
As a student, you know well why Creative Writing is important. You submit written work in various situations, such as writing essays for assignments and exams. Or when you have to write a Personal Statement to apply for University.
In these situations, your chances of getting higher grades depend on your ability to write creatively. (Even your chances of getting accepted into a top ranked creative writing university of your dreams!)
What about when you graduate? Do you use Creative Writing in your career? Convincing a recruiter to hire you via cover letters is an example of creative writing.
Once you’re hired, you’ll find that you need to write something up. It depends on your line of work and how often and complex your writing should be.
But mundane tasks such as writing an email response, coming up with a newsletter, or making a PowerPoint presentation involve creative writing.
So when you’ve practised your Creative Writing skills, you’ll find these tasks manageable. Even enjoyable! If you want to study creative writing at university, we put together what a-levels you need for creative writing.
2. Creative Writing enhances several essential skills.
Do you know that writing is thinking? At least that’s what the American Historian and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, David McCullough said.
Many people find Creative Writing challenging because it requires a combination of the following skills:
- Critical thinking and analysis
- Reasoning skills
Many of these skills make you a valuable employee in many industries. In fact, Forbes reports that:
- Critical Thinking
- and Emotional Intelligence
are three of the Top 10 most in-demand skills for the next decade. That’s why Creative Writing is a valuable endeavour and if you take it at university there are some great creative writing degree career prospects.
3. Creative Writing Is Therapeutic
Do you know that Creative Writing has a significant beneficial effect on your mental and emotional health?
A 2021 study in the Counselling & Psychotherapy Research reports that Creative Writing brought significant health benefits to nine people who worked in creative industries. Writing helped them in their cognitive processing of emotional difficulty.
Result? Improved mood and mental well-being.
A plethora of studies over the decades found the same results. Expressing yourself via creative writing, especially by writing in your daily journal, is beneficial for your mental and emotional health.
Creative employment in the UK grows 2x faster than the rest of the economy. In fact, did you know that jobs in the creative industry grew by 30.6% from 2011 to 2018?
Compare that to the average UK growth of 10.1% during the same period, and you can see the potential.
How about in the US? The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 4% increase in employment for authors and writers from 2021 to 2031. Resulting in about 15,200 job openings yearly over the next 10 years.
The median yearly salary? It was at $69,510 as of May 2021.
So if you’re considering a Creative Writing career, now would be a great time to do so!
How To Be A Creative Writer?
You want to be a Creative Writer but don’t know where to start. Don’t worry! The best way to start is to learn from Creative Writing experts.
That’s why we ensure our Creative Writing summer school students have access to 1:1 personalised tutorials with expert Creative Writing tutors.
Our Creative Writing tutors come from world-renowned universities such as the University of Cambridge and Oxford. So you’re in excellent hands!
Here you’ll learn creative writing tips and techniques, such as character creation and plot mapping. But the best part is, you’ll come out of the course having experienced what a Creative Writer is like!
Because by then, you’ll have a Written Portfolio to show for your efforts. Which you presented to your tutor and peers for receiving constructive feedback.
Another surefire way to start becoming a Creative Writer is by practising. Check out this article called “Creative Writing Exercises.” You’ll begin building a writing routine if you practice these exercises daily.
And trust us, every great writer has a solid writing routine!
Creative Writing is a form of self-expression that allows you to use your imagination and creativity. It can be in the form of personal essays, short stories, or poems. It is often used as an outlet for emotions and experiences. Start with creative writing by reading through creative writing examples to help get you in the mood. Then, just let the words flow daily, and you’re on the road to becoming an excellent Creative Writer!