- Creative Writing
Learn creative writing
What is creative writing.
Writing has many different purposes. Some writing informs the audience, such as technical or academic writing. Other writers, like journalists, report the news. Some writing, however, exists to tell a story or express an idea that falls outside of the rules-based academic or technical world. Creative writing involves any writing that stretches the boundaries of journalism or technical writing, inhabiting a world where the story is precious. Creative writing has many forms. Literature and poetry are well-known, but writing that expands narrative traditions and develops through characters could also be considered creative.
Creative writers often have an excellent command of language and can translate that into a variety of disciplines. Learning the basics of creative writing could give learners writing and communication skills that can be applied to fields ranging from entertainment to business to politics.
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Online writing classes can unlock creativity and improve learners’ writing technique. For example, a class that focuses on writing novels can teach individuals how to ideate, outline, and execute on a large project. Learners can study different forms of writing, such as American poetry, long-form journalism, and English literature, which can even be a prerequisite for many BFA and MFA programs. From creating fully realized characters to editing drafts, there are many skills to learn in creative writing classes.
Careers in creative writing
Learning character development, prompt writing, and other skills in this field helps learners think in new ways. Creative nonfiction classes can help writers build communication skills. Classes on the short story can teach professionals how to make their point in a concise manner. A background in creative writing could help prepare individuals for many careers, including as an:
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Why learn creative writing? Truthfully, creative writing is one of the most misunderstood disciplines in the 21st century. When people think of a creative writing course, they often imagine a group of lofty, out-of-touch people who wear argyle sweater vests and have unproductive conversations about abstract concepts.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth: the best writing classes remain engaged with the real world, and the skills gained in a creative writing course apply to nearly every facet of daily life.
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth picking up a course in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, we have five reasons to learn creative writing. But first, let’s talk about what actually happens in a creative writing course.
The Basics of a Writing Workshop
Whether you’re enrolled in a poetry, fiction, or nonfiction writing class, you can expect the following writing process – at least in a quality writing course like the ones at Writers.com.
- Weekly prompts and writing exercises to sharpen the precision and necessity of each word you use.
- Constructive critiques from a community of writers who are each growing their writing skills alongside you.
- A creative space to explore new ideas, experiment with language, and arrange words in new and exciting ways.
- Focused writing instruction from a master of the craft.
The benefits of creative writing come from engaging with the course material, the writing prompts, and the other class members. These elements help you become a better writer, both in creative realms and in everyday life. How? No matter what form of writing, a creative writing class pushes you to connect ideas and create effective narratives using the best words – and that skill translates into real world success.
Check Out Our Online Writing Courses!
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October 4th, 2023
Most novels become great through the power of revision. Learn how to turn a rough draft into a swoon-worthy manuscript that readers and publishers will love.
Even Smaller: Adventures in Short-form Writing
with Tina Barry
Less is more in this bite-sized writing class, where you'll learn how to tell complete stories under the tightest word counts.
Write Your Novel in 12 Weeks!
with Briana Una McGuckin
In this generative novel writing course, we'll go from writing a strong beginning to writing "The End" on your novel's first draft.
The Benefits of Creative Writing
1. why learn creative writing: improved self-expression.
Improving your writing skills leads to stronger communication. When you practice finding the right word in a story or poem, you engage the same parts of your brain that are active in everyday writing and speaking. A creative writing course subconsciously turns you into a more effective communicator.
The importance of precise language and self-advocacy translates well into both interpersonal relationships and working environments. Take it from this expert on how writing and self-advocacy results in career and leadership success.
2. Why Learn Creative Writing: Job Success
This brings us to our next point: great writing leads to job success. Of course, your boss probably isn’t expecting you to write emails in the form of a short story or a sonnet – though if they are expecting this, you have a pretty cool boss.
In reality, almost every job requires some sort of written work, whether that’s simple written communication or something more elaborate, like publishing data or marketing materials. In a creative writing class, you practice the style and grammar rules necessary for effective writing, both within the realms of literature and in career-related writing. Sharpening your writing and creativity skills might just land you your next promotion.
3. Why Learn Creative Writing: Improved Thinking Skills
Strong writing leads to strong thinking. No matter what type of writing you pursue, learning how to write is another form of learning how to think.
That might seem like a bold claim, so think about it this way. Without language, our thoughts wouldn’t have form. We might not need language to think “I’m hungry” or “I like cats,” but when it comes to more abstract concepts, language is key. How would you think about things like justice, revenge, or equality without the words to express them?
When you hone in on your ability to find choice, specific words, and when you work on the skills of effective storytelling and rhetoric , you improve your ability to think in general. Good writing yields great thinking!
4. Why Learn Creative Writing: Empathy
Reading and writing both rely on empathy, especially when it comes to being an effective workshop participant. When we read and write stories, we situate ourselves in the shoes of other people; when we read and write poetry, we let language navigate us through emotion.
The importance of creative writing relies on empathy. We practice empathy whenever we listen to another person’s life story, when someone tells us about their day, and when we sit down with a client or work partner. When we write, we practice the ability to listen as well as to speak, making us more effective communicators and more compassionate human beings.
5. Why Learn Creative Writing: It’s Fun!
In case you’re not convinced that a writing course is right for you, let’s clarify one more fact: creative writing is fun. Whether you’re in a fiction writing course, starting a memoir, crafting a poem, or writing for the silver screen, you’re creating new worlds and characters. In the sandbox of literature, you’re in control, and when you invest yourself into the craft of writing, something beautiful emerges.
The Importance of Creative Writing
Simply put, creative writing helps us preserve our humanity. What better medium to explore the human experience?
To learn creative writing, like any art form, requires compassion, contemplation, and curiosity. Writers preserve the world as they observe it in stories and poetry, and they imagine a better world by creating it in their works.
Through the decades, literature has explored society’s profound changes. Literary eons like the Naturalist movement and the Beat poets responded to the increase in Western Industrialization. Confessional poets like Virginia Woolf helped transform poetry into a medium for emotional exploration and excavation. And, genre movements like the cyberpunk writers of science fiction helped popularize the idea of an “information economy.”
Thus, the importance of creative writing lies in its ability to describe the world through an honest and unfiltered lens. Anyone who engages in creative writing, no matter the genre or style, helps us explore the human experience, share new ideas, and advocate for a better society. Whether you write your stories for yourself or share them with a wide audience, creative writing makes the world a better place.
Jobs for Creative Writers
Because creative writing isn’t a STEM discipline, many people don’t think that learning it will help their job prospects. Why learn creative writing if it doesn’t make any money?
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Creative writing skills are much sought after on resumes, since both creativity and the ability to write are soft skills in decline. Additionally, if you’re considering a career change—or ready to start one!—these are some popular jobs for creative writers.
- Average Starting Salary: $51,000
- Demand: High
- Skills needed: creativity, grammar, timeliness
Copywriters help companies put their branding into words. A copywriter might write emails, blogs, website content, or ad copy that encompasses the company’s voice and purpose. Copywriting requires you to write in a mix of styles and forms, flexing your writing muscles in new and exciting ways.
- Average Starting Salary: $50,000
- Skills needed: storytelling, research, argumentation
Nonprofits and research facilities rely on local and national grants to fund their projects. Grant writers help secure that funding, writing engaging grants that tell the organization’s story in an engaging, tailored, and convincing way. Creative writers will enjoy the opportunity to tell a meaningful story and create positive community change through this career.
Communications/Public Relations Specialist
- Skills needed: creativity, communications, social media
A communications specialist helps drive a company’s image through various social channels. They may help create a positive narrative for their company through blogs, journalist outreach, social media, and other public-facing avenues. Much like copywriting, a PR specialist helps weave an effective story for a company.
- Average Starting Salary: $55,000
- Demand: Medium/High
- Skills needed: creativity, storytelling, organization, self-reliance
The dream job for many writers is to write and sell books. Being a novelist is an admirable career choice—and also requires the most work. Not only do you have to write your stories, but you also have to market yourself in the literary industry and maintain a social presence so that publishers and readers actually read your work. It’s a tough business, but also incredibly rewarding!
Reasons to Learn Creative Writing: Finding a Writing Community
Finally, creative writing communities make the writing struggle worth it. The relationships you foster with other creative writers can last a lifetime, as no other group of people has the same appreciation for the written word. Creative writing communities create transformative experiences and encourage growth in your writing; if there’s one reason to study creative writing craft, it’s the friendships you make in the process.
You don’t need a class to start writing, but it’s never a waste of time to learn the tools of the trade. Creative writing requires the skills that can help you in everyday life, and a creative writing course can help.
At Writers.com, we believe that creative writing can transform both individual lives and the world at large. See the importance of creative writing for yourself: check out what makes our creative writing courses different , then take a look at our upcoming course calendar today.
Would like to apply for a course to write a novel.
I’d be happy to help! Please email [email protected] with any questions, and we’ll find the right course for your writing.
[…] Sean. “Why Learn Creative Writing.” writers.com. June 7, 2020. https://writers.com/why-learn-creative-writing . Accessed November 7, […]
[…] And last of all it’s fun! I hope to live my life doing the things I love, with like-minded creative people who I love. I have many exciting things upcoming as I continue with the process of completing my first novel, Les Année Folles, such as publishing to my first magazine, journal, and working on the millions of short story ideas I have stored in my head. Stay tuned! References: Glatch, S. (2020, June 7). WHY LEARN CREATIVE WRITING? Retrieved from Writers.com: https://writers.com/why-learn-creative-writing […]
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- EXPLORE Random Article
How to Learn Creative Writing
Last Updated: October 21, 2021 References
This article was co-authored by Melessa Sargent . Melessa Sargent is the President of Scriptwriters Network, a non-profit organization that brings in entertainment professionals to teach the art and business of script writing for TV, features and new media. The Network serves its members by providing educational programming, developing access and opportunity through alliances with industry professionals, and furthering the cause and quality of writing in the entertainment industry. Under Melessa's leadership, SWN has won numbers awards including the Los Angeles Award from 2014 through 2021, and the Innovation & Excellence award in 2020. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 50,455 times.
Creative writing is any form of writing intended for entertainment, although it may also inform or persuade. It encompasses fiction, poetry, song lyrics, scripts, biographies, and anything that combines these elements. Although creative writing is an innate skill, it can be taught, and its techniques must be learned in order to develop as a writer. There are a number of ways to learn creative writing; the steps below cover some of these ways.
- To determine where to start, consider what interests you most. If you enjoy a particular genre of fiction, such as science fiction, and imagine how you would write the story differently, you may want to begin by learning to write in that genre. If you find yourself paying particular attention to the choice of words in your favorite songs, you may want to learn how to write song lyrics.
- You may also wish to tackle a smaller project within the form of writing that interests you most, such as a short story or novella instead of an epic trilogy, or a few good songs instead of a concept album, for example.
- College campuses. Many colleges and universities offer the opportunity to major or minor in creative writing as part of a fine arts degree, or as an elective class for credits to count toward a degree in something else. These classes are usually taught by tenured or adjunct professors, with classes lasting an entire semester.
- Community colleges. Many community colleges offer a variety of non-credit, continuing education classes for those who want to learn new things. Writing classes are often among their most popular offerings. Some community college writing classes may last a full semester, while others run only a few weeks. These classes may be taught by professors at the college or by experienced writers in the community.
- Seminars. These are short, one- or two-day classes that may be held at a community center, a civic organization, a writer's retreat, or at a convention devoted to a particular genre. These classes are usually taught by experienced writers.
- Online. Online creative writing classes may be offered by four-year or community colleges as an outreach program or by organizations geared solely to teaching writing online. Some classes may be offered for free, while others have charges ranging from nominal to substantial.
- General how-to books teach the basics of creative writing. These books may include techniques on how to stimulate your creativity, provide suggestions on how to structure your writing time, or offer advice on dealing with agents and publishers.
- Technique-specific how-to books teach particular writing methods that can be applied across a number of writing genres. Dwight Swain's "Techniques of the Selling Writer," for example, teaches how to structure stories to build tension.
- Genre-specific how-to books teach how to write in a specific genre, such as mysteries, science fiction, or romance.
- Genre-specific reference books provide information that writers need to know to create realistic settings for their stories in that genre. There are books covering life in the Middle Ages for historical fiction and fantasy writers, books on forensics for mystery writers, and books of age-appropriate words for children's book writers.
- Most writing workshops will require you to have a piece of writing to share with the other writers attending the workshop.
- You can find writers' groups in your area by using an Internet search engine or through Meetup.com.
- If you write fiction, one way to practice is to take part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWiMo), held informally during the month of November. The goal is to start and finish a writing a novel during those 30 days.
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- As you learn more about how to write, you'll find yourself looking at published writing with a more critical eye to see how other writers apply a given technique to bring their stories to life. When you do this, read as widely in your chosen area as you can to expose yourself to a number of different styles to help you develop your own individual style. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
- Be aware that some online writing programs are not on the up-and-up. This is usually not a problem with programs affiliated with a recognized institution of higher education but may be with a private organization. If you're not familiar with the organization behind a writing program, take the time to investigate that organization before committing your time and money. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 1
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- ↑ Melessa Sargent. Professional Writer. Expert Interview. 14 August 2019.
- Rodney Ruff, Omaha, NE; experienced writer and editor
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Start writing fiction
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Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course, Start writing fiction, will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and setting s. You will also be able to look at the different genre s for fiction.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- identify strengths and weaknesses as a writer of fiction
- demonstrate a general awareness of fiction writing
- discuss fiction using basic vocabulary.
First Published: 09/08/2012
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