Creative Primer

What is Creative Writing? A Key Piece of the Writer’s Toolbox

Brooks Manley

Not all writing is the same and there’s a type of writing that has the ability to transport, teach, and inspire others like no other.

Creative writing stands out due to its unique approach and focus on imagination. Here’s how to get started and grow as you explore the broad and beautiful world of creative writing!

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is a form of writing that extends beyond the bounds of regular professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature. It is characterized by its emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or poetic techniques to express ideas in an original and imaginative way.

Creative writing can take on various forms such as:

  • short stories
  • screenplays

It’s a way for writers to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a creative, often symbolic, way . It’s about using the power of words to transport readers into a world created by the writer.

5 Key Characteristics of Creative Writing

Creative writing is marked by several defining characteristics, each working to create a distinct form of expression:

1. Imagination and Creativity: Creative writing is all about harnessing your creativity and imagination to create an engaging and compelling piece of work. It allows writers to explore different scenarios, characters, and worlds that may not exist in reality.

2. Emotional Engagement: Creative writing often evokes strong emotions in the reader. It aims to make the reader feel something — whether it’s happiness, sorrow, excitement, or fear.

3. Originality: Creative writing values originality. It’s about presenting familiar things in new ways or exploring ideas that are less conventional.

4. Use of Literary Devices: Creative writing frequently employs literary devices such as metaphors, similes, personification, and others to enrich the text and convey meanings in a more subtle, layered manner.

5. Focus on Aesthetics: The beauty of language and the way words flow together is important in creative writing. The aim is to create a piece that’s not just interesting to read, but also beautiful to hear when read aloud.

Remember, creative writing is not just about producing a work of art. It’s also a means of self-expression and a way to share your perspective with the world. Whether you’re considering it as a hobby or contemplating a career in it, understanding the nature and characteristics of creative writing can help you hone your skills and create more engaging pieces .

For more insights into creative writing, check out our articles on creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree and is a degree in creative writing worth it .

Styles of Creative Writing

To fully understand creative writing , you must be aware of the various styles involved. Creative writing explores a multitude of genres, each with its own unique characteristics and techniques.

Poetry is a form of creative writing that uses expressive language to evoke emotions and ideas. Poets often employ rhythm, rhyme, and other poetic devices to create pieces that are deeply personal and impactful. Poems can vary greatly in length, style, and subject matter, making this a versatile and dynamic form of creative writing.

Short Stories

Short stories are another common style of creative writing. These are brief narratives that typically revolve around a single event or idea. Despite their length, short stories can provide a powerful punch, using precise language and tight narrative structures to convey a complete story in a limited space.

Novels represent a longer form of narrative creative writing. They usually involve complex plots, multiple characters, and various themes. Writing a novel requires a significant investment of time and effort; however, the result can be a rich and immersive reading experience.

Screenplays

Screenplays are written works intended for the screen, be it television, film, or online platforms. They require a specific format, incorporating dialogue and visual descriptions to guide the production process. Screenwriters must also consider the practical aspects of filmmaking, making this an intricate and specialized form of creative writing.

If you’re interested in this style, understanding creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree can provide useful insights.

Writing for the theater is another specialized form of creative writing. Plays, like screenplays, combine dialogue and action, but they also require an understanding of the unique dynamics of the theatrical stage. Playwrights must think about the live audience and the physical space of the theater when crafting their works.

Each of these styles offers unique opportunities for creativity and expression. Whether you’re drawn to the concise power of poetry, the detailed storytelling of novels, or the visual language of screenplays and plays, there’s a form of creative writing that will suit your artistic voice. The key is to explore, experiment, and find the style that resonates with you.

For those looking to spark their creativity, our article on creative writing prompts offers a wealth of ideas to get you started.

Importance of Creative Writing

Understanding what is creative writing involves recognizing its value and significance. Engaging in creative writing can provide numerous benefits – let’s take a closer look.

Developing Creativity and Imagination

Creative writing serves as a fertile ground for nurturing creativity and imagination. It encourages you to think outside the box, explore different perspectives, and create unique and original content. This leads to improved problem-solving skills and a broader worldview , both of which can be beneficial in various aspects of life.

Through creative writing, one can build entire worlds, create characters, and weave complex narratives, all of which are products of a creative mind and vivid imagination. This can be especially beneficial for those seeking creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree .

Enhancing Communication Skills

Creative writing can also play a crucial role in honing communication skills. It demands clarity, precision, and a strong command of language. This helps to improve your vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, making it easier to express thoughts and ideas effectively .

Moreover, creative writing encourages empathy as you often need to portray a variety of characters from different backgrounds and perspectives. This leads to a better understanding of people and improved interpersonal communication skills.

Exploring Emotions and Ideas

One of the most profound aspects of creative writing is its ability to provide a safe space for exploring emotions and ideas. It serves as an outlet for thoughts and feelings , allowing you to express yourself in ways that might not be possible in everyday conversation.

Writing can be therapeutic, helping you process complex emotions, navigate difficult life events, and gain insight into your own experiences and perceptions. It can also be a means of self-discovery , helping you to understand yourself and the world around you better.

So, whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, the benefits of creative writing are vast and varied. For those interested in developing their creative writing skills, check out our articles on creative writing prompts and how to teach creative writing . If you’re considering a career in this field, you might find our article on is a degree in creative writing worth it helpful.

4 Steps to Start Creative Writing

Creative writing can seem daunting to beginners, but with the right approach, anyone can start their journey into this creative field. Here are some steps to help you start creative writing .

1. Finding Inspiration

The first step in creative writing is finding inspiration . Inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. Observe the world around you, listen to conversations, explore different cultures, and delve into various topics of interest.

Reading widely can also be a significant source of inspiration. Read different types of books, articles, and blogs. Discover what resonates with you and sparks your imagination.

For structured creative prompts, visit our list of creative writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing.

Editor’s Note : When something excites or interests you, stop and take note – it could be the inspiration for your next creative writing piece.

2. Planning Your Piece

Once you have an idea, the next step is to plan your piece . Start by outlining:

  • the main points

Remember, this can serve as a roadmap to guide your writing process. A plan doesn’t have to be rigid. It’s a flexible guideline that can be adjusted as you delve deeper into your writing. The primary purpose is to provide direction and prevent writer’s block.

3. Writing Your First Draft

After planning your piece, you can start writing your first draft . This is where you give life to your ideas and breathe life into your characters.

Don’t worry about making it perfect in the first go. The first draft is about getting your ideas down on paper . You can always refine and polish your work later. And if you don’t have a great place to write that first draft, consider a journal for writing .

4. Editing and Revising Your Work

The final step in the creative writing process is editing and revising your work . This is where you fine-tune your piece, correct grammatical errors, and improve sentence structure and flow.

Editing is also an opportunity to enhance your storytelling . You can add more descriptive details, develop your characters further, and make sure your plot is engaging and coherent.

Remember, writing is a craft that improves with practice . Don’t be discouraged if your first few pieces don’t meet your expectations. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, enjoy the creative process.

For more insights on creative writing, check out our articles on how to teach creative writing or creative writing activities for kids.

Tips to Improve Creative Writing Skills

Understanding what is creative writing is the first step. But how can one improve their creative writing skills? Here are some tips that can help.

Read Widely

Reading is a vital part of becoming a better writer. By immersing oneself in a variety of genres, styles, and authors, one can gain a richer understanding of language and storytelling techniques . Different authors have unique voices and methods of telling stories, which can serve as inspiration for your own work. So, read widely and frequently!

Practice Regularly

Like any skill, creative writing improves with practice. Consistently writing — whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly — helps develop your writing style and voice . Using creative writing prompts can be a fun way to stimulate your imagination and get the words flowing.

Attend Writing Workshops and Courses

Formal education such as workshops and courses can offer structured learning and expert guidance. These can provide invaluable insights into the world of creative writing, from understanding plot development to character creation. If you’re wondering is a degree in creative writing worth it, these classes can also give you a taste of what studying creative writing at a higher level might look like .

Joining Writing Groups and Communities

Being part of a writing community can provide motivation, constructive feedback, and a sense of camaraderie. These groups often hold regular meetings where members share their work and give each other feedback. Plus, it’s a great way to connect with others who share your passion for writing.

Seeking Feedback on Your Work

Feedback is a crucial part of improving as a writer. It offers a fresh perspective on your work, highlighting areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. Whether it’s from a writing group, a mentor, or even friends and family, constructive criticism can help refine your writing .

Start Creative Writing Today!

Remember, becoming a proficient writer takes time and patience. So, don’t be discouraged by initial challenges. Keep writing, keep learning, and most importantly, keep enjoying the process. Who knows, your passion for creative writing might even lead to creative writing jobs and what you can do with a creative writing degree .

Happy writing!

Brooks Manley

Brooks Manley

creative writing as

Creative Primer  is a resource on all things journaling, creativity, and productivity. We’ll help you produce better ideas, get more done, and live a more effective life.

My name is Brooks. I do a ton of journaling, like to think I’m a creative (jury’s out), and spend a lot of time thinking about productivity. I hope these resources and product recommendations serve you well. Reach out if you ever want to chat or let me know about a journal I need to check out!

Here’s my favorite journal for 2024: 

the five minute journal

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Inspiring Ink: Expert Tips on How to Teach Creative Writing

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Writers' Treasure

Effective writing advice for aspiring writers

Creative Writing 101

Creative writing is any form of writing which is written with the creativity of mind: fiction writing, poetry writing, creative nonfiction writing and more. The purpose is to express something, whether it be feelings, thoughts, or emotions.

Rather than only giving information or inciting the reader to make an action beneficial to the writer, creative writing is written to entertain or educate someone, to spread awareness about something or someone, or to express one’s thoughts.

There are two kinds of creative writing: good and bad, effective and ineffective. Bad, ineffective creative writing cannot make any impression on the reader. It won’t achieve its purpose.

So whether you’re a novelist, a poet, a short-story writer, an essayist, a biographer or an aspiring beginner, you want to improve your craft. The question is: how?

When you write great fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, amazing things can happen. Readers can’t put it down. The work you wrote becomes a bestseller. It becomes famous. But you have to reach to that level… first .

The best way to increase your proficiency in creative writing is to write, write compulsively, but it doesn’t mean write whatever you want. There are certain things you should know first… it helps to start with the right foot.

To do exactly that, here we have a beginners’ guide from Writers’ Treasure on the subject:

  • An Introduction to Creative Writing
  • How to Get Started in Creative Writing in Just Three Steps
  • Creative Writing vs. Technical Writing
  • Fiction Writing 101: The Elements of Stories
  • Poetry Writing: Forms and Terms Galore
  • Creative Non-Fiction: What is it?
  • Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Creative Writing
  • Common Mistakes Made by Creative Writers

For novelists: do you want to write compelling opening chapters?

Are you an aspiring novelist? Will your novel see the light of day? For that, you will need to make the first chapter of your story as compelling as possible. Otherwise, readers won’t even pick up your novel. That chapter can be the make-or-break point that decides whether your novel is published or not. It’s because good editors know how you write from the first three pages… or sometimes even from the opening lines.

To solve this problem, I created a five-part tutorial on Writing Compelling Opening Chapters . It outlines why you need to write a compelling opening chapter, my personal favourite way of beginning it, what should be told and shown in it, general dos and don’ts, and what you need to do after having written it. Check it out for more.

Need more writing tips?

Sometimes you reach that stage when you outgrow the beginner stage of writing but feel that you’re not yet an expert. If I just described you, no worries– Writers’ Treasure’s writing tips are here. Whether you want to make your writing more readable, more irresistible, more professional, we’ve got you covered. So check out our writing tips , and be on your way to fast track your success.

I offer writing, editing and proofreading , as well as website creation services. I’ve been in this field for seven years, and I know the tools of the trade. I’ve seen the directions where the writing industry is going, the changes, the new platforms. Get your work done through me, and get fast and efficient service. Get a quote .

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Last updated on Feb 14, 2023

10 Types of Creative Writing (with Examples You’ll Love)

A lot falls under the term ‘creative writing’: poetry, short fiction, plays, novels, personal essays, and songs, to name just a few. By virtue of the creativity that characterizes it, creative writing is an extremely versatile art. So instead of defining what creative writing is , it may be easier to understand what it does by looking at examples that demonstrate the sheer range of styles and genres under its vast umbrella.

To that end, we’ve collected a non-exhaustive list of works across multiple formats that have inspired the writers here at Reedsy. With 20 different works to explore, we hope they will inspire you, too. 

People have been writing creatively for almost as long as we have been able to hold pens. Just think of long-form epic poems like The Odyssey or, later, the Cantar de Mio Cid — some of the earliest recorded writings of their kind. 

Poetry is also a great place to start if you want to dip your own pen into the inkwell of creative writing. It can be as short or long as you want (you don’t have to write an epic of Homeric proportions), encourages you to build your observation skills, and often speaks from a single point of view . 

Here are a few examples:

“Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.

The ruins of pillars and walls with the broken statue of a man in the center set against a bright blue sky.

This classic poem by Romantic poet Percy Shelley (also known as Mary Shelley’s husband) is all about legacy. What do we leave behind? How will we be remembered? The great king Ozymandias built himself a massive statue, proclaiming his might, but the irony is that his statue doesn’t survive the ravages of time. By framing this poem as told to him by a “traveller from an antique land,” Shelley effectively turns this into a story. Along with the careful use of juxtaposition to create irony, this poem accomplishes a lot in just a few lines. 

“Trying to Raise the Dead” by Dorianne Laux

 A direction. An object. My love, it needs a place to rest. Say anything. I’m listening. I’m ready to believe. Even lies, I don’t care.

Poetry is cherished for its ability to evoke strong emotions from the reader using very few words which is exactly what Dorianne Laux does in “ Trying to Raise the Dead .” With vivid imagery that underscores the painful yearning of the narrator, she transports us to a private nighttime scene as the narrator sneaks away from a party to pray to someone they’ve lost. We ache for their loss and how badly they want their lost loved one to acknowledge them in some way. It’s truly a masterclass on how writing can be used to portray emotions. 

If you find yourself inspired to try out some poetry — and maybe even get it published — check out these poetry layouts that can elevate your verse!

Song Lyrics

Poetry’s closely related cousin, song lyrics are another great way to flex your creative writing muscles. You not only have to find the perfect rhyme scheme but also match it to the rhythm of the music. This can be a great challenge for an experienced poet or the musically inclined. 

To see how music can add something extra to your poetry, check out these two examples:

“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen

 You say I took the name in vain I don't even know the name But if I did, well, really, what's it to ya? There's a blaze of light in every word It doesn't matter which you heard The holy or the broken Hallelujah 

Metaphors are commonplace in almost every kind of creative writing, but will often take center stage in shorter works like poetry and songs. At the slightest mention, they invite the listener to bring their emotional or cultural experience to the piece, allowing the writer to express more with fewer words while also giving it a deeper meaning. If a whole song is couched in metaphor, you might even be able to find multiple meanings to it, like in Leonard Cohen’s “ Hallelujah .” While Cohen’s Biblical references create a song that, on the surface, seems like it’s about a struggle with religion, the ambiguity of the lyrics has allowed it to be seen as a song about a complicated romantic relationship. 

“I Will Follow You into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie

 ​​If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks Then I'll follow you into the dark

A red neon

You can think of song lyrics as poetry set to music. They manage to do many of the same things their literary counterparts do — including tugging on your heartstrings. Death Cab for Cutie’s incredibly popular indie rock ballad is about the singer’s deep devotion to his lover. While some might find the song a bit too dark and macabre, its melancholy tune and poignant lyrics remind us that love can endure beyond death.

Plays and Screenplays

From the short form of poetry, we move into the world of drama — also known as the play. This form is as old as the poem, stretching back to the works of ancient Greek playwrights like Sophocles, who adapted the myths of their day into dramatic form. The stage play (and the more modern screenplay) gives the words on the page a literal human voice, bringing life to a story and its characters entirely through dialogue. 

Interested to see what that looks like? Take a look at these examples:

All My Sons by Arthur Miller

“I know you're no worse than most men but I thought you were better. I never saw you as a man. I saw you as my father.” 

Creative Writing Examples | Photo of the Old Vic production of All My Sons by Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller acts as a bridge between the classic and the new, creating 20th century tragedies that take place in living rooms and backyard instead of royal courts, so we had to include his breakout hit on this list. Set in the backyard of an all-American family in the summer of 1946, this tragedy manages to communicate family tensions in an unimaginable scale, building up to an intense climax reminiscent of classical drama. 

💡 Read more about Arthur Miller and classical influences in our breakdown of Freytag’s pyramid . 

“Everything is Fine” by Michael Schur ( The Good Place )

“Well, then this system sucks. What...one in a million gets to live in paradise and everyone else is tortured for eternity? Come on! I mean, I wasn't freaking Gandhi, but I was okay. I was a medium person. I should get to spend eternity in a medium place! Like Cincinnati. Everyone who wasn't perfect but wasn't terrible should get to spend eternity in Cincinnati.” 

A screenplay, especially a TV pilot, is like a mini-play, but with the extra job of convincing an audience that they want to watch a hundred more episodes of the show. Blending moral philosophy with comedy, The Good Place is a fun hang-out show set in the afterlife that asks some big questions about what it means to be good. 

It follows Eleanor Shellstrop, an incredibly imperfect woman from Arizona who wakes up in ‘The Good Place’ and realizes that there’s been a cosmic mixup. Determined not to lose her place in paradise, she recruits her “soulmate,” a former ethics professor, to teach her philosophy with the hope that she can learn to be a good person and keep up her charade of being an upstanding citizen. The pilot does a superb job of setting up the stakes, the story, and the characters, while smuggling in deep philosophical ideas.

Personal essays

Our first foray into nonfiction on this list is the personal essay. As its name suggests, these stories are in some way autobiographical — concerned with the author’s life and experiences. But don’t be fooled by the realistic component. These essays can take any shape or form, from comics to diary entries to recipes and anything else you can imagine. Typically zeroing in on a single issue, they allow you to explore your life and prove that the personal can be universal.

Here are a couple of fantastic examples:

“On Selling Your First Novel After 11 Years” by Min Jin Lee (Literary Hub)

There was so much to learn and practice, but I began to see the prose in verse and the verse in prose. Patterns surfaced in poems, stories, and plays. There was music in sentences and paragraphs. I could hear the silences in a sentence. All this schooling was like getting x-ray vision and animal-like hearing. 

Stacks of multicolored hardcover books.

This deeply honest personal essay by Pachinko author Min Jin Lee is an account of her eleven-year struggle to publish her first novel . Like all good writing, it is intensely focused on personal emotional details. While grounded in the specifics of the author's personal journey, it embodies an experience that is absolutely universal: that of difficulty and adversity met by eventual success. 

“A Cyclist on the English Landscape” by Roff Smith (New York Times)

These images, though, aren’t meant to be about me. They’re meant to represent a cyclist on the landscape, anybody — you, perhaps. 

Roff Smith’s gorgeous photo essay for the NYT is a testament to the power of creatively combining visuals with text. Here, photographs of Smith atop a bike are far from simply ornamental. They’re integral to the ruminative mood of the essay, as essential as the writing. Though Smith places his work at the crosscurrents of various aesthetic influences (such as the painter Edward Hopper), what stands out the most in this taciturn, thoughtful piece of writing is his use of the second person to address the reader directly. Suddenly, the writer steps out of the body of the essay and makes eye contact with the reader. The reader is now part of the story as a second character, finally entering the picture.

Short Fiction

The short story is the happy medium of fiction writing. These bite-sized narratives can be devoured in a single sitting and still leave you reeling. Sometimes viewed as a stepping stone to novel writing, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Short story writing is an art all its own. The limited length means every word counts and there’s no better way to see that than with these two examples:

“An MFA Story” by Paul Dalla Rosa (Electric Literature)

At Starbucks, I remembered a reading Zhen had given, a reading organized by the program’s faculty. I had not wanted to go but did. In the bar, he read, "I wrote this in a Starbucks in Shanghai. On the bank of the Huangpu." It wasn’t an aside or introduction. It was two lines of the poem. I was in a Starbucks and I wasn’t writing any poems. I wasn’t writing anything. 

Creative Writing Examples | Photograph of New York City street.

This short story is a delightfully metafictional tale about the struggles of being a writer in New York. From paying the bills to facing criticism in a writing workshop and envying more productive writers, Paul Dalla Rosa’s story is a clever satire of the tribulations involved in the writing profession, and all the contradictions embodied by systemic creativity (as famously laid out in Mark McGurl’s The Program Era ). What’s more, this story is an excellent example of something that often happens in creative writing: a writer casting light on the private thoughts or moments of doubt we don’t admit to or openly talk about. 

“Flowering Walrus” by Scott Skinner (Reedsy)

I tell him they’d been there a month at least, and he looks concerned. He has my tongue on a tissue paper and is gripping its sides with his pointer and thumb. My tongue has never spent much time outside of my mouth, and I imagine it as a walrus basking in the rays of the dental light. My walrus is not well. 

A winner of Reedsy’s weekly Prompts writing contest, ‘ Flowering Walrus ’ is a story that balances the trivial and the serious well. In the pauses between its excellent, natural dialogue , the story manages to scatter the fear and sadness of bad medical news, as the protagonist hides his worries from his wife and daughter. Rich in subtext, these silences grow and resonate with the readers.

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Perhaps the thing that first comes to mind when talking about creative writing, novels are a form of fiction that many people know and love but writers sometimes find intimidating. The good news is that novels are nothing but one word put after another, like any other piece of writing, but expanded and put into a flowing narrative. Piece of cake, right?

To get an idea of the format’s breadth of scope, take a look at these two (very different) satirical novels: 

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

I wished I was back in the convenience store where I was valued as a working member of staff and things weren’t as complicated as this. Once we donned our uniforms, we were all equals regardless of gender, age, or nationality — all simply store workers. 

Creative Writing Examples | Book cover of Convenience Store Woman

Keiko, a thirty-six-year-old convenience store employee, finds comfort and happiness in the strict, uneventful routine of the shop’s daily operations. A funny, satirical, but simultaneously unnerving examination of the social structures we take for granted, Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman is deeply original and lingers with the reader long after they’ve put it down.

Erasure by Percival Everett

The hard, gritty truth of the matter is that I hardly ever think about race. Those times when I did think about it a lot I did so because of my guilt for not thinking about it.  

Erasure is a truly accomplished satire of the publishing industry’s tendency to essentialize African American authors and their writing. Everett’s protagonist is a writer whose work doesn’t fit with what publishers expect from him — work that describes the “African American experience” — so he writes a parody novel about life in the ghetto. The publishers go crazy for it and, to the protagonist’s horror, it becomes the next big thing. This sophisticated novel is both ironic and tender, leaving its readers with much food for thought.

Creative Nonfiction

Creative nonfiction is pretty broad: it applies to anything that does not claim to be fictional (although the rise of autofiction has definitely blurred the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction). It encompasses everything from personal essays and memoirs to humor writing, and they range in length from blog posts to full-length books. The defining characteristic of this massive genre is that it takes the world or the author’s experience and turns it into a narrative that a reader can follow along with.

Here, we want to focus on novel-length works that dig deep into their respective topics. While very different, these two examples truly show the breadth and depth of possibility of creative nonfiction:

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

Men’s bodies litter my family history. The pain of the women they left behind pulls them from the beyond, makes them appear as ghosts. In death, they transcend the circumstances of this place that I love and hate all at once and become supernatural. 

Writer Jesmyn Ward recounts the deaths of five men from her rural Mississippi community in as many years. In her award-winning memoir , she delves into the lives of the friends and family she lost and tries to find some sense among the tragedy. Working backwards across five years, she questions why this had to happen over and over again, and slowly unveils the long history of racism and poverty that rules rural Black communities. Moving and emotionally raw, Men We Reaped is an indictment of a cruel system and the story of a woman's grief and rage as she tries to navigate it.

Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

He believed that wine could reshape someone’s life. That’s why he preferred buying bottles to splurging on sweaters. Sweaters were things. Bottles of wine, said Morgan, “are ways that my humanity will be changed.” 

In this work of immersive journalism , Bianca Bosker leaves behind her life as a tech journalist to explore the world of wine. Becoming a “cork dork” takes her everywhere from New York’s most refined restaurants to science labs while she learns what it takes to be a sommelier and a true wine obsessive. This funny and entertaining trip through the past and present of wine-making and tasting is sure to leave you better informed and wishing you, too, could leave your life behind for one devoted to wine. 

Illustrated Narratives (Comics, graphic novels)

Once relegated to the “funny pages”, the past forty years of comics history have proven it to be a serious medium. Comics have transformed from the early days of Jack Kirby’s superheroes into a medium where almost every genre is represented. Humorous one-shots in the Sunday papers stand alongside illustrated memoirs, horror, fantasy, and just about anything else you can imagine. This type of visual storytelling lets the writer and artist get creative with perspective, tone, and so much more. For two very different, though equally entertaining, examples, check these out:

Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson

"Life is like topography, Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine and valleys of frustration and failure." 

A Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. A little blond boy Calvin makes multiple silly faces in school photos. In the last panel, his father says, "That's our son. *Sigh*" His mother then says, "The pictures will remind of more than we want to remember."

This beloved comic strip follows Calvin, a rambunctious six-year-old boy, and his stuffed tiger/imaginary friend, Hobbes. They get into all kinds of hijinks at school and at home, and muse on the world in the way only a six-year-old and an anthropomorphic tiger can. As laugh-out-loud funny as it is, Calvin & Hobbes ’ popularity persists as much for its whimsy as its use of humor to comment on life, childhood, adulthood, and everything in between. 

From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell 

"I shall tell you where we are. We're in the most extreme and utter region of the human mind. A dim, subconscious underworld. A radiant abyss where men meet themselves. Hell, Netley. We're in Hell." 

Comics aren't just the realm of superheroes and one-joke strips, as Alan Moore proves in this serialized graphic novel released between 1989 and 1998. A meticulously researched alternative history of Victorian London’s Ripper killings, this macabre story pulls no punches. Fact and fiction blend into a world where the Royal Family is involved in a dark conspiracy and Freemasons lurk on the sidelines. It’s a surreal mad-cap adventure that’s unsettling in the best way possible. 

Video Games and RPGs

Probably the least expected entry on this list, we thought that video games and RPGs also deserved a mention — and some well-earned recognition for the intricate storytelling that goes into creating them. 

Essentially gamified adventure stories, without attention to plot, characters, and a narrative arc, these games would lose a lot of their charm, so let’s look at two examples where the creative writing really shines through: 

80 Days by inkle studios

"It was a triumph of invention over nature, and will almost certainly disappear into the dust once more in the next fifty years." 

A video game screenshot of 80 days. In the center is a city with mechanical legs. It's titled "The Moving City." In the lower right hand corner is a profile of man with a speech balloon that says, "A starched collar, very good indeed."

Named Time Magazine ’s game of the year in 2014, this narrative adventure is based on Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. The player is cast as the novel’s narrator, Passpartout, and tasked with circumnavigating the globe in service of their employer, Phileas Fogg. Set in an alternate steampunk Victorian era, the game uses its globe-trotting to comment on the colonialist fantasies inherent in the original novel and its time period. On a storytelling level, the choose-your-own-adventure style means no two players’ journeys will be the same. This innovative approach to a classic novel shows the potential of video games as a storytelling medium, truly making the player part of the story. 

What Remains of Edith Finch by Giant Sparrow

"If we lived forever, maybe we'd have time to understand things. But as it is, I think the best we can do is try to open our eyes, and appreciate how strange and brief all of this is." 

This video game casts the player as 17-year-old Edith Finch. Returning to her family’s home on an island in the Pacific northwest, Edith explores the vast house and tries to figure out why she’s the only one of her family left alive. The story of each family member is revealed as you make your way through the house, slowly unpacking the tragic fate of the Finches. Eerie and immersive, this first-person exploration game uses the medium to tell a series of truly unique tales. 

Fun and breezy on the surface, humor is often recognized as one of the trickiest forms of creative writing. After all, while you can see the artistic value in a piece of prose that you don’t necessarily enjoy, if a joke isn’t funny, you could say that it’s objectively failed.

With that said, it’s far from an impossible task, and many have succeeded in bringing smiles to their readers’ faces through their writing. Here are two examples:

‘How You Hope Your Extended Family Will React When You Explain Your Job to Them’ by Mike Lacher (McSweeney’s Internet Tendency)

“Is it true you don’t have desks?” your grandmother will ask. You will nod again and crack open a can of Country Time Lemonade. “My stars,” she will say, “it must be so wonderful to not have a traditional office and instead share a bistro-esque coworking space.” 

An open plan office seen from a bird's eye view. There are multiple strands of Edison lights hanging from the ceiling. At long light wooden tables multiple people sit working at computers, many of them wearing headphones.

Satire and parody make up a whole subgenre of creative writing, and websites like McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and The Onion consistently hit the mark with their parodies of magazine publishing and news media. This particular example finds humor in the divide between traditional family expectations and contemporary, ‘trendy’ work cultures. Playing on the inherent silliness of today’s tech-forward middle-class jobs, this witty piece imagines a scenario where the writer’s family fully understands what they do — and are enthralled to hear more. “‘Now is it true,’ your uncle will whisper, ‘that you’ve got a potential investment from one of the founders of I Can Haz Cheezburger?’”

‘Not a Foodie’ by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell (Electric Literature)

I’m not a foodie, I never have been, and I know, in my heart, I never will be. 

Highlighting what she sees as an unbearable social obsession with food , in this comic Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell takes a hilarious stand against the importance of food. From the writer’s courageous thesis (“I think there are more exciting things to talk about, and focus on in life, than what’s for dinner”) to the amusing appearance of family members and the narrator’s partner, ‘Not a Foodie’ demonstrates that even a seemingly mundane pet peeve can be approached creatively — and even reveal something profound about life.

We hope this list inspires you with your own writing. If there’s one thing you take away from this post, let it be that there is no limit to what you can write about or how you can write about it. 

In the next part of this guide, we'll drill down into the fascinating world of creative nonfiction.

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Writing Forward

How to Develop Your Creative Writing Process

by Melissa Donovan | Feb 7, 2023 | Creative Writing | 45 comments

creative writing as

What steps do you take in your creative writing process?

Writing experts often want us to believe that there is only one worthwhile creative writing process. It usually goes something like this:

  • Rough draft
  • Revise (repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat)
  • Edit, proof, and polish

This is a good system — it absolutely works. But does it work for everyone?

Examining the Creative Writing Process

I’ve been thinking a lot about the creative writing process. Lately I’ve found myself working on all types of projects: web pages, blog posts, a science-fiction series, and of course, books on the craft of writing .

I’ve thought about the steps I take to get a project completed and realized that the writing process I use varies from project to project and depends on the level of difficulty, the length and scope of the project, and even my state of mind. If I’m feeling inspired, a blog post will come flying out of my head. If I’m tired, hungry, or unmotivated, or if the project is complicated, then it’s a struggle, and I have to work a little harder. Brainstorming and outlining can help. A lot.

It occurred to me that I don’t have one creative writing process. I have several. And I always use the one that’s best suited for a particular project.

A Process for Every Project

I once wrote a novel with no plan whatsoever. I started with nothing more than a couple of characters. Thirty days and fifty thousand words later, I had completed the draft of a novel (thanks, NaNoWriMo!).

But usually, I need more structure than that. Whether I’m working on a blog post, a page of web copy, a nonfiction book, or a novel, I find that starting with a plan saves a lot of time and reduces the number of revisions that I have to work through later. It’s also more likely to result in a project getting completed and published.

But every plan is different. Sometimes I’ll jot down a quick list of points I want to make in a blog post. This can take just a minute or two, and it makes the writing flow fast and easy. Other times, I’ll spend weeks — even months — working out the intricate details of a story with everything from character sketches to outlines and heaps of research. On the other hand, when I wrote a book of creative writing prompts , I had a rough target for how many prompts I wanted to generate, and I did a little research, but I didn’t create an outline.

I’ve tried lots of different processes, and I continue to develop my processes over time. I also remain cognizant that whatever’s working for me right now might not work in five or ten years. I will keep revising and tweaking my process, depending on my goals.

Finding the Best Process

I’ve written a novel with no process, and I’ve written a novel by going through every step imaginable: brainstorming, character sketches, research, summarizing, outlines, and then multiple drafts, revisions, and edits.

These experiences were vastly different. I can’t say that one was more enjoyable than the other. But it’s probably worth noting that the book I wrote with no process is still sitting on my hard drive somewhere whereas the one I wrote with a methodical yet creative writing process got completed, polished, and published.

In fact, I have found that using a process generates better results if my goal is to complete and publish a project.

But not every piece of writing is destined for public consumption. Sometimes I write just for fun. No plan, no process, no pressure. I just let the words flow. Every once in a while, these projects find their way to completion and get sent out into the world.

It is only by experimenting with a variety of processes that you will find the creative writing process that works best for you. And you’ll also have to decide what “best” means. Is it the process that’s most enjoyable? Or is it the process that leads you to publication? Only you know the answer to that.

I encourage you to try different writing processes. Write a blog post on the fly. Make an outline for a novel. Do some in-depth research for an epic poem. Try the process at the top of this page, and then do some research to find other processes that you can experiment with. Keep trying new things, and when you find whatever helps you achieve your goals, stick with it, but remain open to new methods that you can bring into your process.

What’s Your Creative Writing Process?

Creative writing processes are good. The reason our predecessors developed these processes and shared them, along with a host of other writing tips, was to help us be more productive and produce better writing. Techniques and strategies can be helpful, but it’s our responsibility to know what works for us as individuals and as creative writers and to know what will cause us to infinitely spin our wheels.

What’s your creative writing process? Do you have one? Do you ever get stuck in the writing process? How do you get unstuck?

Ready Set Write a Guide to Creative Writing

45 Comments

Marelisa

Hi Melissa: I do a lot of research on the topic I’ve chosen to write about. As I do the research I take notes on a word perfect document. When I have a whole lot of information written down–in a jumble–I usually leave it and go do something else. Then I sit down and start to work with the information I’ve gathered and just start writing. The first draft I come up with is usually pretty bad, and then I revise and revise until I have something beautiful that I feel is fit to share with the rest of the world. That’s when I hit the “publish” button 🙂 I’m trying to implement Parkinson’s Law to focus my thinking a little more as I write so that I can get the articles out a bit faster.

joey

My favorite pre-writing process would have to be getting a nice big whiteboard and charting characters and plots down. I find that it really helps me anchor on to specific traits of a character, especially if the persona happens to be a dynamic one. Such charting helps me out dramatically in creating an evolving storyline by not allowing me to forget key twists and other storyline-intensive elements =)

That being said, my favorite pre-charting process is going out the on nights leading to it for a few rounds of beer with good friends!

Cath Lawson

Hi Melissa – I’m like you – I do different things depending on what I’m writing. With the novel I’m working on now – alot of stuff I write won’t even go into it.

Some of the stuff the gurus recommend are the kind of things I’d do if I was writing an essay – but nothing else.

Wendi Kelly

I don’t know if I have a set process. I start with morning pages and journaling. then whatever comes streaming from that gets written. As I go about my day I have a notebook that stays with me whereever I go and I am constantly writing in it, notes, ideas, themes, Sentances that begin with “I wonder…” and then then next monring the notebook is with me during quiet time and these thoughts are often carried right in to the process all over again. So…if that is a process, I guess…I never really thought about it. As I have said before, a lot of my writing also takes place in my jacuzzi..so…

I guess my process is that when its falling out of my head I try and catch it.

This will be the first year that I attempt NaNO so I will need to be more organized. This is good for thinking ahead. One of the reasons I started blogging in the first place was to get in the discipline of writing every day. That was the first step. Just creating the habit. This will be a good next step.

--Deb

These days, I feel so scattered, I feel like I’m not getting anything done at all! (grin)

Karen Swim

Melissa, I am really organized but my writing process has never followed the guidelines. I’ve tried them on for size and find that they don’t fit. Even in school, I never did outlines and drafts so I suppose I trained myself against the system! I always do research first and gather all of my notes, clips in one location. As for the writing process itself I let it rip, then go back and fine tune. It has worked for me thus far but I’m always open to trying new techniques on for size, hey if they fit I’m all on board!

Melissa Donovan

@Marelisa, that doesn’t surprise me. Your posts are comprehensive, detailed, and extremely informative. I can tell you care a lot about your topic and about your writing. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy your blog; your passion is palpable.

@Joey, I love the planning stage too. In fact, sometimes I get stuck there and never make it out. Ooh, and white boards. Yes. Those are good. Usually I just use drawing paper though. When I do NaNo, I’m going to try to do less planning. In fact, I’m going to plan in October and just write in November. I’m hoping this new strategy will result in winning my word count goal!

@Cath, I sort of pick and choose which tips from the gurus I use.

@Wendi, you write in the jacuzzi? That’s cool. Or hot. I guess it’s hot. Your process sounds really natural. I started blogging for the exact same reason — to write every day. I’m excited to hear you’re doing NaNo too. That will be fun, and we can offer each other moral support!

@Deb (Punctuality), it sounds like you have a lot going on! I get into that mode sometimes, where I’m so overwhelmed, I can’t get anything done. It’s really frustrating. Sometimes I have to shut down for a day to get my bearings and that’s the only way I can get back on track.

@Karen, that’s probably why your writing flows so well, because you just let it do its thing. I remember learning to do outlines back in 6th grade but it didn’t stick. Later, in college, we’d have to do them as assignments, so I didn’t have a choice. I realized that they sped up the writing process. Now I do them for some (but not all) projects. But I will say this: I actually enjoy outlining (weird?).

Milena

Melissa, I’m not a real writer but I do love reading how you, who are, go about the business of putting words to paper. As always, a great post. Thanks.

Deb

It is funny that you wrote about this today. I picked up an extra assignment with a today deadline. Let’s not talk about how long it’s been since I’ve written copy on that tight a deadline.

My mantra: “If it doesn’t make it I don’t get paid for it.” Rinse and repeat.

Also, I grew to enjoy outlining when I went back to university. Sometimes I’m happy just to outline; also known as a stall tactic.

Sam

Ah, my writing process?

1) Spit out mindgarbage! 2) Sort through mindgarbage. 3) Take out the handy scissors and glue (or rather, ctrl+c, ctrl+v…) 4) Revise Revise Revise 5) Edit, proof, polish… 6) Rewrite, revise rewrite, revise…

My prewriting is just writing. Writing trash. Then cleaning it up. 3 pages = 1 paragraph trash. Yeaaaaah.

@Milena, what do you mean you’re not a real writer? Of course you are. You write; therefore you are a writer!

@Deb, sometimes those crunch deadlines really light the fire. I’ve been amazed at what I can write in a day when there’s a client waiting for it with a nice big PayPal deposit!

@Sam, that’s a good way to get it done! Do you free-write your early drafts? I’ve been teased for editing too much, but it’s definitely worth it. You can get the good stuff early by just spattering it all over the page, and then refine it until it’s polished and sparkling!

Jenny

I never really liked the 5 step process when I wrote back in school, but I suppose that learning that did make me a better writer. I don’t have a set process, sometimes it’s just sitting at the computer and opening up my blog, or a blank page in Word. Sometimes things come from something that struck me during the day. I think I have to work on the discipline of actually sitting down to write more often! Practice makes perfect, or at least close enough, right?!?!

t.sterling

I’ve tried to figure out what my process is, but it’s different depending on what I’m writing.

Blogging – 90% of the time, there is no process at all and it shows. I’m usually writing as fast as I can think, and sometimes I can’t keep up and I may just jump to the next thought at random. I may go back and read and finish thoughts that were left incomplete. I try to write my blogs as if the reader is having a conversation with me, which makes it feel natural for me to write.

Poetry – Most times I don’t like editting unless I’m really unhappy with the first draft. Usually I’m only changing or adding punctuations. But overall, I’ll get my inspiration and after reciting a few lines in my head and an idea of where I want to go, that’s when I’ll pull out some paper (or cardboard or napkins or laptop) and write a potential masterpiece.

Story/scripts – I plan the entire story in my head. One might call it a brainstorm, but I’ll go farther and say it’s a hurricane. I won’t stop with just a story, I’ll create characters, scenes, even background music. A lot of times I’ll get the idea but I won’t be able to write anything down, like if I’m driving, rock climbing, sky diving or underwater. A lot of ideas come to me when I’m in the bathroom. Without sharing much details about that, I’ll just say I have time to think and let my imagination go to work. When I’m able to get to some paper or my laptop, I’ll write out the story and flesh it out a little until I’m done, or I’ll keep working on the story in my head and bounce it off some people to see how they would react of this happened or that happened.

I don’t like outlines, but when it comes to screenplays, they help out a lot and it’s the only time I MIGHT use one. I’ve been known to go without them though.

@Jenny, practice does make perfect! I believe that. I rarely use the five-step process on paper, but I think I often do some steps in my head, often without even realizing I’m doing them!

@t. sterling, I consistently get some of my best ideas in the shower. There must be something very inspiring about bathrooms or water. Like you, I have a bunch of different processes that I use depending on what I’m writing. And after reading all the comments, it seems like that’s how it works for a lot of writers.

J.D. Meier

I like the show me yours, show you mine tradezees.

It’s kind of long, but there’s a lot to it: http://blogs.msdn.com/jmeier/archive/2007/12/24/building-books-in-patterns-amp-practices.aspx

Thanks, J.D.

Kelvin Kao

That depends on the complexity. If it’s something simple like some of my blog posts, I just start writing without outlines. For tutorials, usually there are steps so I will write down all the steps first and re-arrange them to the order I want.

For stories, sometimes I write down the events that should happen, but sometimes I don’t. Even if I don’t explicitly write out an outline, I would still have some kind of structure in my head. And even if it’s written out, eventually I will get that into my head because it’s easier for me to sort through things that way. I think it might be a habit I developed from working as a computer programmer. I tend to rely a lot on short-term memory. I get all these details into my head, and then I try to sort things out in my mind.

Actually, you know what? I’ve just brainstormed for a story right before reading this. I already have most detailed sorted out in my head, so I will most likely write and post it tomorrow. I think I’ll post my writing process after that as well. For now I’ll sleep on it. (I think maybe that’s part of the process as well.)

Oh yes, sleeping on it is definitely part of the process. I like to insert that right between rough draft and revision. Then I do it again between revision and polish or proofread. Sounds like you do things similarly to the way I do — a little of everything with the steps varying depending on the project.

Positively Present

Great post! Thanks for sharing your insights on the writing process. As for me, I feel like I work in spurts of inspiration… Lots of writing, then editing, then writing again.

That is how I’ve always written poetry — with spurts of inspiration and freewrites. Then I will go through the pages and pull out lines and phrases to build a poem. I do use brainstorming, notes, outlines, research, etc. for other forms, but it really depends on the project.

Walter

Actually, I’m not that organize when it comes to creative writing. Most of the time I keep in tune with my thoughts. When something pop-ups (words, phrase, ideas, vocabulary) is immediately write it down on my black notebook.

I go with my own style of writing because I believe my work will speak out only if it’s unique on its own. Being imperfect, I don’t put too much effort on the grammatical construction. I believe that what’s between the words are more important the the words itself. A distinctive writer possesses this quality. 🙂

Writing down your ideas, words, phrases, etc. in your notebook is an excellent habit! However, I have to disagree with you on the importance of grammar. I think it’s essential for writers to master grammar and then (and only then) can you start breaking the rules. Of course, this may depend on what you want to write (i.e. blog versus fiction). Grammar gives writers a common or shared framework in which to construct the language, and believe it or not, there are some astute writers and editors out there who will judge your work rather harshly if the grammar is not up to par. That doesn’t mean it has to be perfect, but if you’re missing the basics, it’s likely they won’t bother reading past the first paragraph. By the way, a fast and easy way to learn grammar is by listening to the Grammar Girl podcast. Just a few minutes of listening a couple times a week will teach you more than you can imagine!

Jay Tee

I separate first draft from editing, but I’m not particular about whether I finish the whole draft before I start editing. Sometimes going back and editing the first 3 chapters gets me moving on a better line.

When I edit, I do whole read-thrus until I’m happy with the story flow. Then I use the Autocrit Editing Wizard to really polish the manuscript. After that, I’m done!

I’ve never heard of the Autocrit Editing Wizard. Sounds interesting. I usually edit short pieces like web page copy or blog posts on the fly, i.e. I will stop every couple of paragraphs and go back to re-read and edit. However, with longer works, I feel like if I start editing midway, I might lose the project and get caught up in polishing before the rough draft is nailed down. All that matters, however, is that each writer finds his or her own best method. Sounds like you’ve got it down!

Annette

LOL! I think I’ve worked through every possible type of creative process possible. From outlining the whole darned thing to working with notecards, story boards and of course just winging it, which resulted in a story with a really flat ending – unforgivable:-) And while I firmly adhere to Anne Lamott’s *&^^%# first draft, I have finally settled into a process that works for me. I now use a plot worksheet and a character worksheet. It takes me a bit longer to actually start writing but what I write works and requires less editing.

I’ve tried all the methods too, and I’m glad I did. I’ve learned that each one works for me, but in a different capacity. With creative writing, such as fiction and poetry, I just jump right in and start writing. Right now I’m working on a nonfiction, educational project using detailed outlines and note cards. I think what you’ve done is brilliant — figuring out what advice works for you and what doesn’t work and then letting your own, personalized process unfold.

Meredith

I have used all the methods, too, and I agree that the method used depends mostly on the subject matter. For novels, it also seems to depend on the genre. I can rip out a romance novel without an outline (in fact that’s the most fun way to do it). I finished a Romance for NaNoWriMo last year in three weeks. For novels with a more complicated plot at least a general outline is helpful (keeping in mind I have to be flexible enough to let the characters take over and go off in some completely different direction).

For me the single most important thing is letting a certain amount of time go by between drafting and editing. It could be days, it could be weeks. For novels it’s even better for me to let months go by. It gives me the the opportunity to look at the material with “fresh eyes”.

Probably for that reason, I tend to work on multiple projects at once: drafting one (early mornings on the weekends when I’m at my best); editing one and polishing another (weekday evenings). That way everything keeps moving forward, I never get bored and I always have new material in the pipeline.

I’m with you, Meredith! I can see how it would be fun to write a romance novel on the fly, and I’ve heard that mystery writers often use outlines because they need to incorporate plot twists and must keep track of various story threads. Another method is to outline as you write, so you have notes that you can refer back to when necessary. Allowing time to pass between writing, editing, proofreading, and polishing is absolutely essential! We know the brain will read incorrect text correctly, plugging in words and proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. That time away really does give us fresh eyes! I love your strategy for working on multiple projects simultaneously.

Brad

There are good things to be said for the traditional formula, but as you say it isn’t the only method that works. I have written eight novels and dozens upon dozens of short stories and never once sat down to do a brainstorming session to come up with ideas. I do a lot of research, but most of it as I go along during the writing process. The last three steps I think are golden though.

I do have one new organization tip to share though. If your tech savvy enough to do a local install of wordpress on your computer it can become a great writing tool. Not only does it have a simple to use word processor in the form of the posting tool, it allows you to categorize your research and there are plenty of tagging plugins that will allow you to easily cross reference notes and text.

I LOVE the idea of using a local installation of WordPress for research and novel writing. I can imagine all the benefits with links and images, even video. Hmm. I don’t know how to do a local installation, but I’m thinking another option would be to load WP onto a live domain and simply put it in permanent maintenance mode (plugin) or set up some kind of password protection to block it from the public. I definitely need to think about this as a tool. Thanks for the tip, Brad!

Chris Smith

I use Scrivener ( https://www.literatureandlatte.com/ ) for all my writing. It’s great for research and saving web pages, building characters, plotting and planning, all in one place. And best of all you can break down a story into scenes (separate documents) within Scrivener itself – something you can’t do in Word or similar. Wordpress is all very well, but you can’t see all posts/pages at once in a sidebar – something you *can* do in Scrivener. You can download a free trial of Scrivener to see whether it’s for you. Don’t be put off by the complicated look of it – you can use as much or as little of it as you like and there are some very handy videos and tips on using it. I’ve found it’s the best thing for writing blog posts, short stories, novels, scripts, you name it. It can’t hurt to give it a go.

I agree, Chris. Scrivener is amazing. I use it for fiction and poetry, and it’s made the writing process so much smoother. I highly recommend it to all writers. Plus, it’s reasonably priced.

I’m loving reading all these, but I don’t really have a process … I sit at the keyboard and hope something comes out of my fingertips … and if it doesn’t I let myself get distracted by shiny things like Twitter.

(Okay, I never said it was a PRODUCTIVE method.)

Really? I would have guessed that you use outlines at least some of the time. I definitely have to use outlines for longer works of nonfiction, and I always outline website copy when I’m writing for clients. It’s such a good (and productive) way to organize your thoughts, but for fiction and poetry (and many blog posts) I often let it flow freely, and it turns out that method is productive too 😉

Kylee

Hello Melissa, My name is Kylee and I’m 15. Being naturally gifted in journalism, its a dream or fantasy of mine to become an author. For me to get into my ‘zone’ I have to be in a completely serene enviroment for hours. I’ve written short stories and essays but would like to complete the ultimate thrill of Mine: a novel. Its frustrating really, the difficulties of finding my creative writing process. I have difficulties in making a plot complex enough, and character development. I know they are major issues but I’m having trouble perfecting my writing. If you could help me in any way, I’d gladly appreciate it. Thank you.

You’re getting an early start. The best advice I have for you is to read a lot. If you want to be a novelist, then read as many novels as you can. Try keeping a reading journal where you can write down your thoughts and observations about how other authors handle plot and character development. You’ll find that you start to read differently. Instead of reading for enjoyment or entertainment, it also becomes a fun study in your craft. You can visit my Writing Resources section or Books page to check out my recommendations for books on the craft of writing. Good luck to you!

Linda Maye Adams, Soldier, Storyteller

Mine’s pretty simple:

1. Do background research. Mostly stuff for the setting like common plants and animals, names of places, photographs. I’ll also read books to familiarize myself with whatever topic of the book in involved.

2. Start writing.

3. Do spot research as I’m writing. Search for the name of something, looking at pictures of something to help me describe it; etc.

4. Move around the scenes as I write, which is sort of like shaking out the wrinkles in a sheet. I add new things that occur to me, correct typos, etc.

That’s excellent, Linda. It sounds like you’ve nailed your process!

Meghan Adona

I have no writing process, actually. I’m the type of person who thinks while I’m writing, or I think of an image and the story comes out suddenly. I also think before I write, and imagine how the scenes will turn out. I’m a very visual person when it comes to writing. In addition, I found out that when I do plan, my stories never get drafted at all, or they do but I don’t like it. Planning never really works for me. I need to let all my ideas be out of my mind, and not from pre-writing.

All that matters is that you’ve found the process that works for you, and it sounds like you have!

Rod Raglin

Here’s a trick (procedure, technique, system, gimmick) I use when I’m writing a novel. I don’t write linearly. Some parts of the story are more appealing to me than others so depending on my mood (perhaps that should be muse) I jump around. Admittedly, connecting the scenes may take a bit of of revision since I never know where the story will eventually take me, and on occasion I’ve had to trash a significant amount. That’s okay, since my goal is to enjoy myself every time I sit down to write – and I do.

This method works well for a lot of writers. I mostly try to write my own drafts linearly, but I skip around if I’m struck with inspiration.

Every writer experiences different levels of enjoyment during the process. In my experience, most writers encounter a lot of frustration at certain points in the process. So I have come to view writing as rewarding rather than enjoyable. A lot of the work is fun, but a lot of it is difficult, tedious, even maddening. But at the end, it’s all worth it if you can push through the hard parts.

Book suggestion: The Writer’s Process, Getting Your Brain in Gear by Anne H. Janzer.

This book explains the actual psychology behind the creative process and then suggests how to apply it to your work. Some good insights.

Thanks for the recommendation, Rod. I’m always looking for books on the craft of writing to add to my collection.

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A Look Into Creative Writing | Oxford Summer Courses

Exploring the magic of creative writing with oxford summer courses.

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Defining Creative Writing

Creative writing , as taught at Oxford Summer Courses, is the process of crafting original and imaginative works of literature, poetry, prose, or scripts. It transcends conventional writing, encouraging individuals to explore language, structure, and narrative. Whether it's a heartfelt poem, a captivating short story, or a thought-provoking novel, creative writing allows us to communicate our unique perspectives and experiences with the world.

The Magic of Imagination

Creative Writing is a catalyst that sparks our creativity and empowers us to breathe life into our ideas on the page. With Oxford Summer Courses, aspiring writers aged 16-24 can embark on an extraordinary journey of creative expression and growth. Immerse yourself in the captivating realms of Oxford and Cambridge as you explore our inspiring creative writing programs. Teleport readers to distant lands, realms of fantasy and creation, introduce them to captivating characters, and craft new worlds through the transformative art of storytelling. Discover more about our creative writing course here . Unleash your imagination and unlock the writer within.

What Are the Different Types of Creative Writing?

Creative Writing comes in many forms, encompassing a range of genres and styles. There are lots of different types of Creative Writing, which can be categorised as fiction or non-fiction. Some of the most popular being:

  • Biographies
  • Fiction: novels, novellas, short stories, etc.
  • Poetry and Spoken word
  • Playwriting/Scriptwriting
  • Personal essays

At Oxford Summer Courses, students have the opportunity to delve into these various types of Creative Writing during the Summer School.

The Benefits of Creative Writing with Oxford Summer Courses

Engaging in Creative Writing with Oxford Summer Courses offers numerous benefits beyond self-expression. By joining our dedicated Creative Writing summer school programme, you would:

  • Foster self-discovery and gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts, emotions, and personal experiences.
  • Improve your communication skills, honing your ability to express yourself effectively and engage readers through refined language and storytelling abilities.
  • Enhance empathy by exploring diverse perspectives and stepping into the shoes of different characters, broadening your understanding of the world around you.
  • Gain new skills for further education or work, expanding your repertoire of writing techniques and abilities to enhance your academic or professional pursuits.
  • Nurture your creativity, encouraging you to think outside the box, embrace unconventional ideas, and challenge the status quo, fostering a life-long mindset of innovation and originality.

Embracing the Journey

To embark on a journey of creative writing, embrace curiosity, take risks, and surrender to the flow of imagination. Write regularly, read widely, embrace feedback from tutors and peers at Oxford Summer Courses. Begin to experiment with styles and genres, and stay persistent in your course of action. The path of creative writing requires dedication, practice, and an open mind. Join us as we provide tips to help you start your creative writing journey and unleash your full creative potential under the guidance of industry professionals.

Creative Writing is a remarkable voyage that invites us to unleash our imagination, share our stories, and inspire others. It offers countless personal and professional benefits, nurturing self-expression, empathy, and creativity. So, grab a pen, open your mind, and embark on this enchanting journey of creative writing with Oxford Summer Courses. Let your words paint a vivid tapestry that captivates hearts and minds under the guidance of experienced tutors from Oxford and Cambridge. Join us as we explore the magic of creative writing and discover the transformative power it holds within through the renowned Oxford Summer Courses summer school.

Ready to study Creative Writing? Apply now to Oxford Summer Courses and join a community of motivated learners from around the world. Apply here .

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  • What Is Creative Writing? The ULTIMATE Guide!

Creative Writing Summer School in Yale - students discussing

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a range of summer school programmes that have become extremely popular amongst students of all ages. The subject of creative writing continues to intrigue many academics as it can help to develop a range of skills that will benefit you throughout your career and life.

Nevertheless, that initial question is one that continues to linger and be asked time and time again: what is creative writing? More specifically, what does it mean or encompass? How does creative writing differ from other styles of writing?

During our Oxford Summer School programme , we will provide you with in-depth an immersive educational experience on campus in the colleges of the best university in the world. However, in this guide, we want to provide a detailed analysis of everything to do with creative writing, helping you understand more about what it is and why it could benefit you to become a creative writer.

The best place to start is with a definition.

What is creative writing?

The dictionary definition of creative writing is that it is original writing that expresses ideas and thoughts in an imaginative way. [1] Some academics will also define it as the art of making things up, but both of these definitions are too simplistic in the grand scheme of things.

It’s challenging to settle on a concrete definition as creative writing can relate to so many different things and formats. Naturally, as the name suggests, it is all built around the idea of being creative or imaginative. It’s to do with using your brain and your own thoughts to create writing that goes outside the realms of what’s expected. This type of writing tends to be more unique as it comes from a personal place. Each individual has their own level of creativity, combined with their own thoughts and views on different things. Therefore, you can conjure up your own text and stories that could be completely different from others.

Understanding creative writing can be challenging when viewed on its own. Consequently, the best way to truly understand this medium is by exploring the other main forms of writing. From here, we can compare and contrast them with the art of creative writing, making it easier to find a definition or separate this form of writing from others.

What are the main forms of writing?

In modern society, we can identify five main types of writing styles [1] that will be used throughout daily life and a plethora of careers:

  • Narrative Writing
  • Descriptive Writing
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Expository Writing
  • Creative Writing

Narrative writing refers to storytelling in its most basic form. Traditionally, this involves telling a story about a character and walking the readers through the journey they go on. It can be a long novel or a short story that’s only a few hundred words long. There are no rules on length, and it can be completely true or a work of fiction.

A fundamental aspect of narrative writing that makes it different from other forms is that it should includes the key elements of storytelling. As per UX Planet, there are seven core elements of a good story or narrative [2] : the plot, characters, theme, dialogue, melody, decor and spectacle. Narrative writing will include all of these elements to take the ready on a journey that starts at the beginning, has a middle point, but always comes to a conclusion. This style of writing is typically used when writing stories, presenting anecdotes about your life, creating presentations or speeches and for some academic essays.

Descriptive writing, on the other hand, is more focused on the details. When this type of writing is used, it’s focused on capturing the reader’s attention and making them feel like they are part of the story. You want them to live and feel every element of a scene, so they can close their eyes and be whisked away to whatever place or setting you describe.

In many ways, descriptive writing is writing as an art form. Good writers can be given a blank canvas, using their words to paint a picture for the audience. There’s a firm focus on the five senses all humans have; sight, smell, touch, sound and taste. Descriptive writing touches on all of these senses to tell the reader everything they need to know and imagine about a particular scene.

This is also a style of writing that makes good use of both similes and metaphors. A simile is used to describe something as something else, while a metaphor is used to show that something is something else. There’s a subtle difference between the two, but they both aid descriptive writing immensely. According to many writing experts, similes and metaphors allow an author to emphasise, exaggerate, and add interest to a story to create a more vivid picture for the reader [3] .

Looking at persuasive writing and we have a form of writing that’s all about making yourself heard. You have an opinion that you want to get across to the reader, convincing them of it. The key is to persuade others to think differently, often helping them broaden their mind or see things from another point of view. This is often confused with something called opinionative writing, which is all about providing your opinions. While the two seem similar, the key difference is that persuasive writing is built around the idea of submitting evidence and backing your thoughts up. It’s not as simple as stating your opinion for other to read; no, you want to persuade them that your thoughts are worth listening to and perhaps worth acting on.

This style of writing is commonly used journalistically in news articles and other pieces designed to shine a light on certain issues or opinions. It is also typically backed up with statistical evidence to give more weight to your opinions and can be a very technical form of writing that’s not overly emotional.

Expository writing is more focused on teaching readers new things. If we look at its name, we can take the word exposure from it. According to Merriam-Webster [4] , one of the many definitions of exposure is to reveal something to others or present them with something they otherwise didn’t know. In terms of writing, it can refer to the act of revealing new information to others or exposing them to new ideas.

Effectively, expository writing focuses on the goal of leaving the reader with new knowledge of a certain topic or subject. Again, it is predominately seen in journalistic formats, such as explainer articles or ‘how-to’ blogs. Furthermore, you also come across it in academic textbooks or business writing.

This brings us back to the centre of attention for this guide: what is creative writing?

Interestingly, creative writing is often seen as the style of writing that combines many of these forms together in one go. Narrative writing can be seen as creative writing as you are coming up with a story to keep readers engaged, telling a tale for them to enjoy or learn from. Descriptive writing is very much a key part of creative writing as you are using your imagination and creative skills to come up with detailed descriptions that transport the reader out of their home and into a different place.

Creative writing can even use persuasive writing styles in some formats. Many writers will combine persuasive writing with a narrative structure to come up with a creative way of telling a story to educate readers and provide new opinions for them to view or be convinced of. Expository writing can also be involved here, using creativity and your imagination to answer questions or provide advice to the reader.

Essentially, creative writing can combine other writing types to create a unique and new way of telling a story or producing content. At the same time, it can include absolutely none of the other forms at all. The whole purpose of creative writing is to think outside the box and stray from traditional structures and norms. Fundamentally, we can say there are no real rules when it comes to creative writing, which is what makes it different from the other writing styles discussed above.

What is the purpose of creative writing?

Another way to understand and explore the idea of creative writing is to look at its purpose. What is the aim of most creative works of writing? What do they hope to provide the reader with?

We can look at the words of Bryanna Licciardi, an experienced creative writing tutor, to understand the purpose of creative writing. She writes that the primary purpose is to entertain and share human experiences, like love or loss. Writers attempt to reveal the truth with regard to humanity through poetics and storytelling. [5] She also goes on to add that the first step of creative writing is to use one’s imagination.

When students sign up to our creative writing courses, we will teach them how to write with this purpose. Your goal is to create stories or writing for readers that entertain them while also providing information that can have an impact on their lives. It’s about influencing readers through creative storytelling that calls upon your imagination and uses the thoughts inside your head. The deeper you dive into the art of creative writing, the more complex it can be. This is largely because it can be expressed in so many different formats. When you think of creative writing, your instinct takes you to stories and novels. Indeed, these are both key forms of creative writing that we see all the time. However, there are many other forms of creative writing that are expressed throughout the world.

What are the different forms of creative writing?

Looking back at the original and simple definition of creative writing, it relates to original writing in a creative and imaginative way. Consequently, this can span across so many genres and types of writing that differ greatly from one another. This section will explore and analyse the different types of creative writing, displaying just how diverse this writing style can be – while also showcasing just what you’re capable of when you learn how to be a creative writer.

The majority of students will first come across creative writing in the form of essays . The point of an essay is to present a coherent argument in response to a stimulus or question. [6] In essence, you are persuading the reader that your answer to the question is correct. Thus, creative writing is required to get your point across as coherently as possible, while also using great descriptive writing skills to paint the right message for the reader.

Moreover, essays can include personal essays – such as writing a cover letter for work or a university application. Here, great creativity is needed to almost write a story about yourself that captivates the reader and takes them on a journey with you. Excellent imagination and persuasive writing skills can help you tell your story and persuade those reading that you are the right person for the job or university place.

Arguably, this is the most common way in which creative writing is expressed. Fictional work includes novels, novellas, short stories – and anything else that is made up. The very definition of fiction by the Cambridge Dictionary states that it is the type of book or story that is written about imaginary characters and events not based on real people and facts. [7] As such, it means that your imagination is called upon to create something out of nothing. It is a quintessential test of your creative writing skills, meaning you need to come up with characters, settings, plots, descriptions and so much more.

Fictional creative writing in itself takes on many different forms and can be completely different depending on the writer. That is the real beauty of creative writing; you can have entirely different stories and characters from two different writers. Just look at the vast collection of fictional work around you today; it’s the perfect way to see just how versatile creative writing can be depending on the writer.

Similarly, scripts can be a type of creative writing that appeals to many. Technically, a script can be considered a work of fiction. Nevertheless, it depends on the script in question. Scripts for fictional television shows, plays or movies are obviously works of fiction. You, the writer, has come up with the characters and story of the show/play/movie, bringing it all to life through the script. But, scripts can also be non-fictional. Creating a play or movie that adapts real-life events will mean you need to write a script based on something that genuinely happened.

Here, it’s a perfect test of creative writing skills as you take a real event and use your creative talents to make it more interesting. The plot and narrative may already be there for you, so it’s a case of using your descriptive writing skills to really sell it to others and keep readers – or viewers – on the edge of their seats.

A speech is definitely a work of creative writing. The aim of a speech can vary depending on what type of speech it is. A politician delivering a speech in the House of Commons will want to get a point across to persuade others in the room. They’ll need to use creative writing to captivate their audience and have them hanging on their every word. A recent example of a great speech was the one by Sir David Attenborough at the recent COP26 global climate summit. [8] Listening to the speech is a brilliant way of understanding how creative writing can help get points across. His speech went viral around the world because of how electrifying and enthralling it is. The use of many descriptive and persuasive words had people hanging onto everything he said. He really created a picture and an image for people to see, convincing them that the time is now to work on stopping and reversing climate change.

From this speech to a completely different one, you can see creative writing at play for speeches at weddings and other jovial events. Here, the purpose is more to entertain guests and make them laugh. At the same time, someone giving a wedding speech will hope to create a lovely story for the guests to enjoy, displaying the true love that the married couple share for one another. Regardless of what type of speech an individual is giving, creative writing skills are required for it to be good and captivating.

Poetry & Songs

The final example of creative writing is twofold; poetry and songs. Both of these formats are similar to one another, relying on creativity to deliver a combination of things. Poetry can take so many forms and styles, but it aims to inspire readers and get them thinking. Poems often have hidden meanings behind them, and it takes a great deal of imagination and creativity to come up with these meanings while also creating a powerful poem. Some argue that poetry is the most creative of all creative writing forms.

Songwriting is similar in that you use creativity to come up with lyrics that can have powerful meanings while also conjuring up a story for people. The best songwriters will use lyrics that stay in people’s minds and get them thinking about the meaning behind the song. If you lack imagination and creativity, you will never be a good songwriter.

In truth, there are so many other types and examples of creative writing that you can explore. The ones listed above are the most common and powerful, and they all do a great job of demonstrating how diverse creative writing can be. If you can hone your skills in creative writing, it opens up many opportunities for you in life. Primarily, creative writing focuses on fictional pieces of work, but as you can see, non-fiction also requires a good deal of creativity.

What’s needed to make a piece of creative writing?

Our in-depth analysis of creative writing has led to a point where you’re aware of this style of writing and its purpose, along with some examples of it in the real world. The next question to delve into is what do you need to do to make a piece of creative writing. To phrase this another way; how do you write something that comes under the creative heading rather than another form of writing?

There is an element of difficulty in answering this question as creative writing has so many different types and genres. Consequently, there isn’t a set recipe for the perfect piece of creative writing, and that’s what makes this format so enjoyable and unique. Nevertheless, we can discover some crucial elements or principles that will help make a piece of writing as creative and imaginative as possible:

A target audience

All creative works will begin by defining a target audience. There are many ways to define a target audience, with some writers suggesting that you think about who is most likely to read your work. However, this can still be challenging as you’re unsure of the correct demographic to target. Writer’s Digest makes a good point of defining your target audience by considering your main motivation for writing in the first place. [9] It’s a case of considering what made you want to start writing – whether it’s a blog post, novel, song, poem, speech, etc. Figuring out your motivation behind it will help you zero in on your target audience.

Defining your audience is vital for creative writing as it helps you know exactly what to write and how to write it. All of your work should appeal to this audience and be written in a way that they can engage with. As a simple example, authors that write children’s stories will adapt their writing to appeal to the younger audience. Their stories include lots of descriptions and words that children understand, rather than being full of long words and overly academic writing.

Establishing the audience lets the writer know which direction to take things in. As a result, this can aid with things like character choices, plot, storylines, settings, and much more.

A story of sorts

Furthermore, great works of creative writing will always include a story of sorts. This is obvious for works such as novels, short stories, scripts, etc. However, even for things like poems, songs or speeches, a story helps make it creative. It gives the audience something to follow, helping them make sense of the work. Even if you’re giving a speech, setting a story can help you create a scene in people’s minds that makes them connect to what you’re saying. It’s a very effective way of persuading others and presenting different views for people to consider.

Moreover, consider the definition of a story/narrative arc. One definition describes it as a term that describes a story’s full progression. It visually evokes the idea that every story has a relatively calm beginning, a middle where tension, character conflict and narrative momentum builds to a peak and an end where the conflict is resolved. [10]

Simplifying this, we can say that all works of creative writing need a general beginning, middle and end. It’s a way of bringing some sort of structure to your writing so you know where you are going, rather than filling it with fluff or waffle.

A good imagination

Imagination is a buzzword that we’ve used plenty of times throughout this deep dive into creative writing. Every creative writing course you go on will spend a lot of time focusing on the idea of using your imagination. The human brain is a marvellously powerful thing that holds the key to creative freedom and expressing yourself in new and unique ways. If you want to make something creative, you need to tap into your imagination.

People use their imagination in different ways; some will be able to conjure up ideas for stories or worlds that exist beyond our own. Others will use theirs to think of ways of describing things in a more creative and imaginative way. Ultimately, a good imagination is what sets your work apart from others within your genre. This doesn’t mean you need to come up with the most fantastical novel of all time to have something classified as creative writing. No, using your imagination and creativity can extend to something as simple as your writing style.

Ultimately, it’s more about using your imagination to find your own personal flair and creative style. You will then be able to write unique pieces that stand out from the others and keep audiences engaged.

How can creative writing skills benefit you?

When most individuals or students consider creative writing, they imagine a world where they are writing stories for a living. There’s a common misconception that creative writing skills are only beneficial for people pursuing careers in scriptwriting, storytelling, etc. Realistically, enhancing ones creative writing skills can open up many windows of opportunity throughout your education and career.

  • Improve essay writing – Naturally, creative writing forms a core part of essays and other written assignments in school and university. Improving your skills in this department can help a student get better at writing powerful essays and achieving top marks. In turn, this can impact your career by helping you get better grades to access better jobs in the future.
  • Become a journalist – Journalists depend on creative writing to make stories that capture audiences and have people hanging on their every word. You need high levels of creativity to turn a news story into something people are keen to read or watch.
  • Start a blog – In modern times, blogging is a useful tool that can help people find profitable and successful careers. The whole purpose of a blog is to provide your opinions to the masses while also entertaining, informing and educating. Again, having a firm grasp of creative writing skills will aid you in building your blog audience.
  • Write marketing content – From advert scripts to content on websites, marketing is fuelled by creative writing. The best marketers will have creative writing skills to draw an audience in and convince them to buy products. If you can learn to get people hanging on your every word, you can make it in this industry.

These points all demonstrate the different ways in which creative writing can impact your life and alter your career. In terms of general career skills, this is one that you simply cannot go without.

How to improve your creative writing

One final part of this analysis of creative writing is to look at how students can improve. It begins by reading as much as you can and taking in lots of different content. Read books, poems, scripts, articles, blogs – anything you can find. Listen to music and pay attention to the words people use and the structure of their writing. It can help you pick up on things like metaphors, similes, and how to use your imagination. Of course, writing is the key to improving; the more you write, the more creative you can get as you will start unlocking the powers of your brain.

Conclusion: What is creative writing

In conclusion, creative writing uses a mixture of different types of writing to create stories that stray from traditional structures and norms. It revolves around the idea of using your imagination to find a writing style that suits you and gets your points across to an audience, keeping them engaged in everything you say. From novels to speeches, there are many forms of creative writing that can help you in numerous career paths throughout your life.

[1] SkillShare: The 5 Types of Writing Styles with Examples

[2] Elements of Good Story Telling – UX Planet

[3] Simile vs Metaphor: What’s the Difference? – ProWritingAid

[4] Definition of Exposure by Merriam-Webster

[5] The Higher Purpose of Creative Writing | by Terveen Gill

[6] Essay purpose – Western Sydney University

[7] FICTION | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

[8] ‘Not fear, but hope’ – Attenborough speech in full – BBC News

[9] Writer’s Digest: Who Is Your Target Reader?

[10] What is a Narrative Arc? • A Guide to Storytelling Structure

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Creative Writing is a form of art that allows people to express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions through the written word. It is a mode of self-expression that combines imagination with linguistic skills to create compelling narratives, poems, and other forms of literature. A Statista survey found that 76,300 Authors, Writers and Translators work in the United Kingdom alone in 2023. This shows Creative Writing is a demanding career worldwide.To know more about it, read this blog, to learn What is Creative Writing, how to write captivating narratives, and discover the essence of expressive writing.

Table of Contents  

1) Understanding What is Creative Writing   

2) Key elements of Creative Writing   

3) Types of Creative Writing  

4)  Importance of Creative Writing

5) The Creative Writing process  

6) Tips for effective Content Writing  

7) Conclusion  

Understanding What is Creative Writing

Creative Writing is the art of crafting original content that elicits readers' emotions, thoughts, and imagination. Unlike Academic or Technical Writing, Creative Writing allows for more personal expression and imaginative exploration. It encompasses various forms such as fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and drama, all of which share the common thread of artistic storytelling.    

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Key elements of Creative Writing  

Key Elements of Creative Writing

2) Character development: Compelling characters are the heart of any great story. Through careful development, characters become relatable, complex, and capable of driving the plot forward.    

3) Setting and atmosphere: The setting and atmosphere create the backdrop for the story. By skilfully crafting these elements, Writers can enhance the overall mood and tone, allowing readers to feel like they're living within the story's world.    

4) Plot and storytelling: A well-crafted story keeps readers engaged and invested in the narrative's progression. This includes introducing conflicts, building tension, and crafting satisfying resolutions .    

5) Dialogue and voice: Dialogue adds authenticity to characters and provides insight into their personalities. A distinctive narrative voice also contributes to the story's uniqueness and captivates readers.   

Types of Creative Writing  

Creative Writing encompasses various genres and forms, each offering a unique platform for expressing creativity, storytelling, and emotion. As you delve into the world of Creative Writing, it's essential to explore the various types and discover which resonates with you the most. Here are some of the prominent types of Creative Writing:   

Types of Creative Writing

1) Fiction  

Fiction is perhaps the most well-known type of Creative Writing. It involves inventing characters, settings, and plotlines from scratch. Writers have the freedom to create entire worlds and realities, whether they're set in the past, present, future, or even in alternate dimensions.

Novels, short stories, novellas, and flash fiction are all forms of fiction that engage readers through compelling characters, intriguing conflicts, and imaginative settings. From fantasy realms to gritty crime dramas, fiction transports readers to new and exciting places.

2) Poetry  

Poetry is the art of condensing language to evoke emotions, provoke thoughts, and communicate complex ideas using rhythm, rhyme, and vivid imagery. Poems' conciseness requires Writers to choose their words carefully, often crafting multiple layers of meaning within a few lines.

Poetry can take various forms, including sonnets, haikus, free verse, and slam poetry. Each form carries its own rules and conventions, allowing Poets to experiment with structure and sound to create impactful compositions. Moreover, poetry delves into the depth of emotions, exploring themes ranging from love and nature to social issues and personal reflections.

3) Creative non-fiction

Non-fiction writing draws from real-life experiences, observations, and research to convey information, insights, and personal perspectives. This form includes genres such as essays, memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, and journalistic pieces.

Non-fiction Writers blend storytelling with factual accuracy, presenting their ideas in a compelling and informative manner. Personal essays offer a glimpse into the writer's thoughts and experiences. At the same time, memoirs and autobiographies share personal journeys and reflections, connecting readers with the author's life story.    

4) Drama and playwriting  

Playwriting is the creation of scripts for theatrical performances. The challenge lies in crafting engaging dialogue and constructing scenes that captivate both the audience and the performers.

Dramatic Writing requires an understanding of pacing, character motivations, and the visual aspects of storytelling. While Theatrical Writing requires a keen sense of the following:    

a) Character dynamics: Building relationships between characters and exploring their motivations and conflicts. 

b)  Stage directions: Providing clear instructions for actors, directors, and stage designers to bring the play to life.

c) Dramatic structure: Crafting acts and scenes that build tension and engage the audience.  

5) Satire and humour  

Satire and humour utilise wit, sarcasm, and clever wordplay to critique and mock societal norms, institutions, and human behaviour. This form of Creative Writing often challenges readers to view the world from a different perspective.

Moreover, it encourages them to question established conventions. Satirical works, whether in literature, essays, or satirical news articles, aim to entertain while also prompting reflection on serious topics. 

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Importance of Creative Writing  

Creative Writing holds a profound significance beyond its role as a literary pursuit. It bridges imagination and reality, fostering personal growth, communication skills, and cultural preservation. Here's a closer look at why Creative Writing is of paramount importance:   

1) Personal expression and catharsis  

Creative Writing is a sanctuary for self-expression. Individuals can voice their innermost thoughts, emotions, and experiences through poetry, stories, and essays. This act of sharing vulnerabilities and joy brings about a cathartic release, offering a therapeutic outlet for emotional expression. Moreover, it cultivates a deeper understanding of oneself, promoting self-awareness and self-acceptance.   

2) Cultivation of communication skills  

The art of Creative Writing cultivates effective Communication Skills that transcend the written word. Writers learn to convey ideas, concepts, and feelings coherently and captivatingly.

This proficiency extends to verbal communication, enabling Writers to articulate their thoughts with clarity and eloquence. As a result, it enriches interpersonal relationships and professional endeavours.   

3) Nurturing empathy and perspective  

Writers develop a heightened sense of empathy as they craft diverse characters and explore multifaceted narratives. Immersing oneself in the shoes of different characters fosters understanding and tolerance for various viewpoints and backgrounds. Readers, in turn, experience this empathy, gaining insight into the complexities of human nature and the diverse tapestry of human experience.    

4) Exploration of social issues  

Writers wield the power to effect change through their words. They can shed light on societal issues, challenge norms, and provoke critical conversations. By addressing topics such as social justice, equality, and environmental concerns, Creative Writing becomes a catalyst for positive transformation and advocacy.   

5) Connection and impact  

Creative Writing builds bridges between individuals by establishing connections on emotional and intellectual levels. Stories resonate across cultures, transcending geographical and temporal boundaries. The impact of a well-crafted story can be enduring, leaving a mark on readers' hearts and minds.

Unlock your creative potential with our Creative Writing Training - register now!  

The Creative Writing process 

The Creative Writing Process

Creating a compelling piece of Creative Writing is a journey that involves a series of steps, each contributing to the evolution of your story. Whether you're crafting a short story, a novel, or a poem, here's a breakdown of the Creative Writing process in eight essential steps:  

1) Finding inspiration  

The process begins with a moment of inspiration—a fleeting thought, an intriguing image, or a powerful emotion. Inspiration can strike anywhere—nature, experiences, dreams, or simple observation.

Keep a journal or digital note-taking app to capture these sparks of inspiration as they occur. Explore your interests, passions, and emotions to identify themes and ideas that resonate with you.  

2) Exploring ideas and brainstorming   

Once you've identified an inspiring concept, delve deeper. Brainstorm ideas related to characters, settings, conflicts, and themes. Jot down all possibilities, allowing your imagination to roam freely. This stage is about generating a wealth of creative options that will serve as building blocks for your story. 

3) Planning and outlining  

Organise your thoughts by creating an outline. Outline your story's major plot points, character arcs, and pivotal moments. This outline acts as a roadmap, guiding you through the narrative's progression while providing flexibility for creative surprises.   

4) Writing the first draft  

Once you are done with your outline, start writing your first draft. Don't worry about perfection—focus on getting your ideas onto paper. Let your creativity flow and allow your characters to surprise you. The goal is to have a complete manuscript, even if it's messy and imperfect.  

5) Revising for content  

Once the first draft is complete, take a step back before revisiting your work. During this stage, focus on revising for content. Analyse the structure of your plot, the development of your characters, and the coherence of your themes. Make necessary changes, add details, and refine dialogue. Ensure that your story's foundation is solid before moving on.  

6) Editing and polishing  

Edit your Manuscript for grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and style. Pay attention to clarity and consistency. Also, focus on enhancing the flow of your writing and creating a polished narrative that engages readers. 

7) Feedback and peer review 

Share your revised work with others—friends, writing groups, or beta readers—to gather feedback. Constructive criticism can highlight blind spots and offer perspectives you might have missed. Use this feedback to refine your work further.  

8) Finalising and proofreading  

Incorporate the feedback you've received and make final revisions. Proofread meticulously for any remaining errors. Ensure that your work is formatted correctly and adheres to any submission guidelines if you plan to publish or share it.  

Tips for effective Creative Writing  

Here are some of the useful tips you should consider incorporating in your process of writing :  

1) Show, don't tell: Instead of directly stating emotions or details, "showing" involves using actions, thoughts, and dialogue to convey information. This technique allows readers to draw their own conclusions and become more immersed in the story.  

2) Use of metaphors and similes: Metaphors and similes offer creative ways to describe complex concepts by comparing them to something familiar. These literary devices add depth and creativity to your writing.  

3) Building suspense and tension: By strategically withholding information and creating unanswered questions, Writers can build suspense and keep readers eagerly turning pages.  

4) Crafting memorable beginnings and endings: A strong opening captures readers' attention, while a satisfying conclusion leaves a lasting impact. These elements bookend your story and influence readers' overall impression.  

5) Experimenting with point of view: The choice of point of view (first person, third person, etc.) shapes how readers experience the story. Experimenting with different perspectives can lead to unique narrative opportunities.  

Conclusion   

We hope this blog gave you a clear idea of What is Creative Writing, along with its process and useful tips. The Creative Writing process is not linear; you might find yourself revisiting earlier steps as your story evolves. Embrace the journey, allowing your writing to develop and transform through each phase. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

a) Literary Agent

b) Screenwriter

c) Video Game Story Writer

d) Copywriter

e) Website Editor

f) Creative Director

There are several resources or recommended readings which can help you to hone your Creative Writing skills. Here we have discussed some of such resources:

a) “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" by Stephen King

b) "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life" by Anne Lamott

c) "Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within" by Natalie Goldberg

d) Joining book clubs

e) Reading a variety of authors and genre

f) Practicing writing regular prompts and exercises.

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The Knowledge Academy’s Knowledge Pass , a prepaid voucher, adds another layer of flexibility, allowing course bookings over a 12-month period. Join us on a journey where education knows no bounds.

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Home › Study Tips › Creative Writing Resources For Secondary School Students

What Is Creative Writing? Is It Worth Studying?

creative writing as

Table of Contents

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:

  • Observation
  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Reasoning skills
  • Communication

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. 

4. You may want to work in a Creative Writing-related Career

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!

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creative writing as

We all need a way to express ourselves whether that be through a creative outlet like art or fashion. For others, it’s writing.

Creative writing allows self-expression, investigating varied worlds and characters, and serves as an escape from daily life. Writing as a hobby is not exclusive to just novelists and poets; anyone can participate as writing stories, articles, or keeping a journal presents a fulfilling opportunity to make the most of your downtime.

Now perhaps you’re just starting out on your writing journey, or you’re stuck on where to begin and are wondering, how do you start writing as a hobby?

Allow us to help – read on and find out more!

Is Writing a Good Hobby?

Writing is an art form that can be shared with others or kept totally private. It’s a way to escape the real world and make sense of it. Writing can allow you to relax and take stock away from your hectic modern lifestyle.

It’s completely free! All you need is some form of paper and a pen, your phone, or a word processor on your computer. Your imagination is the only thing that limits you from every possibility.

When we think of writing, we may think firstly of authors or journalists who are under pressure to meet deadlines and demands from editors. However, writing as a hobby comes with none of those pressures. You are free to work at your own pace, and however, you like.

Remember, creativity and self-expression have no rules. You are free to experiment with the genres you love, and come up with completely new ideas. Once you’ve written these down, they are there forever for you to look back on and cherish.

Celtx is a powerful and versatile screenwriting software that can help you take your writing hobby to the next level. With its intuitive interface and wide range of tools, Celtx makes it easy to organize your ideas, format your script, and collaborate with others. Try Celtx Today for FREE .

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Tips for How to Start Writing as a Hobby

1. set up a comfortable writing space.

A hobby is meant to be enjoyable, right? So, it makes sense for the space you dedicate to that hobby to be comfortable. Dedicate a surface in your home, whether that be a desk space or your kitchen table. Grab yourself a comfy chair and a hot drink and get cozy!

Or perhaps you prefer to get outside. Find the perfect spot in your local park or your favorite coffee shop. Find somewhere that provides the inspiration you need.

creative writing as

It’s also great to switch up your workspace. This can spark inspiration if you’re struggling for ideas. People watching, a new space and a different atmosphere can work wonders!

2. Remove Distractions

To make the most of your writing time, it’s important to set out a routine that works for you. Set aside time once a day or even once a week to sit down and write. This will keep you accountable for your new hobby.

Your writing time should also be a time away from the world where you can focus on yourself and your work. As we mentioned above, get yourself comfortable, and remove your phone or any other distractions.

3. Read as Much As You Can

Reading and writing are each other’s bread and butter. You won’t get one without the other.

Read books, magazines, screenplays, poetry, and blogs. If you expose yourself to a diverse range of writing, the more you’ll understand how that writing is structured and how to get the most out of your own work.

The benefits of reading include learning about the plot, characters, world-building and style, as well as how to engage a reader.

4. Experiment with Different Mediums

You may have your heart set on writing a particular format of writing. But even as a budding author or poet, it can be useful to experiment with other mediums.

Instead of diving straight into writing a novel, why not start with a short story?

By starting small, you’ll be able to quickly identify what you love about your writing and where you’d like to improve. You’ll also feel that sense of accomplishment a lot quicker.

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Want to write a screenplay? Start by writing a short film , before moving on to a feature.

Keen on poetry? Start with a haiku before moving on to your epic poem!

What if you’re not sure which type of writer you’d like to be? You don’t have an idea for a story just yet? Why not start journalling or blogging? Journalling is a fantastic first step, jotting down the events of your day or your inner thoughts.

As you continue to write, your journal entries or blog posts could then spark inspiration for a future novel or script!

Of course, you do not have to share your work with the world. The beauty of writing is that you can keep it just for yourself or share it when you’re ready.

Remember, you don’t have to stick to one particular medium. Try as many as you like!

5. Join a Writing Group

If you’d like to be held accountable for your writing or are open to receiving feedback on your work, joining a local group could help you along your way.

Writing groups are a priceless opportunity to meet fellow writers from different backgrounds and with diverse interests.

Google will be your best friend in finding such groups. Just type in your location and then ‘writing groups’. Facebook is also a brilliant resource for connecting with other writers in your local area and many groups will have dedicated pages there.

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6. Just Start Writing

This may seem like a pretty straightforward answer, but it is very easy to talk yourself out of writing. This could be for fear of not having any ideas, struggling to get your ideas down on paper, or your writing not turning out how you first imagined.

But the danger with this is that you’ll never get started. If it’s inspiration you need, you can find it anywhere: through your day-to-day life, through your favorite book, TV show or movie. Turn an existing story on its head or tell the story of a minor character from an existing IP.

The Benefits of Writing for Fun

Organize thoughts and ideas

Especially in modern society, we have a lot to think about. Writing can be a great tool to help us organize our thoughts or see the world through a different lens.

Many writers find they make sense of the world around them through their work. It forces them to be creative and connect ideas together. This is something you can do too!

Communication

As you begin to connect ideas and stories together, you will discover new perspectives. This can support you in becoming a better communicator all around, as you’ll be more aware of the range of lenses others see the world through.

With this new awareness, comes a better understanding.

Self-reflection

Writing gives us the time and space to make sense of the world around us, as well as our own minds.

You can understand much about yourself and your thought processes by reflecting on what you’ve written, it’s all there in black and white. Our writing can reveal more about ourselves than we first thought or ever considered before.

Monetization

Once you have honed your writing skills, you may wish to research selling your work. Whether you’ve written blog posts, a novel or a screenplay, there are countless avenues you can explore.

If you are looking to pursue a writing career or to sell your work, make sure you have a strong portfolio to draw from. You’ll also need to revisit and revise your work to make sure it’s the best it can possibly be.

Related Celtx Blog: How Much To Charge to Write a Script [By Script Type]

Promote yourself on social media or seek representation from a literary agent. Or perhaps you want to start a blog to share your work and attract businesses to sponsor you or advertise on your site.

You can also apply to writer positions such as copy or content writers, or perhaps you’d like to go freelance on a platform like Fiverr. There are so many opportunities ready and waiting!

Helpful Writing Tools

Dedicated pen and paper.

Ready yourself a notebook and pen specifically for your writing. That way everything is in one place and easily accessible. If you prefer to write on different pieces of paper, find a file or folder to keep everything in.

If you prefer to use technology, create a specific folder on your computer to store all your files in. Use free writing tools like Google Docs to write with or purchase a word processor like Microsoft Word.

If like us, screenplays are your speciality, try out a screenwriting software !

Support Tools

Nothing should stop you from being your most creative self. Spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting can be a frustrating part of writing, so make sure to utilize online and downloadable tools, many of which are free or have free account options!

Here are some of our recommendations:

  • Celtx Screenwriting Software (for the screenwriters!)
  • Grammarly (spelling and grammar check program)
  • Clippings.me (a portfolio to share your work with the world)
  • Google Docs (free word processing tool)
  • Google Drive (free cloud-based storage solution for your writing files)
  • Stayfocsd ( Chrome extension to keep you, well, focused!)

There we have it! We hope we’ve opened your eyes to the joys and benefits of writing as a hobby. The most important thing is to get started and let your imagination lead the way.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Natasha Ferguson

Natasha is a UK-based freelance screenwriter and script editor with a love for sci-fi. In 2022 she recently placed in the Screenwriters' Network Short Film Screenplay Competition and the Golden Short Film Festivals. When not at her desk, you'll find her at the theater, or walking around the English countryside (even in the notorious British weather)

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Writing as a Hobby

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on May 26, 2022

Categories Writing , Art , Inspiration , Self Improvement , Storytelling

Do you like to write? Or have you always wanted to start writing but don’t know where to begin? This post is for you! I’ll give you some helpful tips on how to get started writing, what to write about, and how to improve your writing skills. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced writer, you’ll find great advice here (not least because writing is my favorite hobby!)

Everyone Has a Hobby

Almost everyone has a hobby. It’s something we like to do in our free time, something that helps us relax and unwind. For some people, their hobby is writing. They enjoy sitting down at the computer or with pen and paper and letting their imagination run wild.

Creative writing can be a great way to express yourself, explore different worlds and characters, and escape from everyday life. And it’s not just novelists and poets who enjoy writing as a hobby – anyone can do it!

Whether you write stories or articles or just keep a journal, it’s a great way to spend your free time. So why don’t you give it a try? Maybe you’ll enjoy it!

Writing Is Cheaper Than Other Hobbies

For many people, hobbies are a way to spend their free time and have fun. But hobbies can also be expensive, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get started.

So if you’re looking for a hobby that won’t break the bank, writing is a great option. You don’t need expensive equipment to start writing, just a pen and paper (or even just a laptop). And once you start writing, the only limit is your imagination.

Of course, you can spend money on your writing hobby if you want to. There are many books, courses, and other resources to help you improve your skills. But unlike other hobbies, you don’t have to spend money to enjoy writing. You can find many free resources on the Internet, from websites and blogs to online forums and social media groups.

And if you want to publish something, there are plenty of ways to do it without spending a dime. So if you’re looking for an affordable hobby that’s fun and rewarding, writing is definitely worth considering.

Writing Is a Low-Pressure Hobby

Writing is often seen as a stressful hobby that requires hours of non-stop work and full concentration. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Writing can be a low-stress hobby that’s perfect for busy people.

The key is to find a style and pace that fits your needs and lifestyle. For some people, that may mean setting aside an hour each day to write. Others may only have a few minutes a day to write, or they may prefer to write in spurts when they’ve time.

There’s no right or wrong way to pursue writing as a hobby.

The most important thing is to figure out what works for you and then stick with it. Over time, you’ll develop your own writing style and approach, and you’ll probably find that writing becomes more and more fun and relaxed.

So if you’ve been wanting to try your hand at writing but feel overwhelmed with the task, remember that you don’t have to jump in at the deep end with Michael Phelps. Writing can be a relaxing hobby that’s perfect for busy people.

Just find your own personal style and pace, and enjoy putting your thoughts into words.

Writing Can Be a Great Hobby for Parents

Writing can be a great hobby for parents. It can help you express yourself, explore your creativity, and connect with other parents who share your interests.

It’s also a great way to build a relationship with your kids and show them the importance of communication.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Choose a format that suits you . There are many different genres of writing, from fiction to nonfiction to poetry. Pick one that you enjoy and can realistically fit into your schedule.
  • Start small . Don’t try to tackle a novel right off the bat. Start with something shorter, such as a short story or an article for a parenting magazine. That way, you can get into the habit of writing regularly without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Set some ground rules . Decide how much time you want to spend writing each week and stick to it. Let your family know that this is important to you and that you need uninterrupted time to write. And don’t forget to give yourself a break now and then – it’s okay if you don’t reach your word count every day.
  • Join a writing group . There are many writing groups for parents, both in-person and online. Find one that meets your needs and join it. This will give you a chance to share ideas with other parents, get feedback, and keep yourself motivated.
  • Encourage your kids to write . Pick up a pen or tablet and start writing together. Talk openly with them about what you’re writing and why, and let them know they can write, too. You’ll be surprised how open they’re to it!

For you as a parent, writing is a great way to spend time with your kids. It can help you communicate and bond with them, and it can foster their love of language and literature.

If you’re a busy parent, it can also be a great way to step back from the hustle and bustle of your life and relax for a while.

Your Written Work Will Last Forever

You may not think about it often, but what you write has the potential to outlast you.

And if you’re lucky, your written work will be passed down from generation to generation, serving as a reminder of who you were and what was important to you.

Of course, not everything you write will be preserved forever. But there’s always the possibility that something you think is disposable may be of great importance to someone else. Who knows? Someday your great-great-grandchildren may find an old diary of yours and learn things about you that they never would have known otherwise.

That’s the beauty of writing – it’s the power to connect us across time and space in a way that nothing else can.

So the next time you sit down to write, remember that your words can leave a lasting impression long after you’re gone. And who knows? Maybe one day your words will inspire someone else to pick up a pen and write their own story.

A little story: when I was in my early teens, I took violin playing very seriously. I was director of the school orchestra and played in an amateur string quartet. I’ll always remember one of my violin teachers – Wilf Usher – saying to me when he saw me practicing in my spare time, “Every note will resonate through the universe until the end of time – so make it beautiful.” That stuck with me, and today I feel it applies to writing as well.

Writing as a Hobby Can Promote More Free and Creative Thinking

It can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and forget to make time for creativity. However, research has shown that writing as a hobby can promote free and creative thinking.

The act of writing forces you to slow down and think about what you’re saying, which can lead to more reflection and thoughtfulness.

Also, when you put your thoughts down on paper, they can become clearer and more concrete. Therefore, writing can be a powerful tool for fostering creativity.

So if you’re looking for a way to boost your creativity, consider writing as a hobby. You’ll be surprised by the results.

If You Like Writing, It’s a No-Brainer to Make It Your Hobby

If you love to write, making it your hobby is a no-brainer. Writing isn’t only a great way to express yourself, but also a great way to connect with others.

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, there’s an audience for your work. Best of all, you can do it from the comfort of your own home.

When it comes to writing as a hobby, there are endless possibilities. You can write for fun or with the intention of getting your work published. You can write alone or join a writing group. You can even set up your own blog or website to share your work with the world.

No matter what your goals are, if you love to write, it’s a good idea to make it your hobby. You’ll never run out of topics to write about, and you’ll always have an outlet for your creativity. So what’re you waiting for?

What Are the Benefits of Writing as a Hobby?

There are many benefits to writing as a hobby. For one, it can help improve your communication skills. When you write, you’ve to think about how to express your thoughts and ideas clearly and in a way that the reader can understand. This can be a valuable skill in both your personal and professional life.

In addition, writing can be a great way to relieve stress and unleash your creativity. It can also be a form of therapy, as it gives you an outlet for feelings that you might otherwise have difficulty expressing.

Finally, writing can simply be fun. It can give you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment and give you a sense of purpose and direction. So, pick it up as a new hobby if you’re not already knee-deep!

How Do You Get Started Writing as a Hobby?

There are many things you can do to start writing as a hobby. The most important thing is to just start writing! Write about anything that interests you, whether it’s a specific topic or just your thoughts and feelings. If you can, find something to write about that excites you. This can be anything from magazine articles to novels to blogs. You may find – as I did – that some form of meditation helps you identify these passions.

Once you start writing, you’ll quickly develop your own style and voice. If you don’t know what to write about, you can keep a journal. This can be a good way to explore your thoughts and feelings, and it can also provide material for future writing projects.

If you’re looking for more structure, you can take on a specific writing project, such as writing a short story or a poem. Once you get started, the possibilities are endless!

And remember, the best way to improve your writing is to just keep doing it. The more you write, the better you’ll get.

What Are Are Some Tips for Improving Your Writing Skills and Techniques?

Here are a few tips to become a good writer:

  • Read as much as you can . The more you read, the better your understanding of grammar and style will become. Also, reading can help you expand your vocabulary and get ideas for your own writing. So, settle in with a good book!
  • Write regularly . The best way to improve your writing is to practice it regularly. Take some time every day to write, even if it’s just a few minutes. As you write more, you’ll notice the areas where you can improve.
  • Get feedback from others . When you first start writing, it can be helpful to get feedback from friends or family members who’re willing to read your work. As you become more confident in your abilities, you can seek constructive criticism from other writers or editors.
  • Join a group of writers . Joining a group of like-minded people is a great way to get support and motivation for your writing habits. It’s also a great way for you to

What Should You Write About – Personal Experiences, Opinions, or News Stories/Events?

When it comes to writing as a hobby, there are essentially three options for what you can write about: personal experiences, opinions, or news/events.

Whether you’re writing a novel or a factual report, chances are your creative ideas will be based on one of these topics or a combination of them. Your imagination draws from the real!

Or you may decide to write directly in one of the three areas.

If you’re looking for a way to tell your own story and connect with others on a personal level, writing about personal experiences is a good choice. However, it’s important that you’re honest and open when writing about your personal experiences because readers will easily see any deception or bias.

On the other hand, if you’re more interested in sharing your thoughts and opinions about current events or pressing issues, writing about news or events is a great way to spark discussion and get people thinking. However, it’s important to be well-informed and consider both sides of the issue before sharing your opinion.

No matter what you write about, the most important thing is that you enjoy it and find a way to connect with your audience.

How Do You Share Your Writing With Others and Get Feedback?

When it comes to writing, one of the best things you can do is share your work with others and get feedback.

There are several ways to do this, and each has its own benefits.

One way is to join a writers’ group. These groups usually meet regularly to discuss their work and provide feedback. Another benefit of writers’ groups is that they provide a sense of community and support.

Another way to share your work with others is to post it online in a forum or blog. This can be a good way to get feedback from many people, including other writers. It can also be helpful to set up a profile on a website like Wattpad or Figment, which are specifically for readers and writers to share.

Finally, you can simply send your work to friends or family members and ask for their opinion.

No matter how you share your work, getting feedback is an important part of the writing process. It can help you identify strengths and weaknesses and get ideas for improvement. So don’t be afraid to ask for feedback – it can help you improve as a writer.

How Can Writing Be Used to Improve Other Areas of Your Life, Such as School or Work Projects?

Writing can also help you improve other areas of your life, such as your school or work projects.

Writing can help you organize your thoughts and ideas, and it can also help you communicate better. Writing also helps you learn new information more easily and remember important information better.

In addition, writing can help you improve your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Finally, writing can help you develop greater self-confidence and better understand yourself and others.

How Has Writing Helped You Connect With Other People or Learn More About Different Cultures and Lifestyles Around the World?

Writing is a great way to connect with others or learn more about different cultures and lifestyles around the world.

When you write, you have the opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings with others and learn more about their perspectives on life.

In addition, writing can be a great way to discover new cultures and lifestyles. Reading about other cultures and lifestyles can help you better understand the world around you.

And by writing about your own experiences, you can help others learn about your culture and lifestyle.

In short, writing is a great way to connect with others and learn more about the world around you.

How Can You Find the Time to Write as a Hobby?

For many people, writing is more than just a hobby – it’s a passion. But finding the time to write in daily life can be a challenge, especially if you have a full-time job or other commitments.

Here are a few tips to help you make time for writing:

  • Set aside some time each day to write . Even if it’s just 20 minutes, that’s enough to get a few words down on paper. And if you’ve more time one day, you can use the extra time to edit or revise what you’ve written.
  • Take advantage of technology . There are many great apps and programs that can help you write faster and more efficiently. For example, a text expander feature lets you type common phrases with just a few keystrokes so you don’t waste time retyping them over and over again. Also, note that AI writing apps are becoming more and more sophisticated. Related: What Is Sudowrite?
  • Get organized . Take some time to plan out your writing project before you start. This will help you focus on what needs to be done and use your time as efficiently as possible.
  • Take advantage of breaks . When you’re waiting in line at the post office or sitting in the doctor’s office, take out your notebook and jot down some ideas. You’ll be surprised how productive you can be in small chunks of time.

Why Writing Is a Perfect Hobby for Travelers

For many people, traveling is the best way to learn about new ideas and cultures. It broadens horizons and provides a never-ending stream of new experiences.

However, as exciting as traveling is, it can also be exhausting. There are always new places to see and things to do, and it can be difficult to find time to process everything that’s happening.

This is where writing comes in. Writing is the perfect hobby for travelers because it gives you a chance to reflect on your experiences and process all the new information you’re taking in. It’s a way to slow down and really think about what you’re seeing and how it makes you feel.

Writing Is a Great Way to Keep Your Mind Sharp

Writing isn’t only a relaxing way to spend your time, but it can also be a great way to keep your mind sharp.

Writing requires you to think logically as well as creatively, and putting your thoughts into words can help you better understand and remember information. Also, writing can help you improve your critical thinking skills and your communication skills.

Whether you keep a journal or write fiction, writing as a hobby is a great way to exercise your mind.

How Can You Best Form a Writing Habit?

Writing can be a very rewarding hobby, but it can also be difficult to maintain a regular writing habit. Here are a few tips that can help you develop a writing habit that works for you:

  • Set realistic goals . Don’t try to write a novel in a week, but start with smaller goals that you can realistically achieve. Maybe set a writing goal for 30 minutes every day or write 500 words a week.
  • Make yourself comfortable. Choose a time and place where you’re sure you can write without distractions. If you tend to write in the morning, set up your workspace before you go to bed the night before.
  • Find your motivators. What helps you keep writing even on days when you don’t feel like it? Maybe it’s knowing that you have an audience waiting for your next post, or that you can reward yourself for reaching your goals. Whatever it’s, keep your motivators in mind when you start writing.
  • Get started . Sometimes the hardest part of writing is just getting started. Once you get started, the words often flow more easily. So don’t overdo it

How Can Writing Improve Your Self-Confidence?

We all know that writing can be therapeutic. It can help us process our thoughts and feelings, and it’s a great way to express ourselves.

But did you know that writing can also boost your confidence ?

When you write about your experiences, you put your thoughts and feelings into words. This can help you understand yourself and your situation better. It can also help you see your thoughts in black and white to gain a new perspective on things. Writing can also be a good way to solve problems because you examine always the underlying emotion of things.

When brainstorming on paper, you can try different solutions and find the one that suits you best.

Finally, when you share your writing with others, you give them a glimpse into your personality. This can help build trust and foster deeper relationships.

So the next time you’re feeling down, grab a pen and paper and start writing. You’ll be surprised how much it helps you.

Writing Can Help You Network

Many people think of writing as a solitary activity, but it can also be very social and even helpful when it comes to networking.

Writing about your hobbies, interests, and experiences can help you network with like-minded people from all over the world. Plus, sharing your work online can help you build a professional network. If you’re looking for a job or new clients, having a strong online presence can be very important. And writing can help you build that presence.

When you write regularly, you develop a voice that’s unique and recognizable. You’ll also gain valuable experience in writing messages and communicating with others. These are skills that are highly valued in today’s digital age.

So if you’re looking for a way to make new friends and contacts, or if you simply want to improve your career prospects, you should grab a pen and paper – or fire up your laptop – and start writing today!

What if writing is meant to be more than just a hobby?

Some writers are content to write as a hobby, while others want to make writing their profession, and engage in a writing career.

If you want your writing to be more than just a hobby, you need to treat it as such. This means that you should set aside time every day or every week to write, even if it’s just an hour or two.

It also means being disciplined in your approach to writing and not letting other things distract you.

Another important aspect of making writing your profession is developing a strong body of work. This means not only writing regularly but also revising and editing your work so that it’s of the highest possible quality.

Finally, you need to market your work to find publishers or clients interested in what you’ve to offer. This can be done through online platforms like social media and blogging, but also through more traditional methods like attending writers’ conferences and submitting cover letters.

Some forms of being a professional writer include:

  • Content writing
  • Being a freelance writer for agencies
  • Professional Bloggers

There are many reasons why I love writing stories.

First, it allows me to live out my imagination and create worlds that are limited only by my own creativity. I find great inspiration in these worlds, and reading about those of other authors. Also, I can set the pace of the story and determine how many details should be in each scene.

In addition, writing stories gives me the opportunity to practice my writing skills and improve my grammar and vocabulary. Writing is also a great way to relax and relieve stress after a long day. It’s a hobby I can do at my own pace and return to again and again, no matter how much time I’ve.

Ultimately, writing stories is a fun and enjoyable way for me to express my creativity. It’s a wonderful creative outlet that depends on no one and nothing aside from myself.

How do you keep writing when you’re working long hours?

Assuming you enjoy writing and want to keep writing despite your full-time job, there are a few things that can help.

First, try to set aside at least 30 minutes to an hour each day to write. It doesn’t have to be all at once- if you can only spare 10 or 15 minutes, that’s fine too. Just try to be consistent so it becomes a habit.

Second, use your lunch break or any other free time you’ve during the day. If you can’t write at work, maybe you can jot down some ideas or work on a scene during your lunch break.

Third, find a writing partner or join a writing group. It can be helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off and get feedback from.

Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a day or two (or more). Life happens and sometimes it’s just not possible to fit everything in. The most important thing is to pick up where you left off and keep going.

What’re the possible downsides to writing as a hobbyist?

There are a few potential downsides to consider when taking up writing as a hobby.

First, it can be easy to get lost in your writing and forget about the world around you. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s important to take breaks and interact with the people and world around you.

Second, depending on what you’re writing about, it can be easy to get lost in research and spend hours looking for information instead of writing. Again, this isn’t bad per se, but it’s important to find a healthy balance so you can still enjoy your hobby and make progress on your writing goals.

Some people find that their writing evokes difficult feelings or memories. This can spark creativity, but it’s important to be aware of your triggers and take care of yourself, both mentally and emotionally, as you pursue your hobby.

Writing can be a very rewarding hobby, but it’s important to be aware of the potential downsides so you can avoid them and enjoy your writing time to the fullest.

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Creative Writing B.A.

creative writing as

About this Program

  • Participate in creative writing workshops in which you will generate your own work and in craft classes in which you will learn from the work of established writers.
  • Pair your creative writing major with another major and expand your horizons by exploring multiple areas of interest, including journalism, history, information science, biology and applied mathematics.
  • Learn from faculty-writers, graduate students enrolled in Syracuse’s renowned M.F.A. in creative writing program, and the well-established Raymond Carver Reading Series.
  • Meet with talented faculty and visiting writers for guidance as you hone your own writing skills.
  • Partake in one of literature’s highest goals: to give voice to a plurality of experiences and worldviews.
  • Learn from assigned readings that represent various cultures, classes, modes of experience and cultures.
  • Live in the Creative Writing Living Learning Community, where first-year students create friendships, network with faculty and established authors through public readings and dinners, and explore their passion for reading and writing poetry, fiction, graphic novels, creative nonfiction and any other type of writing.

Program Information

Degree Type

College or School

College of Arts and Sciences

Career Path

  • Communications and Writing

Related Pages

  • Official Program Requirements

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The creative writing curriculum combines a grounding in literary study with a workshop-style focus on writing. Required classes include historical and contemporary literature classes, and creative writing workshops and craft classes in at least two genres.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Read closely and analyze texts across historical periods and in various genres.
  • Recognize and express the aesthetic qualities of literature and a knowledge of literary forms.
  • Recognize and produce good writing and explain what literary aspects make it good.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of critical approaches and methods of interpretation.
  • Improve your own work through self-conscious and analytical processes.
  • Discuss peer work and other written texts in a thoughtful and constructive manner.
  • Exhibit an awareness of how these skills are necessary for employment and graduate study in a wide range of fields.

Sample Courses

  • Introduction to Creative Writing
  • Reading Race and Ethnicity before 1900
  • Interpretation of Poetry
  • The Art of the Fairy Tale
  • Introduction to Shakespeare

Extracurricular Opportunities

Raymond Carver Reading Series

Through the Raymond Carver Reading Series, attend readings by 12 to 14 prominent writers, followed by a Q&A session with the author. Recent authors include Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Jamaal May, Monica Youn, Brandon Taylor, Valeria Luiselli, Ilya Kaminsky and Percival Everett.

Salt Hill is a nationally distributed literary journal publishing outstanding new fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and art. For over a decade, the magazine has been edited and published by creative writing students. Students apply to intern at Salt Hill, and if chosen, gain valuable experience in running a literary magazine.

Student Publications

Through many student-run publications and campus organizations, hone your writing capabilities, meet peers with common interests and enjoy professional development and networking opportunities in writing and other related fields. Consider publications like the Perceptions magazine, The Daily Orange publication, Moody Magazine and The OutCrowd Magazine ; and student groups like Write Out and Nu Rho Poetic Society.

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Related Programs

Digital humanities b.a..

Combine the traditional strengths of the humanities with attention to digital and information technology. Learn how digital technologies enable us to explore key questions in the humanities.

English and Textual Studies B.A.

Explore creative expression across a broad array of texts—novels, plays, film, digital media and more. Interpret motivations behind stories of yesterday and today and hone your skills as a writer.

Fine Arts B.A.

Customize your education with a unique concentration in the field of fine arts, drawing from both art history and music history courses, as well as studio art and music lessons or ensembles.

Linguistic Studies B.A.

Linguistics is the scientific study of the nature and use of language. Investigate its role in society, its structures and their cognitive representation, and language learning and teaching.

Music History and Cultures B.A.

The major in music history and cultures is designed for students who wish to study music in its historical, social and cultural contexts and in relation to other arts.

Writing and Rhetoric B.A.

As a writing and rhetoric major, you’ll explore the power of language across a range of genres.

Learn more about this program

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Forest Grove, Hillsboro & Eugene Campuses Closed

Update: Pacific University’s Forest Grove, Hillsboro and Eugene campuses, and all Pacific healthcare clinics, remain closed all day Friday, Jan. 19. More Details

What is a Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing?

The exterior of the downtown Portland MFA building with a sign that reads Master of Fine Arts in Writing.

A degree in creative writing can provide unparalleled opportunities for personal growth and creative expression. Pacific’s unique low-residency master’s program enables authors to sharpen their skills and form a close-knit community of authors from anywhere in the world.

Earn your MFA in creative writing and begin a lifetime of making thoughtful, compassionate art. Applications for Pacific’s innovative low-residency program are being accepted until May 15 and financial aid is available .

Creative writing MFA programs are unparalleled spaces for writers to explore and grow. 

However, traditional masters in creative writing degrees can take between two and three years for full-time students to complete, leaving little in the way of career or family flexibility.

Enter the Low-Residency MFA .  

Combining the essential tenets of the best MFA programs — one-on-one instruction , close-knit cohorts , inspiring faculty — with the versatility of a hybrid model, low-residency MFAs don’t force you to choose between school and life .   

An MFA degree can push you to create innovative, compassionate writing projects, which can be more accessible and adaptable with low-residency programs. 

Discover the unique benefits of a low-residency MFA program and how it might be the perfect space to hone your craft.

EXPLORE ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

What is a Low-Residency MFA Program?

Unlike most graduate degree programs, the low-residency MFA primarily takes place outside of the classroom.

This allows you to refine your writing process from anywhere in the world while still communicating frequently with your peers and professors.

Low-residency creative writing degrees blend independent, guided study with several in-person residencies that include workshops, lectures, and individual meetings with faculty.

Low-residency MFA degrees are designed to empower those who may not have the time to devote to regular class sessions or who may live far from universities offering writing programs.  

However, anyone, regardless of circumstance, can take advantage of low-residency writing programs, as they provide the same high-quality practicum and faculty insight as comparable traditional degree pathways. 

Whether writing from your dining room table, a local coffee shop, or a tropical beach, a low-residency degree in creative writing offers unrivaled support. 

Do Low-Residency MFA Programs Offer Scholarships?

Scholarships for low-residency writing degrees are available, as well as paid opportunities to teach creative writing at the university level. 

Pacific offers five distinct merit-based scholarships for MFA cohort members, each of which lowers the cost for creative writing students.

In addition to the writing MFA program’s specific scholarships, Pacific offers general scholarships to graduate students of all disciplines , further reducing the cost of your degree.

Is a Bachelor's Degree in Writing Required to Apply to a Low-Residency MFA Program?

Thoughtful creative writing can come from any background, so a bachelor’s degree in creative writing is generally not required to apply for low-residency MFA programs.

While many programs require an undergraduate degree, at Pacific your previous college experience doesn’t need to be related to creative writing as a discipline.

Rather, your writing skill and promise comes through in the portfolio of work and the critical essay that you submit alongside your application. 

Are Low-Residency MFA Programs Taught Online? 

A selection of books published by Pacific University MFA faculty sit facing out on a shelf.

Online MFA programs are becoming more common, especially as the number of schools offering writing degrees continues to increase.

Low-residency MFA programs are not online programs, rather a portion of the instruction is mentor-guided remotely and then augmented with on-site residencies. There are no asynchronous courses or class meetings.

Despite having a significant in-person component, low-residency MFA degrees retain the most sought-after aspects of the best online MFA programs: adaptability.

The constraints that can accompany traditional MFA programs are absent in the low-residency model, enabling your writing practice to mold to your schedule, not the other way around.

What Do the Best Low-Residency MFA Programs Look Like?  

A master’s in creative writing fuses a daily writing practice with intense, careful study of literature and craft guided by celebrated authors in your chosen genre.

What should you look for to help make the most of that experience? 

The best low-residency MFA programs include:

Faculty experts. Award-winning authors form the backbone of the instructional core of any reputable MFA program, and you’ll be working with them closely throughout your degree.

It’s important to search for professors who are not only experts in their craft, but who can speak about the broader publishing space to interested authors.

Demonstrated student success. Whether as educators, community organizers, or published authors, examples of students finding success beyond their MFA program is paramount.

Interdisciplinary opportunities. Learning from other genres and styles of writing is integral in forming creative work, and being a part of a diverse array of professors and peers can help supercharge that process.

Supportive workshops . Feedback is essential to flourishing as an author, and surrounding yourself with a compassionate cohort will help create an environment of growth.

Rewarding residencies. Low-residency writing master’s degrees are unique in that they allow for on-site residencies that include lectures, workshops, and opportunities for connection with faculty and colleagues. 

Pacific’s unique low-residency MFA has admissions windows twice a year, so there’s no wrong time to get your application started .

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USM Center for Writers to Sponsor Creative Writing Day

Thu, 03/07/2024 - 08:41am | By: Van Arnold

Once upon a time … at a university nestled in the piney woods of South Mississippi, a group of enthusiastic literary buffs congregated to showcase their talents and share experiences in a unique forum called Creative Writing Day.

Such will be the case on Friday, March 22 when The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Center for Writers (C4W) hosts Creative Writing Day from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in Room 201 of the Liberal Arts Building on the Hattiesburg campus. The event is free and open to all members of the USM community, as well as the general public.

Free workshops, led by USM faculty and graduate students, will be held in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction/hybrid. There is no registration required.

Emilee Kinney, an Instructor of Composition at USM and doctoral student in Creative Writing, is helping coordinate the event. She explains that Creative Writing Day is the latest iteration of writing workshop events the Center for Writers has hosted for many years.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, these workshops were held in the Hattiesburg community. Starting in 2022, the Center for Writers decided to combine the events into a single day, hosted once every semester,” said Kinney.

Kinney describes the opportunity to spend practically an entire day devoted to creative writing, “very exciting.”

“This event allows a chance for English graduate instructors to teach genres they are passionate about,” she said. “Having faculty join us allows even more opportunity for high school and prospective students to experience the college creative writing experience at USM.”

Kinney also nixes any notion that interest and application in creative writing has waned in recent years.

“No, it has far from declined,” she said. “We may be biased since we are creative writers, but the output of new creative voices, the issues being addressed through multiple creative forms, and the variety of platforms now available to elevate and help those voices be heard suggests creative writing is more robust than ever.”

By inviting the general public, Creative Writing Day enables anyone with a penchant for the craft to share in an interactive program designed to foster creativity.

“We know there are creative writers everywhere, not just in universities, so this event is a chance for everyone to come, share, and collaborate in a creative community space,” said Kinney. “Creative writing is really important, therefore making this event accessible and inclusive is really important to us. Our goal is to promote creative writing and provide a space for participants to generate new work. Come be inspired with us!”

For questions about Creative Writing Day, contact Kinney.

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2024 TCJ Student Creative Writing Contest Winners Announced

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TCJ Student’s guest editor, noted First Nations author Richard Van Camp , has announced the winners of the 2024 TCJ Student creative writing contest. ““How blessed am I to have been asked to read each of the writings submitted to the TCJ Student creative writing contest this year,” stated Van Camp.

“I was astounded and inspired by each of the poems, essays, and works of fiction. I want to send a huge mahsi cho—thank you very much—to each of writers who put so much into what they created. To be welcomed into so many hearts and homes and lives of the narrators and protagonists was a joy, and we can expect great things from each of these students. Get ready for great reads from gorgeous voices and bravo to TCJ Student for publishing these," Van Camp added.

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The top fiction entries are: “Whispers Like the Scent of Pine” by R.H. “Dolly” Peterman of Leech Lake Tribal College, “Obtaining a Dog” by Minja Utahna Gaines of the Institute of American Indian Arts, and “The New World” by Danelle Jishie of Tohono O’odham Community College.

The top nonfiction entries are: “Medicines in the Ground” by Natalie Mullen of Northwest Indian College, “Ádééhonílzin (To Know Yourself)” by Elxcia N. Smith of Diné College, and “A Kinaalda Blessing Inspired by My Grandmother” by Linda A. Curley of Navajo Technical University.

The top entries in poetry are: “Corn Beads” by Emerald GoingSnake of the Institute of American Indian Arts, untitled by Sareya Taylor of the Institute of American Indian Arts, and “When Mama Cooks” by Natasha Endito of Diné College.

“Once again our creative writing contest was a big success thanks to all the students who participated and the tribal college faculty who encouraged and mentored them,” said Bradley Shreve, editor of the Tribal College Journal. “Ahéhee’ for supporting your TCJ Student—we look forward to showcasing Richard’s selections in the 2024 edition of the magazine, along with many others online at TCJStudent.org.”

TCJ Student is still accepting submissions to its art and film contests through March 15 th . For contest guidelines and more information, visit:  https://tcjstudent.org/ contest/

About the Author: "Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected]. "

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MUO

Why Even Creative Jobs Are Not Safe From AI

F or a very long time, the creative industry was considered impregnable by the onslaught of artificial intelligence. Jobs that required human creativity, such as writing, creative art, and making music, seemed unreachable for AI.

However, recent advancements in AI technology have completely shattered this perception. With the rise of AI writing tools, AI image generators, AI music generators, and AI video generators, the very foundation of the creative industry seems to be facing an existential threat.

The Changing Nature of Jobs

Not too long ago, the "rise of the machines" was the stuff of science fiction. The idea that AI could take our jobs at a fast pace and at a massive scale was dismissed as something that can only happen in the very distant future. However, it seems we have somehow sleep-walked our way into that future.

Take industrial manufacturing for example. Assembly line workers responsible for putting together cars and electronic parts have been rapidly replaced by AI-powered robots, that, in a lot of cases, have significantly outperformed their human analogs.

Another compelling example is the rapid encroachment of AI-powered chatbots in the field of customer service, a domain once thought to be better with a bit of human empathy. With the complex nature of customer support services, AI chatbots are rapidly emerging as a cost-effective solution for resolving customer requests in the shortest possible time.

Most of the successes that AI has scored have been in fields that do not require an enormous amount of creativity. Up until now, AI has only been suitable for use in fields with a clear-cut operational formula, without the need to think on the go.

But with the rise of large language models—like OpenAI’s GPT and Google’s LaMDA, which are capable of creativity or at least simulating creativity—the creative job market is on the precipice of a drastic change.

Which Creative Fields Will Artificial Intelligence Disrupt?

Artificial Intelligence is already eating its way into the creative field, but which creative fields are likely going to be impacted?

Creative Writing

The once elusive art of creative writing is already seeing its fair share of AI disruption. We all thought machines will never be able to weave words with the eloquence of a human writer. We couldn't have been more wrong.

Things have changed so drastically that journalists, content writers, copywriters, and book authors are now in competition for their jobs with AI content generators like ChatGPT and Bing AI.

The chilling story in the screenshot above was entirely generated using ChatGPT. It may have a few flaws, but the story is as good a story as most human writers will come up with. But stories aren't the only thing AI tools like ChatGPT can write. It can write copies for web pages, product descriptions, and entire books from scratch—all with impressive eloquence.

With this in mind, it isn't hard to imagine that in the not-so-distant days ahead, AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard AI might be the preferred content writing tools by a lot of employers, even if human writers are still kept on the roster.

Making Music

Music production has always been considered one of the most creative and intricate fields, seemingly beyond the grasp of AI. While progress has been admittedly slow on this front, AI-generated music is getting scarily good.

Progress recorded by companies like OpenAI in its Jukebox AI project, and Google in its MusicLM project shows the future of AI-generated music . Although the very idea of outsourcing music-making to AI is a bit too "artificial", it is the reality we face.

The SoundCloud-hosted song above was made by OpenAI's Jukebox music generator. Sure, it is not entirely a masterpiece. However, considering the current pace of development in the field, we imagine it won't take long before AI systems catch up. And when they do, making music might be as demystified as typing a text prompt into an AI-powered tool while it spits out music on demand.

Already, AI text generators can produce impressive lyrics in almost every major genre of music. The lyric in the screenshot above was created entirely by AI. It isn't entirely farfetched to imagine a piece of Grammy-nominated music being made by an AI system.

Photography and Graphic Design

Creating an image worth a second look requires some creativity and technical know-how. You'll typically need to know how to use tools like Adobe Photoshop or a professional camera. You'll also need some creative ideas if you want to make something worthwhile. This is precisely why people pay for people to take pictures and create graphic designs.

However, with the rapid encroachment of text-to-image generation tools like DALL-E and Midjourney, creating an image becomes as simple as describing what you want to see. Want to see a kid flying an airplane? How about an image of the Eiffel Tower in the middle of the desert? The odds are if you can imagine it, AI image generators can create it.

This represents an enormous challenge for human creatives.

The above images were created using DALL-E. While today's text-to-image generation tools are not perfect, it provides a glimpse into a future where creatives in the field of photography and graphic design face an existential threat from even more powerful AI image generators.

No Industry Is Safe From AI Disruption

We have always created arbitrary benchmarks to highlight our uniqueness as humans—that no matter how advanced machines become, they'll never be able to replicate human creativity.

Perhaps in an instinctive need for self-preservation, we've become a bit too dismissive of the potential of technology. We've underestimated our ingenuity as humans to create machines that surpass us. While it isn't entirely clear how much of a disruption AI will cause in the creative space, this much is certain; even creative jobs are not safe from the threat of AI.

Why Even Creative Jobs Are Not Safe From AI

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  1. What is Creative Writing? A Key Piece of the Writer's Toolbox

    Brooks Manley. Creative Primer is a resource on all things journaling, creativity, and productivity. We'll help you produce better ideas, get more done, and live a more effective life. My name is Brooks. I do a ton of journaling, like to think I'm a creative (jury's out), and spend a lot of time thinking about productivity.

  2. Creative Writing 101: Everything You Need to Get Started

    Creative writing is writing meant to evoke emotion in a reader by communicating a theme. In storytelling (including literature, movies, graphic novels, creative nonfiction, and many video games), the theme is the central meaning the work communicates. Take the movie (and the novel upon which it's based) Jaws, for instance.

  3. What Is Creative Writing? Types, Techniques, and Tips

    Types of Creative Writing. Examples of creative writing can be found pretty much everywhere. Some forms that you're probably familiar with and already enjoy include: • Fiction (of every genre, from sci-fi to historical dramas to romances) • Film and television scripts. • Songs. • Poetry.

  4. Creative Writing: 8 Fun Ways to Get Started

    Creative writing is a written art form that uses the imagination to tell stories and compose essays, poetry, screenplays, novels, lyrics, and more. It can be defined in opposition to the dry and factual types of writing found in academic, technical, or journalistic texts.

  5. 8 Tips for Getting Started With Creative Writing

    Outside the world of business writing and hard journalism lies an entire realm of creative writing. Whether you're brand-new to the craft, a nonfiction writer looking to experiment, or a casual creative writer wanting to turn into a published author, honing your creative writing skills is key to your success. A Series of Scenes.

  6. Creative Writing 101: A Beginner's Guide to Creative Writing

    Creative Writing 101. Creative writing is any form of writing which is written with the creativity of mind: fiction writing, poetry writing, creative nonfiction writing and more. The purpose is to express something, whether it be feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Rather than only giving information or inciting the reader to make an action ...

  7. Creative writing

    Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature, typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or with various traditions of poetry and poetics.Due to the looseness of the definition, it is possible for writing such as feature stories to ...

  8. What is Creative Writing? (Definition + Tips for Getting Started)

    Creative writing is as much about showing as it is about telling. Practicing descriptive writing brings your characters, settings, and scenes to life. Try to engage all the reader's senses — sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. This helps to create an immersive experience for your reader and make your writing more memorable.

  9. 10 Types of Creative Writing (with Examples You'll Love)

    A lot falls under the term 'creative writing': poetry, short fiction, plays, novels, personal essays, and songs, to name just a few. By virtue of the creativity that characterizes it, creative writing is an extremely versatile art. So instead of defining what creative writing is, it may be easier to understand what it does by looking at ...

  10. How to Develop Your Creative Writing Process

    Writing experts often want us to believe that there is only one worthwhile creative writing process. It usually goes something like this: Brainstorm. Research. Outline. Rough draft. Revise (repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat) Edit, proof, and polish. This is a good system — it absolutely works.

  11. A Look Into Creative Writing

    Creative Writing is a catalyst that sparks our creativity and empowers us to breathe life into our ideas on the page. With Oxford Summer Courses, aspiring writers aged 16-24 can embark on an extraordinary journey of creative expression and growth. Immerse yourself in the captivating realms of Oxford and Cambridge as you explore our inspiring ...

  12. What Is Creative Writing? The ULTIMATE Guide!

    Every creative writing course you go on will spend a lot of time focusing on the idea of using your imagination. The human brain is a marvellously powerful thing that holds the key to creative freedom and expressing yourself in new and unique ways. If you want to make something creative, you need to tap into your imagination.

  13. What Is Creative Writing: A Complete Guide

    Creative Writing is a form of art that allows people to express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions through the written word. It is a mode of self-expression that combines imagination with linguistic skills to create compelling narratives, poems, and other forms of literature. A Statista survey found that 76,300 Authors, Writers and Translators ...

  14. Best Creative Writing Courses Online with Certificates [2024]

    In summary, here are 10 of our most popular creative writing courses. Creative Writing: Wesleyan University. Write Your First Novel: Michigan State University. Good with Words: Writing and Editing: University of Michigan. English Composition I: Duke University.

  15. What is Creative Writing? The Medium of Self-Expression

    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.

  16. What Is Creative Writing? Simple Definition and Tips

    What is creative writing? The answer can be simple, but breaking it down is far more useful. Learn more and gain some insightful tips for yourself, as well!

  17. 10 types of creative writing: Get inspired to write

    Literary techniques you develop with writing plays and screenplays can include satire, motif, dramatic irony, allusion, and diction. 5. Personal essays. Focusing on the author's life and experiences, a personal essay is a form of creative non-fiction that almost acts as an autobiography.

  18. Creative Writing: Start Your Creative Writing Journey

    What is Creative Writing? Creative writing is a form of writing where creativity is at the forefront of its purpose through using imagination, creativity, and innovation in order to tell a story through strong written visuals with an emotional impact, like in poetry writing, short story writing, novel writing, and more.

  19. Writing as a Hobby: Tips and Advice for Beginners

    Creative writing allows self-expression, investigating varied worlds and characters, and serves as an escape from daily life. Writing as a hobby is not exclusive to just novelists and poets; anyone can participate as writing stories, articles, or keeping a journal presents a fulfilling opportunity to make the most of your downtime. ...

  20. Creative Writing: What It Is and Why It Matters

    How We Define Creative Writing. Creative writing is any form where writers can express their thoughts and feelings imaginatively. This type of writing allows authors to draw on their imagination when creating stories and characters and play with language and structure. While there are no boundaries in creative writing, most pieces will contain ...

  21. The Creative Writing Process

    Creative writing is any type of writing that requires imagination or invention to express an idea uniquely. Creative writing often focuses on the development of narrative, poetry or drama, but it can also include nonfiction writing in a professional setting. It is different from informational writing, which aims to convey an idea directly and ...

  22. How to Boost Creativity and Improve Your Creative Writing

    A creative writer strives to tell unique stories in a distinctive voice. Yet with all the fiction writing already out there in the world, it can be hard to feel that your work is legitimately creative compared to the competition. You could be a first-time writer completing in a high school creative writing course, a hobbyist working on your ...

  23. Writing as a Hobby

    Writing Is a Low-Pressure Hobby. Writing is often seen as a stressful hobby that requires hours of non-stop work and full concentration. However, it doesn't have to be that way. Writing can be a low-stress hobby that's perfect for busy people. The key is to find a style and pace that fits your needs and lifestyle.

  24. Creative Writing B.A.

    Salt Hill is a nationally distributed literary journal publishing outstanding new fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and art. For over a decade, the magazine has been edited and published by creative writing students. Students apply to intern at Salt Hill, and if chosen, gain valuable experience in running a literary magazine.

  25. What is a Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing?

    A degree in creative writing can provide unparalleled opportunities for personal growth and creative expression. Pacific's unique low-residency master's program enables authors to sharpen their skills and form a close-knit community of authors from anywhere in the world.

  26. USM Center for Writers to Sponsor Creative Writing Day

    She explains that Creative Writing Day is the latest iteration of writing workshop events the Center for Writers has hosted for many years. "Before the COVID-19 pandemic, these workshops were held in the Hattiesburg community. Starting in 2022, the Center for Writers decided to combine the events into a single day, hosted once every semester ...

  27. Card Making Event

    Creative Writing Program 450 Jane Stanford Way, Bldg. 460 Stanford, CA 94305-2087

  28. 2024 TCJ Student Creative Writing Contest Winners Announced

    TCJ Student's guest editor, noted First Nations author Richard Van Camp, has announced the winners of the 2024 TCJ Student creative writing contest. The top nonfiction entries are: "Medicines ...

  29. Running Wild Press Writing Contest

    The Drexel University Creative Writing MFA program is excited to partner with Running Wild, LLC to launch the inaugural Running Wild Press Writing Contest. All Drexel students and alumni are encouraged to submit a book length -50,000 words or more- manuscript for a work of fiction to become eligible to win a professional book contract with Running Wild, LLC.

  30. Why Even Creative Jobs Are Not Safe From AI

    For a very long time, the creative industry was considered impregnable by the onslaught of artificial intelligence. Jobs that required human creativity, such as writing, creative art, and making ...