Creative writing is one of the most misunderstood disciplines in the 21st century. When people think of a creative writing course, they often imagine a group of lofty, out-of-touch people who wear argyle sweater vests and have unproductive conversations about abstract concepts.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth: the best writing classes remain engaged with the real world, and the skills gained in a creative writing course apply to nearly every facet of daily life.
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth picking up a course in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, we have five reasons to study creative writing. But first, let’s talk about what actually happens in a creative writing course.
The Basics of a Writing Workshop
Whether you’re enrolled in a poetry, fiction, or nonfiction writing class, you can expect the following writing process – at least in a quality writing course like the ones at Writers.com.
- Weekly prompts and writing exercises to sharpen the precision and necessity of each word you use.
- Constructive critiques from a community of writers who are each growing their writing skills alongside you.
- A creative space to explore new ideas, experiment with language, and arrange words in new and exciting ways.
- Focused writing instruction from a master of the craft.
The benefits of creative writing come from engaging with the course material, the writing prompts, and the other class members. These elements help you become a better writer, both in creative realms and in everyday life. How? No matter what form of writing, a creative writing class pushes you to connect ideas and create effective narratives using the best words – and that skill translates into real world success.
The Importance of Creative Writing
Simply put, creative writing helps us preserve our humanity. What better medium to explore the human experience?
Creative writing, like any art form, requires compassion, contemplation, and curiosity. Writers preserve the world as they observe it in stories and poetry, and they imagine a better world by creating it in their works.
Through the decades, literature has explored society’s profound changes. Literary eons like the Naturalist movement and the Beat poets responded to the increase in Western Industrialization. Confessional poets like Virginia Woolf helped transform poetry into a medium for emotional exploration and excavation. And, genre movements like the cyberpunk writers of science fiction helped popularize the idea of an “information economy.”
Thus, the importance of creative writing lies in its ability to describe the world through an honest and unfiltered lens. Anyone who engages in creative writing, no matter the genre or style, helps us explore the human experience, share new ideas, and advocate for a better society. Whether you write your stories for yourself or share them with a wide audience, creative writing makes the world a better place.
The Benefits of Creative Writing
1. Creative Writing Improves Self Expression
Improving your writing skills leads to stronger communication. When you practice finding the right word in a story or poem, you engage the same parts of your brain that are active in everyday writing and speaking. A creative writing course subconsciously turns you into a more effective communicator.
The importance of precise language and self-advocacy translates well into both interpersonal relationships and working environments. Take it from this expert on how writing and self-advocacy results in career and leadership success.
2. Creative Writing Leads to Job Success
This brings us to our next point: great writing leads to job success. Of course, your boss probably isn’t expecting you to write emails in the form of a short story or a sonnet – though if they are expecting this, you have a pretty cool boss.
In reality, almost every job requires some sort of written work, whether that’s simple written communication or something more elaborate, like publishing data or marketing materials. In a creative writing class, you practice the style and grammar rules necessary for effective writing, both within the realms of literature and in career-related writing. Sharpening your writing and creativity skills might just land you your next promotion.
3. Creative Writing Boosts Thinking Skills
Strong writing leads to strong thinking. No matter what type of writing you pursue, learning how to write is another form of learning how to think.
That might seem like a bold claim, so think about it this way. Without language, our thoughts wouldn’t have form. We might not need language to think “I’m hungry” or “I like cats,” but when it comes to more abstract concepts, language is key. How would you think about things like justice, revenge, or equality without the words to express them?
When you hone in on your ability to find choice, specific words, and when you work on the skills of effective storytelling and rhetoric, you improve your ability to think in general. Good writing yields great thinking!
4. Creative Writing Fosters Empathy
Reading and writing both rely on empathy, especially when it comes to being an effective workshop participant. When we read and write stories, we situate ourselves in the shoes of other people; when we read and write poetry, we let language navigate us through emotion.
The importance of creative writing relies on empathy. We practice empathy whenever we listen to another person’s life story, when someone tells us about their day, and when we sit down with a client or work partner. When we write, we practice the ability to listen as well as to speak, making us more effective communicators and more compassionate human beings.
5. Creative Writing Is Fun
In case you’re not convinced that a writing course is right for you, let’s clarify one more fact: creative writing is fun. Whether you’re in a fiction writing course, starting a memoir, crafting a poem, or writing for the silver screen, you’re creating new worlds and characters. In the sandbox of literature, you’re in control, and when you invest yourself into the craft of writing, something beautiful emerges.
Jobs for Creative Writers
Because creative writing isn’t a STEM discipline, many people don’t think that learning it will help their job prospects. Why study creative writing if it doesn’t make any money?
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Creative writing skills are much sought after on resumes, since both creativity and the ability to write are soft skills in decline. Additionally, if you’re considering a career change—or ready to start one!—these are some popular jobs for creative writers.
- Average Starting Salary: $51,000
- Demand: High
- Skills needed: creativity, grammar, timeliness
Copywriters help companies put their branding into words. A copywriter might write emails, blogs, website content, or ad copy that encompasses the company’s voice and purpose. Copywriting requires you to write in a mix of styles and forms, flexing your writing muscles in new and exciting ways.
- Average Starting Salary: $50,000
- Demand: High
- Skills needed: storytelling, research, argumentation
Nonprofits and research facilities rely on local and national grants to fund their projects. Grant writers help secure that funding, writing engaging grants that tell the organization’s story in an engaging, tailored, and convincing way. Creative writers will enjoy the opportunity to tell a meaningful story and create positive community change through this career.
Communications/Public Relations Specialist
- Average Starting Salary: $51,000
- Demand: High
- Skills needed: creativity, communications, social media
A communications specialist helps drive a company’s image through various social channels. They may help create a positive narrative for their company through blogs, journalist outreach, social media, and other public-facing avenues. Much like copywriting, a PR specialist helps weave an effective story for a company.
- Average Starting Salary: $55,000
- Demand: Medium/High
- Skills needed: creativity, storytelling, organization, self-reliance
The dream job for many writers is to write and sell books. Being a novelist is an admirable career choice—and also requires the most work. Not only do you have to write your stories, but you also have to market yourself in the literary industry and maintain a social presence so that publishers and readers actually read your work. It’s a tough business, but also incredibly rewarding!
Reasons to Study Creative Writing: Finding a Writing Community
Finally, creative writing communities make the writing struggle worth it. The relationships you foster with other creative writers can last a lifetime, as no other group of people has the same appreciation for the written word. Creative writing communities create transformative experiences and encourage growth in your writing; if there’s one reason to study creative writing craft, it’s the friendships you make in the process.
You don’t need a class to start writing, but it’s never a waste of time to learn the tools of the trade. Creative writing requires the skills that can help you in everyday life, and a creative writing course can help.
At Writers.com, we believe that creative writing can transform both individual lives and the world at large. See the importance of creative writing for yourself: check out what makes our creative writing courses different , then take a look at our upcoming course calendar today.
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- Online Fiction Writing Courses
- Online Creative Nonfiction Writing Courses
- Online Poetry Writing Courses
- Online Lifestyle and Wellness Writing Courses