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The Truth about Creative Writing

The Truth about Creative Writing

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About Creative Writing
The most important thing you can learn about creative writing is this: No one can teach you how to be a writer.   Moreover, no one can teach you how to be creative, and how to use that creativity to write.The best English professor on this planet cannot teach you how to be a writer. Only you can do that – for yourself.
They can only teach you the tools and mechanics professional writers use.  It's then up to you to practice, to write all the time -- every day, even – and to hone your craft. Not everyone who likes to write will become a professional writer. That said, writing is something you have to enjoy. You have to want to do it a lot.  And, most importantly, you must read at least twice as much as you write.  It's only through learning from successful professional writers and practicing your own writing that your "creative writing" endeavors may start to turn into the kind of stuff that made John Grisham or Stephen King household names. Still, it's only a maybe. It's a competitive world.

Creative Writing Defined
Oftentimes, the term creative writing is given more weight than it actually deserves. Any type of writing that you might do is creative writing.  If you write articles, nonfiction books, poetry, memoirs, screenplays, or fiction – this is all creative writing.  In the last section, we talked about the fact that nobody can teach you to be a writer, yet creative writing classes are offered at most universities and hundreds of places online.The problem with this is creative writing covers every kind of writing you can do. Most creative writing courses tend to focus on fiction, but fiction is just the start. Creative writing is defined as the imaginative creation of drama, fiction, or nonfiction.

The Different Types of Creative Writing
So far in this lesson, we've already started to talk about the different types of creative writing that you can do. Let's take the time to list some of them here. It's just important to recognize them as forms of creative writing. You can also go through this list and maybe determine which types interest you the most.  
  • Fiction . Of course, fiction is the most recognized form of creative writing since the stories begin in your imagination.
  • Journals and diaries .  Most people don't think of this as creative writing, but keeping a journal or diary (for personal or family history reasons) is just as much creative writing as any other form.
  • Blogs .  Let's face it. Blogs have changed the way we read the news and also given us insight into the things that interest us and the lives of those people who interest us.
  • Articles . Articles may contain facts, but creativity is put into constructing and writing them in a way that will interest the reader.
  • Screenplays .  What's the funniest movie you ever watched? Did you ever think about the writer who created the screenplay?
  • Nonfiction . It's the same as it is with articles. The facts inside a nonfiction book or story may be true, but a lot of creativity goes into making it fun and interesting to read. It's a safe bet that you've never read a nonfiction book that put you to sleep.  
  • Memoirs .  Whether you're writing your own or someone else's, this is another form of creative writing.
  • Poetry .  Poems are probably one of the most artistic forms of creative writing, because of the imagery they evoke when written well.

The Value of Creative Writing
Too many people start out writing with the hopes of becoming liked by readers and published by some big, glamorous publishing house. However, the people that have the eyes on the prize are often the ones that forget the true value of creative writing.

It's a great thing if your goal is to become a published writer, or even a well-read blogger or journalist. But that should not be your only reason for writing. The writing world is highly competitive, and it's extremely critical. Even the best-known, most popular authors papered their walls with rejection slips, or lived as an unknown for years before they rose to popularity. That said, anyone who starts creative writing simply because they think their writing is so different or special that everyone will instantly fall in love with their words is headed for heartbreak.  It's a long road to that point, and it's filled with potholes.

The real value of creative writing lies in the enjoyment you get from it, as well as the enjoyment the people closest to you will get from it. You can publish you own blog and only have 20 people who read it faithfully.Guess what? That makes you successful if you enjoy writing it, and those that read it (no matter how many or how few) enjoy it as well.  

Creative writing is our escape from our worlds. It's also a way to document the things that go on around us. Even a short story you write, then cram into a drawer, will have value to those who read it years from now. It will tell them a story about you, the things that were on your mind, and the world around you at that time. Think of the classic books from writers such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Think of nonfiction biographies like that of Ann Frank.  Even if your work is never widely read or published, it will have value to those who read it now – and even more value later as a historical account. 

But more than anything, as we said before, the true value of creative writing is the enjoyment that you get from it. 


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