Let me start with a little anecdote.
I remember traveling across the length and breadth of India as a child. This traveling spree continued till my Masters Degree. It however reduced drastically after I got a job. My parents were avid travelers and alongside these travels, they made sure I documented them. This was a small effort on their part to instill the habit of writing in me. It was a mechanical task initially. However, with time, it magically turned into a habit. Today, as I flip through those pages, I ride a time machine that takes me back to those places, those times. They bring me back a slice of my childhood.
Now, the question is, why this anecdote? The answer is – to introduce the habit of writing since childhood. Creativity can neither be induced nor taught. What you can teach is to think out of the box – to perceive a situation from ten different angles. For instance, you can interpret a cloud as a lump of cotton or the moon as a silver plate. These are sure to reflect in writing.
What is Creative Writing
Wikipedia defines creative writing as ‘’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‘’.
Creative writing is not based on any kind of factual information or event. It brings out a vivid picture of the writer’s mind and creates a collage of images and emotions in the readers’ minds. This form of writing is known to be the creative outlet for people and their unique way of self-expression. It is how they view the world around them, that reflects in their writing.
What’s the purpose of creative writing
Creative writing comes with an array of benefits. For students, this plays a very important role in their emotional and cognitive development. If you are a student and have a knack for creative writing, you will be able to relate to the following advantages:
- The learning process enhances once you start flexing your creative muscles. It is a fun way of learning to express yourself. you can compare creative writing to problem-solving. The starting point is an issue or a question and you need to bring a solution for that – in your own way.
- Creative writing benefits all subjects. It is not just about learning how to write. You need to understand, analyze and have a sense of logic towards what others are bringing to the plate. This process improves your reading skills because you are introduced to new words, phrases, complex situations and interesting plots through creative stories. Creative writing also helps to sharpen math skills.
Other sub-skills include:
- You become adept at multitasking. You stand a chance to score higher than your batchmates. All of these are the magical results of creative writing. Once you start writing creatively, you will notice yet another change in yourself. Your communication skills will enhance and you will be able to communicate your ideas in a clear and concise manner. Students who wish to pursue their higher education abroad, require excellent verbal communication skills. You can always bank on creative writing for developing this part.
- When you wish to write something, you are indirectly forced to read. The more you read, the better you write. Creative writing, thus, helps to increase your comprehension skills – your grammar and vocabulary. Aren’t these the basic things you learned in your primary school? Moreover, creative writing also exposes you to various types of words, sentence structures, and formats. It is more than just reading a story.
- Creative writing is known to be a natural antidepressant. Creativity is a form of play with no specific rules. It is thus known to increase serotonin levels that are linked to anxiety and depression. You’ll find that you are able to concentrate better in class.
- This form of writing helps you build a certain level of confidence. It will give you an opportunity to explore diverse projects, ideas, and situations, without the fear of being judged. Students easily fall prey to a lack of self-confidence.
- Creative writing has the power to instill this confidence and make them better human beings. Apart from this, you develop emotional skills through creative writing. You learn to empathize with characters and situations and seek different solutions to one problem.
- Self-discovery happens through creative writing. You also learn how to improve your writing skills in English.
Why Learn Creative Writing
Creative writing is considered one of the most misunderstood disciplines. Different people have different perceptions of creative writing. The reality however is that the best in you comes out only when you remain engaged with the real world, real people, real situations, and real issues. Creative writing applies not only in academics but in every facet of life.
A few advantages can be enumerated here:
- Learning how to write creatively improves self-expression. Suppose you find a certain word in a poem or a story interesting, you activate that part of your brain which is used when you speak. You automatically evolve into a good communicator through writing.
- Every career requires some kind of written stuff. Although you might not be writing emails/invitations in the form of poetry, it does require a certain jargon to communicate with that specific reader-base you are targeting. Learning creative writing allows you to practice the grammar and style necessary for either your career-related work or any other kind of literary work.
Think first. Write later. It is fun
- Lets get this clear. You cannot write without thinking. Hence, strong writing is always backed by strong thinking. Without language, our thoughts wouldn’t have any form. If you are to think of abstract ideas like friendship, justice, compassion and revenge, then language is the key. Learning creative writing help you choose the right words, channel your thoughts in a certain direction and reproduce your thoughts in a manner that is unique in your own way.
- Have you ever thought about why children love reading comics? For the simple reason – a writing style that is funny. Hence, what do we derive from this? That creative writing is fun. If you are learning to write a poem, a fiction, or even for the silver screen, keep in mind to put in some fun elements. That way, not only will it make your job easy, it will also keep readers/viewers engaged. Just imagine the works by William Hanna, Joseph Barbera or Fred Quimby. They have made Tom and Jerry famous with their incredible script!
Your ability to write professionally is considered one of the most in-demand skills when it comes to employment and career development across departments. Creative writing helps bring out certain characteristics of the writer in his / her career realm:
- A clear thought process
- The ability to make multi-level communication easy
- Way of understanding and interpreting situations/problems
- The capacity to build cooperation among people and eliminate unwanted information
A few benefits of creative writing in the professional sector:
- Improvement in ideation and observation: you’ll see that when you keenly observe your surroundings, you find themes and plots for your content. This in turn helps you deal with writers’ block and come up with intriguing ideas for writing. Many a times, a life story, a personal experience or / and real life experiences help churn out ideas for a writeup.
- Brushing up of research skills: when you start writing a piece (news report, feature, short story, character sketch, or an advertisement script), the first and foremost thing you need to do is research. Research will help you fetch more details, dig out interesting details related to the piece and make your content creative and authentic. Moreover, you will be able to collect and analyze data, structure and organize your writeup.
Better communication. Better career options
- Polishing of communication skills: creativity doesn’t come overnight. It is a constant learning process that entails reading, listening, understanding and interpreting. When you invest considerable time in these four, you gradually polish your communication skills in the process. The key is to keep your write-up short and brief. That way you’ll be able to communicate better with your target audience. Simply put, readers just do not like never-ending sentences with complex words.
- Better career options: once you develop a knack for creative writing, you will be open to diverse career options. It need not be just a writer. You can explore careers like web content creator, content writer/editor, proofreader, copywriter, journalist, social media manager, or even a teacher. You can work with renowned schools, media houses, publishing houses, MNCs and NGOs.
Creative writing in higher studies
Learning how to write well and write effectively is essential for all careers. Creative writing is not just limited to humanities background anymore. People hailing from other scientific, technology, culinary, and business professions also require creative writing in order to promote products, ideas, and technologies.
Students are thus encouraged to invest considerable time in tapping their creative mind box. While pursuing higher studies, you can always start your own blog, or join a creative writing course or a club (in school). Creative writing is an intrinsic part of higher education.
No matter what profession you pursue, you are required to communicate. How effectively you put across your thoughts, makes a huge impression on your peers and/or the senior management. Suppose you are to write a speech for a certain dignitary, or you have to submit a school project. How will you move ahead?
You have to pool in creative, interesting content, alongside facts and data. You can do this only when you are in complete control over your thoughts and vocabulary.
It is advised to write a paragraph or two daily. Start small. Increase the content with every passing week. Sooner or later you are sure to reap benefits.