Creative Writing vs. Professional Writing


All writing is creative. Full stop.

I don’t care if you’re writing a University essay, a shopping list or the next great novel… all writing is creative.

This is because to properly communicate via writing, you have to think about what your writing is saying and what it looks like.

Let’s take a shopping list – you list down all the things you need right? Well, some people (I’d argue that it’s most) structure their list in some way. Perhaps in aisle order? Or essentials first? This is structure. Structure is a fundamental element in any writing. It’s taught from a young age. It’s also strictly taught within Creative Writing courses. I’m not saying you don’t learn this in other places, because you do, but it’s finely honed in Creative Writing classes.

If you’ve read my about me and this website in general, you’ll know I’m freelancing as a copywriter (no not copyright that’s a different thing entirely). I hear a lot of people say that you need business skills and a professional penmanship to write for businesses, and that’s true in a small aspect, but I’d argue that you need creativity more.
I’ve heard other writers say that they are thinking of taking business courses to better refine their writing skills and my question is why? I am not one to stifle learning but I believe the essence of any advertising is creativity and research…take Marketing courses if anything! Business courses can help you understand how businesses work and what company structures look like, but they don’t specialise in your imagination… your creativity and the written word.

I read repeatedly from other copywriters and creative writers in general that writing is a muscle.
You get better at it by doing it, and I completely agree.

You hire a copywriter to write something people will want to read. A catchy headline, great descriptions and a call to action (AKA Buy this, click this, read more etc.). This means that it has to be creative. Nobody wants to read about KPI’s, Profit turnover and SEO.
You can dazzle other businesses with business language and statistics, but the average consumer doesn’t care. They want one simple thing:

Why should I care about this?

and that’s one of the basic rules of creative writing or any writing really. Make your reader care.
Whether it’s about a character, or a product, your audience have to engage with what you’re writing. You only become an expert in this by practising.

That’s why when it comes to Creative Writing vs. Professional Writing, I say there is no such thing. Novelists are called creative writers but they are writing as a profession. They are professional writers, they are selling a product.

So Creative Writing vs. Professional Writing?
These things aren’t separate they are one.

We are writers.

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