What is Creative Writing?

I can tell you the definition of creative writing, but it’s going to hurt. If you want to settle for the book definition, I’ll tell you where to stop.

What is creative writing?

The academic definition (to be said with a snooty British accent):

“Creative writing is considered to be any writing, fiction or non-fiction that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, and technical forms of literature. Works which fall into this category include most novels and epics, as well as many short stories and poems. Writing for the screen and stage, screenwriting and playwriting respectively, typically have their own programs of study, but fit under the creative writing category as well. - Wikipedia 

Alright, if you have gotten what you came for, feel free to exit stage right. If you are interested in getting the definition with balls, continue on.

What is creative writing to me?

Creative writing is writing from the heart. It’s the real stuff that doesn’t rely on college tricks and complex sentence structure; it relies on you!

I have a “Creative Writing Minor” from college , so that means I must have improved my capacity for creative writing throughout my four years there. Right? Wrong.

I started out with my strongest story: a dystopia centered on malfunctioning cell phones called “Hellular.” It was my most ambitious work of my entire college career and it was out of my system by my freshman year. What happened then? Why didn’t I grow? I got self-conscious about how creative writing was supposed to be. It was all downhill from there.

Consciously or unconsciously, my stories began to resemble the other students’ in the class. The stories had lost their uniqueness. Or perhaps, I was dragged down by the constant rush of my normal academic life. Either way, my stories had lost their flavor. What was I missing?

I wasn’t listening to myself. I wasn’t expressing my feelings. I was writing to impress or to improve my style or to get an A. But I should have been writing to let my soul breathe a little bit.

Creative writing is an expression of who you are. If you are closed off from yourself, if you hide the person that you are for fifteen to twenty four hours per day, and if you have locked yourself in to a dream that is no longer yours, you will be hard pressed to write creatively.

My philosophy about creative writing is that in order to truly do it justice, you must become a more open person who is really able to get in touch with the raw parts of yourself. You need to remove from your life all of the things that are clogging you up emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It is only then that you can express what you are meant to.

And if you aren’t bogged down by the outside world, what should you write about? If you are oppressed, you need to write about your tyrant. If you are in pain, you need to put your pain on the page. If you are in love with all of your heart and soul, then put all of that into a poem that can be used for all of eternity. Or at least, put most of it in there. Save a little for yourself :).

Build Creative Writing Ideas dot Com is a site devoted to opening you up to the writing that you can truly accomplish. We believe that if you can lead a better life, you can write a better book.

So, what is creative writing? Creative writing is in you. Are you going to let it out? 

Related Articles to "What Is Creative Writing"
Free Creative Writing Prompts #2: Love
Free Creative Writing Prompts from the Heart, Part 1
Creative Writing Exercises #2: Relaxation

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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