Creative Writers need a number of skills to stand out among the multitude of writers plying their trade. However, there are certain essential skills that all people involved in creative writing should have, and they are not writing skills. It seems odd, doesn’t it, that a blog post talking about essential skills for creative writing is emphasizing essential skills that are not writing.
But as you grow in experience as a writer, you’ll realize that writing is more than just putting words in order and presenting them. Following are 9 essential skills other than writing that you need to succeed in your creative writing endeavors.
9 Essential Skills for Creative Writing
#1 Communication Skills
What is writing but an expression of ideas to be understood? It seems obvious that writers should be good communicators being able to express ideas and concepts in ways that are understandable. These skills go beyond the written word and have a direct impact on day-to-day interactions as well.
When working as a professional writer, you’ll have to work with others throughout your career. This could mean marketing your creative writing talents to potential clients, working with colleagues, or other writers. Therefore, it is important to be able to convey your thoughts and ideas about content writing to your client and understand their perspective to ensure the work meets the requirements set forth.
Irrespective of the situation, if you are involved in creative writing, then there will always be a need to work with others and communicate effectively.
Working as a creative writer, you will find yourself often writing what others want you to write. This is because people and companies hire people to do creative writing for them, which means adapting your clients’ tone and style.
Adaptability may seem like an obvious skill to have, but far too often, one comes across content that does not convey the tone and style befitting the piece or culture of the brand. For example, a blog post for an industrial equipment company targeting industrial manufacturers will have a very different tone and style than a blog post about home appliances.
This particular skill is absolutely essential if you are doing video scripts. Regardless of your personal style, each script you create must highlight the brand name it is for. In addition, the more adaptable you are, the more successful you will be, as it allows you to work with a broader client base. This particular skill set is critical when ghost writing a book to ensure that the correct style and tone are adopted.
Professional content writers will attest creative writing as a profession is not always exciting. There will be days where the words simply do not come to you, and the blank page just stares back at you. However, any successful creative writer knows that one must soldier on. Discipline means being able to focus when needed and remove distractions during the creative writing process. Not only that but meeting deadlines is part of discipline too.
Discipline plays a key role in allowing you to write consistently. Consistency and meeting deadlines translate into higher chances of success in your creative writing endeavors.
#4 Organizational Skills
Organization skills are essential for any creative writer. And yes, an argument can be made that creative writing and creative people should not be boxed in something so rigid. However, you would be wrong.
The goal is to know how to organize your creativity. It can be simple things like maintaining a calendar to keep your deadlines straight to having your contact organized for effective communication.
As you can see, the organization of the blog post, this applies beyond writing as well. You need to keep the order of your workflow to keep things moving effectively.
And lastly, have a system for saving files. Unfortunately, far too many people doing creative writing have no system for saving files, and when they cannot be found when needed, that causes panic. So add keeping organized to your creative writing principles.
It is often said that one should write about what one knows. But it seems that it would limit your creative writing severely. Creative writing is about exploring the possibilities of the written word, and at times those possibilities lead across unexpected paths.
Working as a creative writer, you will often find yourself writing about topics that you may be unfamiliar with. However, unfamiliarity about a topic is not or should never be the reason to turn down a project. A little research can go a long way towards writing about an unfamiliar topic in a confident and informed manner.
Additionally, with the rise of Wikipedia, writers who can deliver quality when it comes to Wikipedia writing are always in demand. The scope of Wikipedia means there is always a need to write for this massive collection of human knowledge.
So, if you are unable or unwilling to learn a new topic, how will you grow and improve your creative writing skills? And not just as a writer but as a person as well. Learning is an integral part of life, and as writers, the more we know, the more effectively we can apply our knowledge to creative writing.
Today’s world is fast-changing, and irrespective of the field you are in, keeping up with the latest trends is important. Creative writing has evolved over the years, and as a writer, you need to know what the latest writing trends are.
The general style of writing has changed. People consume content differently. In today’s world of social media, content is concise and to the point. It is very different from ten or twenty years ago. ebook writing relies heavily on trends as different e-books tend to be in vogue depending on the consumers’ demand. Knowing which categories are trending can help with reaching the right clients.
Trends also impact which SEO (Search Engine Optimization) words are most likely to get your works the desired results. Therefore, SEO writing is an integral part of any creative writer’s skill set in today’s digital world.
As a writer, you also need to be a good editor. For Justice Louise Brandies said, “There is no great writing, only great rewriting.” Whatever you may be writing, always organize it so that you have time to read and give your work an overview.
Reviewing any work before submitting it should be standard practice, not just for creative writing but any work. Because once submitted, that is the only impression the reader will have of you. So ensure that you are judged on your writing, not the errors.
Technology is always improving, and with it comes tools to help in your creative writing. Knowing which tools are there to help you with your writing or content editing can dramatically improve the quality and speed of your writing. Tools like Grammarly allow for quick editing and help polish your writing. Tools to check plagiarism ensure that your work is unique.
It ties up slightly with keeping up to date with trends. If there are tools to help you in your creative writing process, you should use them. But do avoid the pitfall of being too reliant on them because they are there to assist, not do the actual writing for you.
#9 Taking Critique
Last but certainly not least is the ability to take critique gracefully. It is a simple fact that not everyone will appreciate what you write. This is something that needs to be understood if you wish to do well in creative writing.
When you are writing as a professional, your work is subject to someone’s approval, and sometimes they will disagree with you about a word or maybe your entire work. And that is something that you have to learn to be okay with.
However, that does not mean that you shouldn’t stand by your work. It is a matter of knowing when to bow and when to counter. It is what effective communication is all about and a point which we made at the very beginning. And most commercially done creative writing is for others, and their perspective often takes precedence.
The skills mentioned above are all essential, but at the same time, you need to practice your writing skills as well. However, these skills will certainly add to your skills as a writer and help improve the scope of what you can achieve with creative writing.