Education

Want to become a creative writer? Here are a few pointers

If you are aiming for a career as a creative writer, finding the right opportunity could be challenging but not scarce

When we consider people who are currently making a living through writing, we are usually just thinking about journalists or scriptwriters most of the times. However, there are other job opportunities you can consider if you want to make a career out of creative writing.

The main job of a creative writer is to produce work that is engrossing and appealing. You need to know exactly what you are writing, who you are writing for, and how you are going to get the material out in the market for your target audience. You have to write as a creative individual but also think like a marketer when getting the work out there.

Many people do take pleasure in creative writing as a pastime, and with the growing use of social media and digital platforms, there already is an increasing demand for high quality content creation. And for the content to be of prime quality, you need good writing.

So, it is essential that you do not restrict yourself in the possibilities of what you can do with your writing abilities. You can write novels, short stories, journalistic articles for digital media platforms, and even work as a copywriter, content writer and other freelancing jobs.

Job prospects

It is not mandatory to have a certificate or any sort of degree in creative writing. Anybody with a good command over a particular language can infiltrate this attractive but highly demanding field. Though, in today’s world, English is the primary language to focus on as it is already the most established out of all the other languages, especially in the globalised business world.

Some of the existing opportunities for innovative writers are:

Copywriter: Mainly in the field of marketing/ advertising field. The job of a copywriter is to create content highlighting the features of a particular product/service in a compelling manner for the customer. These people are accountable for writing the brochures, publicity letters, product catalogues, circulars, and so on.

Article writer: Article writers can write a variety of articles on the subjects ranging from fashion, food, travel, health, trade, entertainment, sports, education, politics, etc. and can also decide to write for various platforms like dailies, magazines, and websites.

Author: One can become an author by penning a story on a topic of interest. It can be in the segment of fiction or non-fiction. But expecting to just write a book in the hopes its sales will automatically pick up after it is published is not how it works. Plenty of work goes into the marketing of the book.

Scriptwriter: Scriptwriters write the content and stories for movies, plays, and television shows. They do thorough research and have to put in a lot of work to figure out a plot and the storyline of a given theme or topic.

One can also get into the training profession, after acquiring a master’s degree in creative writing.

Another alternative is to hunt for jobs in firms that are focussed on producing specialised content. The success in this field highly depends on the quality of your work.

Groundwork

Creating a portfolio of your best written work with a focus on including your published work is essential in building your reputation as a serious writer.

Just try to read and write as much as you can. There’s no limit to how much you can improve.

Try to get your work out in the world. Don’t be afraid of facing criticism. Try and submit it wherever you can. Enter competitions. Approach local drama groups to see if they will use your scripts.

To make yourself more employable, look for prospects of getting some solid work experience. Don’t just focus on building a resume, but put your energy in learning new skills and mastering the old ones. You could work as a paid managerial for a company or choose to volunteer in an organisation you admire. You could also associate yourself with a charity and try to get endorsements for them or write grant letters.

Formal training

The field of creative writing does not require formal education. An educational background in English literature or journalism and communication will definitely be an added advantage.

Few institutions in India do offer short term courses in creative writing. The minimum educational qualification needed for applying to a creative writing course is Higher Secondary or class X/ XII with humanities or arts as the main discipline. The duration of these courses is usually for one year. Most universities offer courses in creative writing as optional subjects in addition to the regular bachelors and masters programmes.

The writer is the author the book Dream Beyond Shadows.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 11:54:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/on-the-write-track/article28420366.ece

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