Making a career in creative writing - Hindustan Times

Making a career in creative writing

ByKartikeya Ladha
Jul 17, 2019 02:14 PM IST

With every challenge brims the chance of an opportunity. Writing or creative fields may be an imaginative pursuit, where we can admire the likes of many creative writers, poets, lyricists, novelists, etc. and aspire to be like one

If creative writing is your zeal, then you’d most likely want the benefit of pursuing a career where you could spend all day or at least most of the day immersed in doing something that you love. But the catch with all creative endeavours in our capitalistic world of today is that they are not easy to come by, especially when it comes to making a living. And when you don’t have any background in the field it only becomes more challenging.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Then the question arises, “how can you make your dream come to reality?”

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With every challenge brims the chance of an opportunity. Writing or creative fields may be an imaginative pursuit, where we can admire the likes of many creative writers, poets, lyricists, novelists, etc. and aspire to be like one, but in most scenarios end up giving up or are forced by the society or our parents to leave our aspirations behind and settle for the usual nine to five job, which provides stability and security in life, but in the long term takes away all the fire and passion from our hearts.

Unfortunately the Indian society has reached a point where we don’t encourage young people to write anymore and are not willing to promote talented young writers, even though powerful writing is what that has led for human civilizations to be built upon the ideas inscribed on a piece of paper by our ancestors. Writing and storytelling is currently one of the least appreciated art forms in a country that holds thousands of years’ worth of history all conveyed and passed on to the future generations in the form of countless stories. Stories that have shaped the modern day India and still continue to do so.

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. But what are the other job opportunities you can consider if you want to make a career out of creative writing?

Work Culture:

The main job of a creative writer is to produce work that is engrossing and appealing in nature. 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’s essential that you don’t 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 do other such free lancing jobs, where the learning potential is exponential and if you take it seriously and commit yourself whole heartedly to it, you can definitely make a career out of it in the long term.

Job Prospects & Career Options in Creative Writing:

To get into this fruitful career, 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 of creative writing (In today’s world, English is the primary language to focus on as its already the most established out of all the other languages, especially in the globalized business world).

Plenty of job opportunities are on hand for creative writers. Specialized creative writers are mixed up in the formation and growth of all types of innovative works, which range from diverse set of genres such as fiction writing, memoirs, nonfiction writing, science fiction, romance, travelogues and so on… All these can also be integrated with script writing for movies and TV shows. There’s also opportunities for writing feature news, indulging in food blogging and reviewing, working for online magazines etc.. In addition, creative writers can also become consultants for creating content for company web sites and business portfolios among other such freelancing activities.

Some of the existing designations for innovative writers are:

· Copy Writers - 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 catalogs, circulars, etc.

· Article Writers - 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 dailies, magazines, websites, etc.

· Book Writer (Author) - One can become an author by narrating a story or a topic of interest. It can be in the segment of fiction or non-fiction depending on whatever story you want to tell for a particular set of audience.

Note: This also requires a lot of marketing efforts after you are done writing the book. Expecting to just write a book in the hopes it will pick up automatically after its published is not how it works. Plenty of work goes into the marketing of the book. You can tie up with a good publishing house or can also chose to self-publish the book.

· Script Writers - Those who favor writing dialogues can become scriptwriters. Scriptwriters write the content and stories for movies, plays, television shows, etc. They carry out 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. Writing genuine, fresh and well-crafted dialogues can be a challenging dispute for scriptwriters.

Besides these prospects, one can begin their own freelance creative writing portfolios or can choose to work with a newspaper or a digital media platform writing articles, stories, reviews, etc. They 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 specialized content.

The success in this field highly depends on the superiority of your work and the professionalism you bring along with you.

Necessary work experience:

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

You can keep practicing your writing skills by constantly writing stories for your student newspapers or magazines. Just try to read and write as much as you can. There’s no limit to how much you can improve. Also, always 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. Getting as much exposure possible is critical.

To create 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 organization you admire. You could also associate yourself with a charity and try to get endorsements for them or write grant letters.

Try to find anything you can, no job is small or less than any other job. You will learn something everywhere, which can eventually help you get your foot in the door in your dream setup. It doesn’t happen by chance, you have to consistently improve yourself every single day, so that when the opportunity arises you are ready to grab on to it.

Eligibility for Creative Writing Course:

The field of creative writing does not require a set of formal education. Those who hold an ability to see and observe the world with a determined set of imaginative eyes, can do extremely well as a creative writer. An educational background in English literature or Journalism & communication will definitely add for an advantage in owning a successful career in the field of creative writing.

Few institutions in India do offer short term courses in creative writing and these training courses allow an applicant to be successful in the field of creative writing. The least educational qualification needed for applying to a creative writing course is Higher Secondary or 10+2 with humanities or arts as the main discipline. The duration of these courses is mainly for one year. Most universities offer courses in creative writing as optional subjects in addition to bachelors and masters.


Remuneration in this field differ based on the specific genres of creative writing. In the earlier stage, creative writers can earn an amount of Rs. 15000/- to 20,000 per month, pertaining to who they are working for. But if they are outstanding in their work, they can increase the pay scale within a short period of time.

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