Skip to content

What’s a Creative Writing Degree? Do You Need One? 

Updated: June 19, 2024 | Published: December 29, 2019

Updated: June 19, 2024

Published: December 29, 2019

Things to Write About Ways to Stay Creative (1)

Creativity can help us move forward and succeed in our pursuits. However, while writing can be an incredibly creative outlet, sometimes we can reach a point where we feel like we’re hitting a wall and are at a loss for new ideas. This happens to the best writers whether or not they have a creative writing degree.

Although it can be a challenge, it’s crucial to shake things up and find fresh new ideas – not only for our professionalism but also to keep our passion and excitement for writing alive. But before we look at ways to keep your writing creative, let’s discuss the creative writing degree and whether you need one to pursue a creative writing career.

What is a Creative Writing Degree, and Do You Need One?

Creative writing is an excellent degree choice for writers with the self-discipline and maturity to produce work that people will find valuable. However, most creative writing programs are competitive and select candidates whose talent and achievement stand out.

These programs consider merit with special consideration for people with related degrees such as English, Literature, Liberal Arts, Journalism, or Publishing.

A creative writing degree is a great choice if you like expressing yourself with words. As a creative writing major, you will spend time reading, examining, and interpreting existing literature works and expressing your emotions and thoughts in various ways. Pursuing a master’s in creative writing, publishing, and editing can be extremely beneficial. To be sure of what kind of program one wants to be a part of they can check the list of the top writing programs of 2022-23.

The analysis of existing works exposes creative writers to different ways of structuring their writing. In addition, you get to critique other writers’ works and receive regular feedback on yours to improve your writing skills.

A creative writing major studies different subjects and types of writing, categorized as fiction or nonfiction. These include:

  • Fiction: novels, short stories, novellas
  • Biographies and memoirs
  • Articles and essays
  • Speeches
  • Broadcast copy
  • Playwriting or scriptwriting
  • Poetry and spoken word

Still, if you don’t have any of these qualifications, you can take online creative writing courses to sharpen your skills and become a celebrated author or sought-after creative writer. For example, the University of the People offers an online certificate in English as a Second Language.

Creative Writing Careers to Pursue

A creative writer may compose fiction such as novels, short stories, plays, and screenplays. They may also write nonfiction, such as biographies, memoirs, articles, Essays, and broadcast copy. Creative writers spend their workdays doing different things and time for tasks like:

  • Writing, editing, and revising
  • Researching their subjects
  • Communicating project status with publishers or agents
  • Adapting material according to the client’s requested changes and revisions
  • Submitting finished work to publishers, magazines, or clients

Starting Your Creative Writing Career

If you don’t have any creative writing qualifications or experience, you can start as a freelance writer by believing in yourself. Write from your passions and work at it every day. Don’t forget to improve your grammar and writing style.

If you wish to start a professional creative writing career, you may need to take an online creative writing degree or short courses to become a polished writer. Next, create your writer’s website or blog, fill it with content, and use it as your portfolio when looking for opportunities. Finally, seek like-minded writers and network as much as possible on social sites like LinkedIn.

If you have professional qualifications, it’s easier to get creative writing degree jobs from bulletin boards, job dashboards, social media, or even cold pitching. You can even seek employment from a publication company, magazine, or other media outlets relevant to your field and interests.

What to Do When You Are Out of Ideas?

Let’s look at things to write about and how to stay creative.

Start with what you’re passionate about: When you’re out of ideas and have hit writer’s block, ask yourself, “What should I write about?” The first step is to think about what you’re passionate about. There’s nothing better than writing about what’s close to your heart.

Choose your preferred type of writing: If you’re not sure what to write about exactly just yet, that’s fine. Start by deciding what kind of writing you’d like to do, and then it can help narrow down your options. For example, are you feeling fiction, nonfiction, or perhaps some poetry?

Touch on what you know well: Sometimes, it’s best to stick to what you know best and focus on that. Trying to overthink outside the box can confuse and overwhelm you.

Experiences make for great stories: If you’re out of creative things to write about, think about the experiences you’ve gone through. Experiences always make for great stories, and people love to read personal stories.

Ask your loved ones: Your friends and family know you best and can give you valuable ideas on what to write about. They know what topics you would be good at and excited about and are your number-one fans.

The Internet: If you’re ever stuck and wondering what to write about, you can find answers all over the Internet with a simple search. You aren’t the first writer to get stuck, and there is no shortage of ideas to help spark your creativity.

Sleep on it: Don’t stay up all night killing yourself to find things to write about. Sometimes, the best way to get creative is to give yourself a rest. Sleep on it, and you will likely wake up feeling refreshed and ready to release your full creative potential.

Make a list: Write down your ideas and build from those. You might inspire yourself and find a whole sea of things to write about from an idea you weren’t so excited about at first.

Finding Inspiration for Fictional Topics

Let music inspire you: Music is a wonderful way to find creative inspiration for things to write about. Sometimes, just listening to your favorite artist can get you in the right mindset or spark a topic to write about.

Use a childhood memory: A childhood memory can be a great way to find inspiration for your writing. The nostalgia will surely stir up some deep feelings that will get you passionate about your story and want to share it with your readers.

Let a person inspire you: Sometimes, those around us can be the greatest inspiration. So ask them what they are passionate about, what they would like to read, or wish they could write about.

Use your imagination: Our imagination is our most powerful tool for fictional writing and finding things to write about for fun.

Manifest: Think about what you want to do or be when you grow up, and start writing about it! Your readers would love to hear about your goals and how you plan on getting there. As you write, you might even do some self-discovery along the way.

Find a writing prompt: When trying to figure out what to write about, using a writing prompt can be one of your most useful tools. A writing prompt is a short passage of text that provides a topic to write about. First, pick a topic and then start writing down ideas related to that idea. Keep building from there, and you are bound to find some creative things to write about!

Finding Inspiration for Blog Posts

Google is your best friend when it comes to searching for what to write about. So don’t let that writer’s block get you down. Google is always there to save the day, especially if you already have a topic you know you’re interested in.

Get Specific: While there are endless things to write about, try to be more specific in your writing. What makes your writing unique and something worth reading? Always aim to have an added element in your writing, and ask yourself how you can achieve this.

Ask Your Crowd What’s Hot: What better way to find things to write about than asking your readers what kind of content they want to see? Find out firsthand from them what’s trending through social media or even in one of your blog posts.

Tweet It Out: Ask questions and search for keywords on Twitter to get the answers you want. Believe it or not, Twitter is an excellent tool for creating blog post ideas and finding things to write about.

Write About Your Failures: While it’s always nice to hear a success story, we’ve read many before. So mix things up by sharing your downfalls and the struggles you faced to get to where you are today, and your readers will appreciate your honesty.

Perspective is Key: When it comes to writing and staying creative, it’s all about perspective. You can write about many topics, but it’s really a matter of how you approach these topics and what you do with them.

Teach Your Readers Something New: As you ask yourself, “What should I write about?” think about what you want to read. We generally read to learn something new — so why not teach your readers something new? Then, think about what you’re an expert at or some important lesson your grandfather taught you, and start writing!

Peek at Your Competition: There’s nothing wrong with some friendly competition, and there’s nothing wrong with checking out what kinds of posts they are making. It’s always beneficial to learn from others who have proven themselves successful and use them as a resource to find things to write about.

Read Forums: Forums are another great place to find inspiration for your writing and see other writers’ ideas. You may even find feedback about specific topics that can help you fine-tune your writing.

A Sequel: If you’ve already written something you’re proud of, why not continue that success by writing a sequel? If it worked once, it should work again!

Use Keywords: Keywords are critical when it comes to finding things to write about. Keywords exist based on what people are most searching for, and by using these to find something to write about, you’re sure to be on track when it comes to trending topics.

 Interview Someone Big: What about interviewing someone successful or inspiring for your writing? Readers would love to hear the voice of someone they can look up to, and it can make for an excellent topic, offering some educational insight into your blog.

Review a Book: Have you ever considered reviewing a book? If you’re looking for things to write about, this can be a great way to write about something relevant and bring your perspective to it.

Use Tools: Sometimes it’s helpful to resort to external tools to help us figure out what to write about.

Scan all Comments: It can be handy to look at the comments made on similar posts you’re considering writing about. It can help direct you as to whether this is a popular topic based on the number of responses or if it will also come with a heated debate, even if you’re looking for things to write about for fun.

Keyword Research: Keyword research tools are some of the most innovative and valuable on the net. There are endless keyword tools to help you find what’s trending and figure out what to write about.

Watch the News: The news offers a detailed picture of what’s happening in the world right now and the most breaking headlines, which are precisely the kinds of things you want to be writing about. People don’t want to read outdated information.

Blog Topic Generators: Blog topic generators are also nifty tools, many of which are free, like HubSpot’s. While they aren’t perfect, they can set you on the right track and help you find things to write about by simply entering a few keywords.

What are Some Examples of Writing Prompts?

Writing prompts are a powerful tool to get your creative juices flowing and start to find exciting things to write about. Start with a pen and paper, write down any topic that comes to mind, and from there, you start building off those topics. It’s a fun way to get out of your writer’s block and figure out what to write about.

Here are some creative examples of writing prompts:

You are a bartender working a night shift when a group of people comes in on a holiday pub crawl. Write a story about a very skilled pickpocket. Write a story about a character experiencing anxiety

Conclusion

Constantly finding new things to write about doesn’t come easy, even for the most creative minds, but thankfully there are endless ways to release our fullest creative potential. If you’ve had creative block as a writer, know that you aren’t alone. With these tips, you’re sure to get some creative juices flowing again.

University of the People has tuition-free accredited online programs, including certificates, bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, and master’s degrees. Additionally, UoPeople accepts international students and offers extensive academic support and asynchronous learning. Apply now or contact us today.

At UoPeople, our blog writers are thinkers, researchers, and experts dedicated to curating articles relevant to our mission: making higher education accessible to everyone.