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Making the Transition from Career Writing to Creative Writing: Part 1 - Introduction

Out of all the books and articles I have read on writing, only two directly addressed the transition writers must face when writing outside of their career skill set. I wish I could find them, but my entire library is currently boxed up in storage. The insight they have brought me has changed how I view writing. Over the past decade, their kernels of wisdom have sprouted into further thoughts on the subject which, hopefully, will also be helpful to you.

The reason this transition into creative writing has been of interest to me is that the specialized training we receive in our field of work doesn’t often translate well into our creative endeavors. For instance, a friend who went on a business trip to South Africa a number of years back was both shocked by the level of poverty where she visited, yet impressed by the overwhelming advocacy for education. Had she been of a mind to publish her thoughts on what she saw, her background in business and communications would have been right at home for a nonfiction article in a business magazine. However, had she wanted to publish it for a general audience, those same strengths she might bring to a business audience might actually discourage the more general audience from even reading it. Therefore, being sensitive to the needs of our genre and audience is vital to developing our situational awareness in writing.

So please join me over these next few weeks as we explore together how to approach creative writing when one has a professional background. Hopefully, these short reflections will help make your transition from the writing you already do in your professional field, to pursuing your creative dreams, that much easier to obtain.


Megan, we used to have a non-fiction writing contest here on the forum that used a formate that you would have liked, called Side Trips. It took real life experiences and used the story formate to basically share a teachable moment in life.

I think one of the most popular contests was something along the lines of, an incident in life that made you who you are.

The non-fiction forum here also is a great place to share a story, you will find many forum members who crafted a story out of a some life experience. The majority of what I write fall into that style of writing. I write for either the humor section or the NF sections here and would love to see some of your work. I think of myself as a storyteller not a writer. From what you say, you are interested in the same type of writing.

Welcome to the forum, I am looking forward to reading some of your stories...Bob
I'm excited and can't wait to see what insights you have to share about how to transition from career writing to creative writing.

I'd like to hear more about how your friend could have written about her experience in South Africa in a "creative writing" style, as opposed to a "business career" non-fiction style.
Smith;bt13721 said:
I'd like to hear more about how your friend could have written about her experience in South Africa in a "creative writing" style, as opposed to a "business career" non-fiction style.

Hi Smith! Post 2 touches on this, but I thought I'd let a few days go by before posting more. However, it doesn't address her experience. I'll have to think about that some. That might make for a nice topic in this series!
Thanks for the suggestion, Smith!

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Megan Pearson
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