This is often a topic of discussion among English majors. Which one is better? The answer is simple: It all depends on what you want to do after graduation. If you want to be an author, poet, novelist, etc. the creative writing courses are going to be a better fit. If you want to write technical documents such as grant proposals, research proposals, manuals, procedural documents, etc. the technical writing classes will be good courses to take.
Many English majors choose to take technical writing classes, but they also write creatively on the side. A friend told me that every English major secretly works on writing a book, a poem, or a play, etc. I think he was right. By nature, we love to write and tell stories.
What I Write
I actually write both technical writing and creative writing. Most of my classes are technical writing classes, so I have that knowledge and background. However, I write creatively as a hobby. I’m actually working on writing a book right now. The genre is Christian fiction and it is a rough draft. But I will talk more about that at a later date.
Idrees Patel wrote an article called, Creative Writing vs. Technical Writing: “Creative writing has so many genres and sub-genres that they deserve a whole section of an article for themselves. It sometimes follows a given set of rules, and sometimes throws caution to the winds and breaks all of them. Either way, talent is somewhat of a necessary ingredient if you want to write creatively. Of course, writing can be improved by practice. But if you don’t have the necessary talent, your writing would not give pleasure to anyone”.
He continues by saying, “Technical writing is not written to entertain. It has its own set of rules, conventions, do’s and don’ts, masterpieces and pieces of rubbish. There is a whole art to mastering technical writing, although it too is branched: online technical writing and offline technical writing. Personally, I think that if you want to master technical writing, you should first master concise and magnetic writing that draws the reader in, regardless of whether it’s creative or technical”.
According to Micron, there are differences in content, audience, purpose, style, tone, vocabulary, and organization:
Content: factual, straight-forward
Purpose: inform, struct, persuade
Style: formal, standard, academic
Organization: sequential, systematic
Content: imaginative, metaphoric, symbolic
Purpose: entertain, captivate, provoke
Style: informal, artistic, figurative
Vocabulary: general, evocative
Organization: arbitrary, artistic
Why I Like Creative Writing
It can take time figuring out which writing you like best. I can do both, but I prefer creative writing. That kind of writing allows me to put much more emotion into the piece; I don’t have to be objective and detached like in technical writing. I am also free from the constraints of technical documents. The grammar, punctuation, and spelling all have to be perfect in that type of work. With creative writing, writers have more freedom and liberties. Obviously the spelling and punctuation have to be correct, but writers have freedom with sentence construction.
Whatever type of writing you like best, put your heart and soul into it and you can write something powerful.