What are You Gonna Do with a Creative Writing Degree?
When a friend, acquaintance, or family member comes up to you and asks what degree you’re working towards and you announce proudly “Creative Writing,” they typically respond with, “Are you going to teach?”
If you say, “That’s the plan,” then that’s awesome. We always need more teachers in the world. But if you’re in the “I’m not sure” or “Heck, no” category, then here is a list of jobs that creative writers are needed for. Who knows future teachers may want to do some of these on the side.
Here are some of the many career options Creative Writers have:
Speech writer: Believe it or not, writing doesn’t come easy to everyone. While some actors, musicians, and politicians may have a way with words, many struggle to find the right thing to say, which means they need creative writers to help them. Kanye might write his own lyrics, but it’s safe to say his speech skills are lacking.
Editor: Books, blogs, newspapers, magazines, literary journals…They all need editors. Editors can also pick up freelance work for more flexibility.
Publisher: A publisher is the team leader, looking over all the jobs that go into putting a book together and then selling. From selecting manuscripts to managing the finances. Skills needed to be a publisher include leadership skills, knowledge of other literary and publishing businesses, and management.
Technical writer: Technical writers prepare manuscripts, journal articles, or other types of documents to translate unfamiliar terms to the average person. If you don’t know any sciency terms the technical writer’s job is to break it down and make it easier to read. They also collect information among manufacturers, customers, and designers.
Freelance writer: Most freelance writers make somewhere between $20-$100/hr. Freelancing requires hustle. (Fun freelancing hustle tip: Seek out websites and scroll to the bottom. There you can often find a list of employees or just an email address to ask questions. It never hurts to email the company directly and ask if they have any need for content writers. If they have a website and no blog, offer your services. It never hurts to ask.)
Author: The dream. We all want to be paid for our work without creative restraints or a boss breathing down our neck. Right? Authors have freedom, but they also have Editors and Publishers keeping them motivated and holding them to deadlines.
Ghost writer: While this was a pretty cool PBS show in the early 90’s, it is also a noteworthy profession for those creative writers who don’t care about self-promotion. Companies, blogs, schools, or anything with a website typically produce content consistently. If you are willing to let others take the credit for your work, this is a profitable career. No way James Patterson is pumping out two books a year on his own, right?
Newspaper writer: The good ol’ fashion newspaper. Believe it or not they still exist and are still in need of writers! Some even allow you to work from home…in your pajamas.
Social Media Manager: Many businesses these days depend heavily upon social media. Social media platforms are easy and cheap ways for a company to get their name out there. Many businesses need writers to produce engaging and relatable content.
Digital Artist: When I look for internships for Creative Writers, I’ve found a lot of digital artist options. Digital artists use technology to create 3-D art. If you’re into cartoons or video games this one is for you.
Copy Writer: Write articles, bulletins, sales letters, and other related informative, marketing and promotional material. Copy Writers are much needed!
Don’t think that teaching is the only way to utilize your creative writing degree. There’s something out there for everyone. A creative writing degree is not useless. Ignore those looks of doubt and raised eyebrows from friends and family. Go out and find what you love. Then do it.