Careers for Creative Writing Graduates
When you enrolled for your degree in creative writing you probably had lofty ambitions of being a celebrated and sold-out author, doing book signings and travelling the globe for fan conventions, hang on a minute is that Netflix calling to option your book?
Unfortunately, even some of the best writers fail to break into the industry and even if they do manage to get published and have some success in their genre, it’s still a wildly unpredictable career.
Creative Writing Degrees
While this degree is popular with creative types and English literature majors, it’s a degree you know might not directly result in a job. Creative writing is designed for those who want to forge their own path in the world. Most expect to struggle with trying to get published but few understand that being published doesn’t mean the struggle is over. The average reported salary of authors is only $41,260 per year.
While being an author exclusively can be financially challenging at times, there are so many transferrable skills you can take from your degree and apply to different career paths out there. Let’s take a look at some of the most transferable skills below.
Creative problem solving
In creating writing there are problems that need solving. A character arc that doesn’t support the plot, a problematic plot device and even continuity issues that are easy to miss but can spoil the flow of the narrative. Creative writers have to do a lot of creative problem solving when working through their stories. This means they often need to find a way to fix the issue with some outside of the box thinking.
In creative writing, there’s a lot of researching. To create the worldss in which your characters occupy and to understand the topics, geographical locations, interests and hobbies they have. Research skills come in handy in all sorts of careers.
Creative writing is all about well-crafted wording, so grammar, spelling and sentence structure are all skills you’ll have picked up in your degree. These editing skills are a great base for so many other jobs, any role where you need to craft well-written paragraphs or check other people’s work. Editing skills are incredibly important for website copy, marketing materials, internal communication, instruction manuals and many other types of writing.
Persuasive writing skills
When crafting a story, you need to be able to write in a way that brings the reader in, makes them root for one of the characters, identify with them and want to know what comes next. These persuasive writing skills are highly transferrable, and authors use them for other types of writing too; book proposals, pitches, synopsis and grant applications all require a specific kind of persuasive writing. Persuasive writing is incredibly important in marketing and social media.
Careers you can you move to
There are many careers you can explore with these transferrable skills. There’s more of a call than ever before for people with exceptional writing skills in the vast, content-heavy, digitally focused business world. Let’s look at some of the career paths you can explore with a degree in creative writing.
Copywriting is a great career path for creative writing graduates. This role allows you to spend all day, every day writing. Copywriters write marketing materials, blogs, website copy, campaigns and much more.
Copywriters need to complete extensive research to be able to accurately inform readers on the topics they cover. They could be writing blogs about a product or service to help bring more prospective customers to company’s website or they could be writing product descriptions, brochures, marketing email campaigns or other marketing materials. It all depends on the role and the company.
To make the jump from creative writing to copywriting, you will need a basic understanding of the world of marketing. Completing a Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication would help with this. This course can be completed entirely online, so you can start anytime and study from anywhere in Australia. The course can take six to twelve months depending on the delivery mode you choose. In the course you’ll learn how to:
- Articulate, present and debate ideas
- Undertake marketing activities
- Analyse consumer behaviour
- Develop and apply knowledge of communications industry
- Write complex documents
- Assess marketing opportunities
- Apply business risk management processes
- Implement customer service strategies
- Develop personal work priorities
- Build and maintain business relationships
- Promote products and services
A background in creative writing with writing samples combined with the training from this course will give you everything you need to excel as a copywriter.
Creative writing graduates with a few writing credits under their belt can make a smooth transition to ghost writing. Ghost writing is writing for someone else, the work will be published under their name, and it will be considered their work.
Ghost writing is a great opportunity for writers who want to make some extra money but don’t make to sacrifice their brand for the cash. Ghost writing keeps your writing name out of the process, allowing you to maintain the genre and field associations you’ve built with previous work.
Ghost writers can write books and speeches, scripts, online content and proposals. The trick with ghost writing is being able to switch voices for different clients, which can be difficult to start with but does get easier as time goes on.
Social media requires a very specific talent for writing persuasive copy, which is something creative writing graduates have down pat. In social media you need to be able to stick to that company’s tone of voice and get a lot of impact with a few sentences, driving people to buy without alienating them. It’s a balancing act but that’s why social media copywriters are in such high demand. It’s similar to email marketing copy, but more informal and with a more personal touch.
While creative writing graduates have a particular aptitude for persuasive copy, some additional study such as the Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication would help them to bridge the gaps in the knowledge to write truly superior social media copy.
There are so many career path opportunities for creative writing graduates especially in the marketing industry. If you’re thinking of finding something to subsidise your author’s salary, copywriting, ghost writing and social media work are a great fit for your skills. Consider looking into the Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication to round out your skill set for these positions or get in touch with us. We will be able to suggest a great additional course for your career goals.