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What is the Difference Between Technical and Creative Writing Jobs

Date: Nov 09, 2022

What is the Difference Between Technical and Creative Writing Jobs

Writing is an art and a craft. Various types of writing require different skills and knowledge, and having the appropriate skill set will open opportunities for you. And speaking of opportunities, there are two types of writing jobs currently in demand: technical writing and creative writing jobs

This blog will teach you what is technical writing and creative writing and their differences. We will also give some tips on how to get started with your writing career. 

What is the difference between technical and creative writing jobs?

To understand the differences between technical and creative writing jobs, you will first need to understand the focus of each writing and the styles used. 

What is technical writing?

Technical writing is a field that involves the process of breaking down and simplifying complex information so that its end-users will be able to understand and apply it effectively. Technical writers are equipped to write different formats or materials for different users with varying needs. 

This type of writing is well-used in hard sciences and technology. When creating software/programs, technical writers are responsible for documenting the whole process. Karthik Balasubramanian, a Senior Product Manager at Microsoft, shared that technical writers work closely with Product Managers. Technical writers gain information about the user stories to understand what the market needs from them in terms of documentation. When software development starts, technical writers document and relay the error messages encountered by users. Once they gain more knowledge about the software as it is being developed, they are now equipped to create, design, and draft the content for various stakeholders. The stakeholders will then provide feedback to improve the language quality. And there is final documentation; technical writers will begin to write different formats addressing different information needs of various users. 

Source: LinkedIn

However, technical writers are not only essential in the fields of technology, engineering, electronics, medicine, and other sciences but also play a vital role in almost all types of businesses. This makes technical writing good expertise to pursue.

What is creative writing?

If technical writing is about conveying information clearly and concisely, creative writing, on the other hand, is more about self-expression and storytelling. Creative writing can allow for more artistic flexibility regarding word usage and presentation. 

Creative writing is any form of content that is not strictly academic or technical; this includes fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. These writers express themselves using their imaginations to develop new ideas or stories and might also use their personal experiences to inspire their writing. 

Technical writing vs. Creative Writing Jobs

We have summarized the differences between technical writing and creative writing jobs in the table below:

Category Technical Writing Creative Writing
Focus/ Intent Technical writing jobs entail providing instructions or documentation to various users by writing and packaging complex information into more readable and understandable formats for easier use. Creative writing is about telling stories or creating content to entertain or engage the reader.
Type of information/ Content Most of the data/ information you will handle in technical writing jobs is factual. Creative writing jobs utilize factual information for inspiration in creating fictional characters and situations. For example, some political thriller novels are based on actual political events. However, creative writing can be about people's life stories (memoirs/ biography).
Format Technical writing jobs require a style guide for formatting and language to ensure readers understand the information they are trying to communicate. Mostly, no format is used. Creative writing allows for artistic freedom for the author
Tone Formal and Professional Casual, Informal
Who is involved in each writing job? Technical writing jobs mostly involve a team of researchers/ product developers/ managers/ subject matter experts. Technical experts work closely with these people to ensure accurate and clear documentation. Creative writing jobs mostly involve an individual author, along with their manager, a publishing house representative, and an editor. But the writing in itself is done by the author.
Field/ Training Background Technical writing jobs often require a technical background, like hard sciences and engineering courses, computer science, medicine, economics, and finance. Creative writing jobs require a certain training or degree in English or Language studies; there are academic institutions that offer creative writing as a major.

How to get started in a creative writing job

◾ Read and observe the tone and the writing style. It is always good to have favorite authors whose style you can emulate. 

◾ Explore the genre you are interested in. Genres may include: 

  • Fiction
  • Spy/ Political Thriller
  • Science Fiction
  • Adventure
  • Mystery
  • Fantasy
  • Romance
  • Horror
  • Non-fiction
  • Autobiography/ Memoir
  • Architecture
  • Travel
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Photography
  • Self-help

◾ Make writing a habit. You can start your journal or blog post to write, and you can also start by writing short stories. 

◾ Master your grammar. 

◾ Create a portfolio. Publishers will be interested in looking at your portfolio. 

◾ Join creative writing communities and connect with fellow writers who can give you feedback on your work. 

◾ Explore job sites and check creative writing positions. Examine the requirements and the responsibilities that employers/ clients look for. Check if you have the skills they need and package your resume and work into something that would prove your capacity to meet their expectations. If you are not there yet, create a self-development plan to improve your skills and increase your chances of getting a job. 

Which type of writing is right for you?

So which type of writing is right for you? Technical writing may be a good fit if you are interested in communicating information clearly and concisely and are ready to process complex information for various types of users. Creative writing is probably the better option if you are more interested in exploring your creativity and sharing your stories with the world.


Overall, technical and creative writing jobs are quite different from one another. Technical writers typically have more experience in science or engineering, while creative writers usually have a background in English or communications. The day-to-day tasks of each job are also quite different, with technical writers focusing on creating manuals and documentation and release notes. In contrast, creative writers work on things like novels, poems, and scripts. While both jobs can be exciting and rewarding, choosing the one that best suits your skills and interests is essential.

What type of writing are you more inclined to do? Feel free to share with us some of your sample works.