Has Technical Writing Stifled Your Creative Side?

It is no secret that technical writing jobs pay well. Many freelance writers slowly slip into the technical writing sphere and get stuck. The jobs are plenty and the pay is good, and as a writer this stability is appealing. Other freelance jobs that seem to pay well are those connected with a specific company. For example, I used to write for a credit card website, so naturally my writing was centered on credit card tips and advice. There used to be a time when I would try and play around with my sentence structures and get fancy with metaphors, but the longer I wrote a certain way the less and less I felt the need to be creative.

As it turns out, many writers fall into this same rut. If you work as a technical writer or work with specific guidelines from a company, it is very easy to lose sight of the passion that brought you to writing in the first place. Granted some people may have fallen in love with technical writing, but most writers have passions aside from those that are “useful” in the business sector.

Fortunately, there are ways to get this passion back. If you were once a creative writer and feel like you have lost that spark, consider some of these tactics to get your creativity flowing:

How to Bring Back Your Passion for Writing

Everyone experiences a loss of motivation for different reasons. Whether you don’t write because you’re simply tired or you don’t write because technical writing is so far engrained in your mind, there are a few different things you can try:

  • Read – Reading anything from easy to read novels to your favorite short story might help bring back your excitement about writing. You do not need to read with the purpose of finding a voice or analyzing sentence structures, but rather just read to get new words in to your head.
  • Exercise – Although many people think they have lost this passion because they are so used to another type of writing, this isn’t always the case. Simply the act of writing is tough on a person. It can be extremely difficult to write all day long. You may have lost your passion for creative writing simply because you are too tired from your job to sit down at a computer any longer. Try exercising and making time for friends so you don’t feel so burnt out at the end of the week.
  • Start Typing – On the other end of the spectrum, you may want to try sitting down and writing whatever pops into your head. It might take some getting used to, but for some this is a relaxing activity. If you’re someone who isn’t bothered by sitting at a computer all day, then you can use writing as a form of stress release. Try and write someone fun and you might be surprised just how fast that passion returns.

Some people may have to make a conscious effort to bring back that spark that a job like technical writing has taken away. Just as with anything, it may be hard at first. If you used to love working out and haven’t done it in a while, it’s going to be hard. If you used to love staying home with the kids but have been working for a while, it’s going to take some getting used to again. Just remember that no matter how difficult it may seem, working to get that passion back for the writing you once loved is worth it.

Have you ever lost your passion for creative writing? What did you do to get it back?

Photo Credit: exponentialtraining.com

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to VoIP phone service. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including phone systems to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.





14 responses
  1. Kathleen Krueger Avatar

    I took a week long writing retreat with none of my paid writing on the agenda, only my own personal creative writing; poetry and personal essays. I stayed at the wonder House of Two Urns in the Wicker Park neighborhood in Chicago, owned by artists who facilitate such getaways for writers and other artists each winter.
    It was just what I needed.


    1. Amanada DiSilvestro Avatar
      Amanada DiSilvestro

      That sounds great. I would love to find the time to do something like that!

  2. Laura Mallary Avatar
    Laura Mallary

    Your article suggests that writers who focus on technical content necessarily lack passion and creativity. As a writer who prefers technical over creative writing, I disagree. Writing technical material is not simply the result of writers “selling out” for increased income and stability. For some of us, it represents a conscious choice to apply our passion and creativity to problems of practical communication. I don’t believe that there is a lesser choice between technical and creative writing, they are simply two different ways to apply passion and creativity through the written word. I do agree with your underlying suggestion that writers make a purposeful effort to sustain their passion and creativity, regardless of how they choose to apply it.


    1. Amanada DiSilvestro Avatar
      Amanada DiSilvestro

      Ahhh I completely agree! I am sorry the article came across as technical writing=bad and creative writing=good. I put one sentence in the second paragraph: “Granted some people may have fallen in love with technical writing” to hopefully show that I wasn’t denying the value of technical writing. However, I do think I needed to make this a bigger deal than one sentence.

      Thank you so much for bringing up this point! If you love technical writing, more power to you. I didn’t mean to say that people “sell out” when they become a technical writer. I do think that some people do–probably those who will like this article–but absolutely not everyone. Thanks for reading and clarifying for me!

      1. Laura Mallary Avatar
        Laura Mallary


        John is absolutely correct, there is no need for an apology. I just meant to point out that technical writers also share the passion and creativity you described, but simply apply it differently. The part that I enjoy most is the problem-solving aspect, where I can apply my skills to a specific communication goal. I imagine there are others who absolutely hate that part and prefer the freedom to write material that moves them in some other way. Either way, you rightly point out that we should find whatever our own “sweet spot” is and experience it to the fullest! Thanks for giving us an outlet to consider and discuss…

        1. Amanada DiSilvestro Avatar
          Amanada DiSilvestro

          That’s a great way to put it (and could potentially be an excellent blog post). Thanks so much for the great conversation!

  3. Darjat Avatar

    I have over 25 years of experience in community development and want to write about the experiences. I wonder if I get a freelance job. Worked in Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.

    Darjat, Islamabad

    1. Amanda DiSilvestro Avatar

      There are lots of freelance jobs out there, and this is the place to look! I don’t know if there are many freelance jobs that will pay you to talk about your experiences, but it can’t hurt to look. Good luck!

  4. John Avatar

    Hi no need to apologize to anyone about your ideas. I see you made good valid points and gave great advice. I want to pursue a career in writing myself so I’m going to be doing much reading as I can. You are right, new vocabulary is essential for interesting writing.

    1. Amanada DiSilvestro Avatar
      Amanada DiSilvestro

      Awesome! Good luck!

  5. Jim Jenks Avatar

    I’m not the best at writing, especially being creative in my writing. How would I go about hiring a freelance writer and what should be expected as far as price goes?

    1. Amanada DiSilvestro Avatar
      Amanada DiSilvestro

      Hiring a freelance writer is just like any other sort of business–you can put an ad out online or on Craigslist (that is how I found my job). Many people also utilize LinkedIn groups and post jobs in specific freelance writing groups. This will give you an entire audience of freelance writers who could be interested. You could even talk with this website about posting a job!

      As far as pay goes, that is obviously completely dependent upon what you’re asking and the type of experience the write has. I would ask the write what he/she charges first and then see if it fits into your budget. There are tons of articles online that can break this down further. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  6. Valerie Klaassen Avatar

    Today, I have finally found a freelance writing work at home part-time job working with Freelance Writing Gig Web Site. I am just getting started just now, and it is taking me forever to do this. How in the world do I start writing my journals, stories, and articles on any topics for me to choose from? Will you please give me a hand? This is all new to me, and I am just getting started in this part time work from home experience. Thank you very much for your time and help.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Valerie Anne Klaassen

    1. Amanada DiSilvestro Avatar

      You can do it–just model other blogs to start. When I begin writing an article, I usually create a structure by coming up with different subheadings, which are usually just different aspects of the topic that I want to discuss. I then research those exact subheadings and see some of the info that others found useful. I think you will be surprised and just how many new things and new angles you’ll take with your article!

      Good luck and let me know if you need any more help!

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