For a lucky few, writing is a full time job. For others, it’s more of a ‘side hustle’, and for some, simply a hobby. Whatever writing is to you, it is undoubtedly shaping traits and skills that will help you grow, whatever career path you go down. Even if creative writing is only a hobby, it is something to mention on your CV and during interviews, because it shows off the traits and skills listed below.
Above all else, in my opinion, writing fiction teaches us empathy. When creating characters, telling their stories, developing their relationships, we constantly put ourselves into the minds of other people. We have to truly experience their emotions, their thoughts, and their journey. We write about good people with significant flaws, about innocent people facing moral dilemmas, about villains and criminals with tragic backgrounds. Writing is a real observation of people, a real desire to understand them, and an insight for realising nothing is ever as it seems on the surface.
Writing a book is hard. And frustrating. It is a long process, and one that rarely goes to plan. From writers block, to not finding the word you want. From thinking you’ve finished to realising what you’ve written is trash, writing requires a level of patience any employer would be impressed with.
Dedication and commitment
Alongside patience, writing takes dedication and commitment. You don’t just write a story. You re-write it, you revise it, you edit it time and time again. Often, with no guarantee of success or reward at the end of it. Writers are dedicated, committed people, who are so passionate, nothing stops them from reaching the end goal!
Whether your writing factual based historical fiction, or a complete unique fantasy, you will develop research skills writing a novel. Fact based research, seeking information on locations, personality traits, historical concepts, scientific theories…the list is endless. Writers research all the time, and its a skill that is valuable in many other jobs.
Plot holes, pacing, and pulling characters out of difficult situations, another key aspect to novel writing is solving problems. We do it all the time, and it can take a great deal of concentration and logic to get there. I’ve yet to come up with an example of a job that might never require problem solving, as issues crop up day to day in all organisations.
Writers often have to fit in their writing time around their busy lives. It usually has to slot in amongst work, school, children, housework, cooking, and a whole host of other commitments. As such, we become adept at managing our time. Not only that, but meeting deadlines is important for all writers, not just those with upcoming publication dates, and so our skill at working within timeframes is honed.
I know there will be a number I’ve missed, so if you’ve any thoughts, drop them in the comments below!