Creative Writing and the New Adventures of Magazine and Feature Writing

Well, I think it’s been a sufficiently long time since I last posted an entry here that I can say, “I’m back!”  The summer is officially over and I am back in school with a new Writing class in my schedule: Writing 300 – Magazine and Feature Writing.  One very exciting feature of this class is that I’ll get a few different chances to send off the pieces I write to (hopefully) get published!  Obviously there’s no guarantee that they will get published, but it’s still an opportunity that I don’t intend to waste!

As a result, we’re back to regular, weekly posts again!  I still fully intend to post about my creative writing, but once a week I’ll post about other various topics too, and these posts will often have something to do with a concept we learned in class that week.

In class this week, the point my Professor made over and over again is that the material you need to write a feature is everywhere – in the seemingly mundane events of your everyday life, in your conversations, the interactions you have with acquaintances, friends and family members, the effect something you read or watch has on you, etc.  I thought this was an interesting (and very important) point to encounter in a Magazine and Feature Writing class because as a creative writer, I get my inspiration from everything around me, too.  Inspiration for both my poetry and creative prose often come from the music I listen to, the artwork and photography I see, the weather, the events of my past, my hopes for the future, the ideas and opinions I form from what I hear and read on a day-by-day basis, dreams I have, and even my various moods throughout the day.

I must admit, though, that when I first signed up for this class, I didn’t really wanted to take it.  Why?  Well… now I know it’s because I was simply ignorant of what this class is about.  At the time, though, I thought I didn’t want to take it because it didn’t fit my definition of “creative writing” – it wasn’t a “Writing Short Stories” class or a “How to Write a Novel” class.  Therefore, I decided it wasn’t a class I wanted to… well, waste my time with.  Now that I’ve attended class for a full week now, however, I am very, very excited to continue the class because I learned that there is an element of creative writing here.  There may be some instances when I need to do some research and conduct a few interviews, but I’ll still be writing stories – just not the kind that I’m so used to considering “real” stories.  If I want to hold my own in the competitive writing industry, I need to learn all kinds of different forms of writing, and this is one of them.  Of course, it’s a plus that this discipline counts as creative writing!

In short, I’ve learned a lot more this week than just the definition of a “feature” and the difference between a commentary piece and a short feature piece; I’ve come to understand my position in my field a lot better, and I have a clearer vision of where my future is headed and what I need to do to get there.  Now on to the hard stuff!


5 thoughts on “Creative Writing and the New Adventures of Magazine and Feature Writing

  1. kisakson12 says:

    Great post! I love what you said about how you will still be writing short stories–the stories of other people who deserve to be heard. I think that writing features will definitely benefit your writing skills in any other areas that you’re interested in. And the benefit of getting to practice writing weekly is great, of course 🙂 I look forward to hearing more about how you like the class.

    • InkSplashes says:

      Yes, I’m definitely glad that taking any kind of writing class will allow me the opportunity to improve my skills, no matter what kind of writing it is! It just took me a while to realize that. ^.^ I expected this class to require weekly blogging, and I’m glad it does. It’s so easy to call yourself a writer and yet only write when the fancy strikes you. But that’s not how it works – at least, that’s not how you get better! And I definitely want to get better.

  2. I loved your post, and I agree that it is sometimes hard to think of magazine and feature writing as “creative writing” because I don’t think we have been trained to think of it that way. It’s usually just seen as news and news can be boring. Since you do have a creative writing background, I think you’ll do great! After this last week of talking about how stories are everywhere I have found myself paying closer attention to my surroundings and conversations because you just never know when a story idea will hit. 🙂

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