When you write non-fiction, you are usually presenting facts and figures in an organized manner. Creative Writing describes stories that are usually connected to real events and people. While technical writing is often (but not always) informative, creative writing is more often (but not always) entertaining. When you write an informative piece, you are usually doing so to teach someone something new or to inform them about something. With creative writing, you are usually writing for your own entertainment or that of the audience.
In technical writing, you are usually writing to inform someone or some authority of something. You are giving them information, but you are also often questioning their knowledge or opinions. You might ask them to consider an alternative viewpoint or to look at a problem from a different angle. While somewhat similar, technical writing usually contains more objective analysis and reasoning than creative writing. You will not find many rules or regulations in technical writing. For example, in a business article, you would typically not describe every single event that occurred during a certain time period or compare your product to another’s in an attempt to knock off their sales. This is not what technical writing is about. This is about presenting facts and figures in the most efficient and informative way possible. In other words, you are teaching them something!
Who Are The Audience?
In general, technical writing is aimed at either a professional audience (e.g., IT, legal professionals, scientists, engineers, and so on) or a somewhat general audience (e.g., those interested in technology, business, or science). If your audience is very specific or you are planning on self-publishing, then consider focusing on a more creative writing rather than technical writing. When it comes to non-fiction, you are usually writing for an educated audience and you can usually get away with a more creative writing style.
The Need For Objectivity
Unlike creative writing, in which you are typically trying to entertain your audience, in technical writing you are more often than not, presenting your own personal opinion in a completely unbiased manner. Even when you are writing for an audience that has a certain level of education, you will usually find that they are highly intelligent individuals and therefore, it is imperative that you do not show any bias in your work. You must understand that even though they may appreciate your creative style, your writing will not bear the same weight as an article written by a professional.
The Difference In The Writing Process
Although the end result is usually the same (i.e., you are writing something non-fiction), the entire process is very different. To start with, the creation of the piece is usually solitary. With creative writing, you will usually find multiple people (including the author) working on a single piece of creative writing. This is because it can be more difficult to prove that a specific part of the text was written by someone else (i.e., can you copyright your creative writing? Can you sell the copyright of your fiction work to a publisher?).
In technical writing, you will normally find that the author spends a lot of time researching and gathering facts and figures before writing the piece. During this time, the author will collect as much as possible about their topic and will read a lot of related materials. While this may take a while, it ensures that the content is as detailed and accurate as possible. Once the author has done their research and put the facts and figures together in an organized manner, they will normally begin to draft the text. During this phase, they will go through several drafts, maybe even some revising, before finally publishing the piece.
The Time Taken
Another significant difference between technical writing and creative writing is the amount of time needed to complete each piece. Creative Writing can take several months to a year, even when done by a professional. A good business novel can take even longer. However, a really good short story can be written in a matter of weeks. This is because the goal of the writer is to entertain the reader rather than simply to inform them. As a result, they will often use a more informal language and will sometimes even make it up as they go along.
In contrast, technical writing can be done in a much shorter amount of time. Even though there are exceptions to this rule, for the most part, it takes a bit longer to write a technical piece than it does to write a creative one. This is because you have to make sure that you have covered all the relevant bases and you have to also ensure that your writing is well-researched and well-organized. Even though this may seem daunting and difficult at first, once you have finished the piece, you will realize that it was indeed, quite easy and straightforward.
There are a lot of differences between technical and creative writing. Sometimes, your subject matter may overlap (e.g., you may write about both technology and science), but at the end of the day, you are still writing for a different audience and you are presenting your personal opinion on a topic that may be new to you.