Things I Have Learned About Writing Creative Nonfiction

Writing creatively can be a rewarding experience, and it’s something that anyone can do. However, it’s not always easy to know where to start! In this blog post, I’ve compiled some of the tips and tricks that have helped me become a better writer over time.

Creative Nonfiction: Explanation and Writing Task – YouTube
Embrace the Blend: Creative nonfiction combines factual accuracy with creative storytelling to create engaging narratives.
Crafted Authenticity: Honesty and authenticity are paramount in creative nonfiction, enabling readers to connect emotionally with the story.
Narrative Techniques: Utilize narrative elements like dialogue, characterization, and scene-setting to immerse readers in real-life experiences.
Research and Balance: Thorough research maintains factual integrity while artistic elements elevate the storytelling, striking a delicate balance.
Personal Reflection: Infuse your unique perspective and reflection into the narrative to offer insights and depth to the storytelling.

Don’t Get Stuck In The Moment

You know that thing you were excited about? The thing your friend thought was awesome? The thing everyone told you was good and worth pursuing?

Well, if it’s not working out, don’t be afraid to change your mind. Don’t let yourself get too invested in a project that isn’t working for you anymore. If an idea has its merits but isn’t quite working out as planned, don’t be afraid to move on to something else you can always go back later when things have changed. And if something doesn’t work at all, keep trying until it does! 

You might have the most brilliant idea ever conceived by human beings; however, if no one reads it because the writing style is too dense or convoluted (or just plain bad), then what good is it? No matter how great an idea may seem right now and regardless of whether or not anyone else thinks so too if nobody reads it then nobody gets any benefit from its brilliance either.

Navigating through the digital landscape, where algorithms often dictate content visibility, can be a challenge. Explore actionable strategies in our article on real-world writing tips that defy algorithms and enhance your creative expression.

Write On A Topic You’re Passionate About

As you may have noticed, the majority of articles about creative nonfiction are rather dry and uninspiring. Take a look at this one from “The Guardian.” The writer talks about how creative nonfiction is an important genre for storytelling, but she doesn’t say much beyond that.

On the other hand, here’s an article from “The Rumpus” that shows how to write creative nonfiction: it’s written by someone who has learned her craft through years of practice and research. She also shows her passion in her writing you can tell she loves what she does!

When you’re starting with your first draft, try to think about something that excites you enough so that it makes sense for your readers to be interested as well. Make sure this topic comes naturally; if not, then it will show up in your writing (and no one wants their life stories ruined).

Read A Lot Of Nonfiction Before You Start Writing

The best way to learn how to write creative nonfiction is by reading it. Most writers will tell you this, and they’re right: the only way to hone your craft is by exposing yourself to a wide variety of examples written by professionals. 

You don’t have to read every piece of creative nonfiction that has ever been published (though you’ll probably want to at some point), but you must read enough so that when you start writing your work, the style feels familiar and comfortable.

One way I recommend doing this is by starting with a genre similar to what you’re interested in writing about and then branching out into other genres as well. For example, if your dream project involves travelogues or memoirs, try reading one or two memoirs first while keeping an eye out for common themes: did these authors all share similar experiences? 

Were there any moments that felt particularly poignant? And then move on from there maybe try some historical fiction next time or even science fiction!

Understanding the intricate balance between innate creativity and external influences is essential for writers. Delve deeper into this topic in our exploration of explaining creativity, highlighting the origins of your creative processes.

Learn How To Write From Those Who’ve Done It Well

Don’t just read books on writing. Read the work of other writers. Try to understand where they’re coming from, how they write, and why. Learn from your own mistakes, even if you think another writer can’t be any better than you are at this point. 

And take writing classes if you can afford them! They’ll help build your skills and give you the confidence boost that comes with being around people who know more about writing than you do (which means everyone).

Take a look at what we’ve done here: We’ve gone from talking about yourself (or perhaps someone else) as a writer to talking about yourself as an aspiring writer; we’ve moved from saying “I am” or “you are” to saying “you could be.” 

This distinction is important because it shows us how much potential there is in creative nonfiction and it also helps us realize that if we want this kind of success, then all we have left is hard work and perseverance.

Don’t Worry About Finding A Perfect Title For Your Story – Most Of Them Don’t Exist

The title of your piece is just a label. It’s not the story itself, it’s not the key to your narrative, and it’s certainly not the most important part of your work. 

The best possible title for a piece of creative nonfiction will be memorable and engaging but it may not be appropriate for the rest of your writing style or might be too wordy for what you’re trying to achieve with that particular story.

The perfect title doesn’t exist! So don’t worry about finding one during the first draft stage; instead, focus on telling an interesting story in an engaging way that works well within its genre and format.

Crafting concise yet impactful micro-fiction pieces requires a unique set of skills. Learn how to captivate your audience with our tips for writing micro-fiction that leave a lasting impression in just a few words.

Remember What Your Readers Are Going To Read, Not What You Want Them To Read

As a creative nonfiction writer, you’re not writing for yourself and your peers. You are writing for your readers.

You want to tell a good story that is interesting for the reader and makes them want to keep reading. Your job is to make sure that every sentence in your piece will help them understand what you’re trying to say or do so on its own merits if it doesn’t relate directly (and if it doesn’t convey the information clearly, it should be cut).

Listen To Other Writers’ Advice, But Don’t Be Afraid To Ignore It If You Think Better Of It

The first thing to know about writing creative nonfiction is that there are a lot of opinions out there about how you should write it. Pay attention to these, because they come from people who have experience and knowledge you don’t have yet. But don’t be afraid to ignore advice that doesn’t fit with your style or goals.

There are many different ways to approach creative nonfiction, and writers often disagree on the best way forward. 

This can make it challenging for new writers to figure out which rules work for them and which ones don’t but remember: just because someone else does something differently doesn’t mean yours has to be the same way! As long as your voice is clear in your writing, it doesn’t matter if other writers think the way you do is wrong (and even if they do).

Know how to use different types of sources (eg, primary sources like letters and journals, secondary sources such as books and blogs).

If you’re taking a class about writing, your teacher will likely teach you about the different types of sources: primary and secondary. 

There are two important differences between these types. First, primary sources are accounts of events written by people who were there when the event happened (like letters or journals). Second, secondary sources are accounts of events written by people who weren’t there when the event happened (like books or blogs). 

As you might imagine, this difference means that primary sources are more likely to be biased than secondary ones (since they’re written by someone who might not be as objective).

You should also know that if something is considered “historical”, then it’s a good idea to use only historical evidence (ie., make sure everything in your essay is backed up with historical documents).

Consider the audience when thinking about the style of your writing and whether you should use an ‘author’s voice’ or an ‘objective voice’.

Whether you should use an ‘author’s voice’ or an ‘objective voice’ is a decision that depends on the style of your writing and the purpose it serves. 

If, for example, you are writing about a personal experience in which you were deeply invested and involved, then it might be appropriate to use more first-person pronouns such as “I”. 

However, if you’re writing about something more general or factual (like global warming), then it may be better to adopt a more objective tone by using third-person pronouns like “they” or “them”.

When considering whether to write formally or informally, think about who will be reading what you have written: If it’s intended for someone with whom you have professional relationships (such as a teacher or boss), then it might be wise not to use slang and another informal language in order not come across as unprofessional. 

However if your audience consists mostly of friends and family members who know how casual their relationships are with one another, then go ahead!

Bridging the gap between creativity and reality in non-fiction writing demands a strategic approach. Discover effective techniques in our guide to writing creative non-fiction books and articles that engage readers while maintaining factual integrity.

Keep Focused On Your Specific Goals, Even If They Change Over Time

I’ve learned that creative nonfiction is not a linear process. It’s common to abandon a project and start something new, change your goals, change your approach, or even just switch gears entirely and write about something different than what you originally set out to write about.

 As long as you remain focused on the purpose of your writing to help people understand something better then it doesn’t matter where (or when) the inspiration comes from.

Strive Always For Clarity And Brevity – Your Reader Will Thank You

Let’s talk about putting your subject in “action” mode. Whenever possible, use active verbs to describe what is happening instead of passive verbs, which tend to be longer and less direct. Active sentences are also more powerful because they imply action rather than just describing it. An example: “James was hit by the car” vs. “The car hit James.”

One way you can keep things short and simple is by choosing short words over long ones when possible (e.g., I prefer “fast” over “rapid”). 

This strategy also helps with clarity: if you have a sentence like “I went to school with my brother,” chances are good that many people won’t know what you mean unless they have been raised in the same family as you! A better option would be something like “My brother and I went to school together.”

Another strategy that will help make sure readers understand your point is breaking up long paragraphs into shorter ones; this can make reading much easier for busy readers (and even those who aren’t so busy!).

Writing Creatively Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated Or Lofty – Just Do What Comes Naturally To You!

The best way to become a better writer is by doing what comes naturally to you. Don’t worry about the latest trends, or how others are writing their stories just write your own story, in whatever style suits your personality and experience best.

If you want to experiment with different styles of storytelling, go for it! Again, don’t worry about what other people think of your work; just do what feels right for you, and remember that one person’s idea of “weird” might be another person’s idea of “awesome.”

And if it doesn’t work? That’s okay too! Fail often enough until something sticks that’s how we learn new things. The most important thing is not being afraid to try new things so long as we stay true to ourselves and ultimately that means finding creative nonfiction that resonates with us because then (and only then) will we truly enjoy reading our writing

Dialogues play a crucial role in driving a story’s narrative and character development. Unlock the art of crafting compelling dialogues with insights from our comprehensive guide to writing dialogue that enthralls readers and enriches storytelling.


I hope this article has helped you to better understand the creative nonfiction genre. I know that there are many insecurities writers have when it comes to writing creative nonfiction, but we’re all human and it’s okay! 

If you feel stuck or discouraged at all times, remember that you’re not alone. I’ve been there too and found my way through writing about things that matter most: family, relationships, loss – all of which can be written about from different perspectives depending on how much embellishment goes into each story

Further Reading

Brainly: Get insights into the world of creative nonfiction through discussions and information available on Brainly.

Studocu: Access educational resources related to creative nonfiction from Studocu to enhance your understanding of this writing style.

Writing Cooperative: Explore how writing creative nonfiction can enhance your overall writing skills with this informative article on Writing Cooperative.


What is creative nonfiction?

Creative nonfiction is a literary genre that combines factual accuracy with creative elements to tell a true story in an engaging and imaginative manner.

How does creative nonfiction differ from traditional nonfiction?

While traditional nonfiction focuses on presenting information in a straightforward, informative manner, creative nonfiction employs narrative techniques and creative storytelling to convey real events in a compelling way.

What are some examples of creative nonfiction?

Creative nonfiction includes various forms such as personal essays, memoirs, travel writing, and literary journalism. These genres use narrative techniques to explore real-life experiences.

How can writing creative nonfiction improve my writing skills?

Writing creative nonfiction can enhance your writing skills by helping you develop your narrative voice, storytelling abilities, and attention to detail. It encourages you to think critically about how to engage readers effectively.

Is research important in creative nonfiction?

Yes, research is crucial in creative nonfiction to ensure factual accuracy and provide a strong foundation for your creative narrative. Conducting thorough research enhances the credibility of your work.