Writing: art or craft?

I came across this question recently on LinkedIn. Whether the process of writing will be considered an art or a craft.


In case you are confused as to what this means, here are my thoughts on the 2 parameters.

Art- art is generally associated with creativity and flow. There is minimal logic to it, and is largely emotional. There is no right or wrong. Everything goes, because it’s your personal signature.

Craft- This is more scientific, if I can make the vague comparison. Logic, order and format determines what you present and how you present it.

I touched upon this question in a previous post of mine as well, but it’s an intriguing thought, which is why I’m delving into this further.

Here’s what I think

Writing is both an art and a craft. And the ratio of both these aspects depends on your purpose.

If you are a blogger- you are likely to lean towards the art side of it (as I do). Blog posts are supposed to be a flow of your emotions, and you only do a cursory spell check before you hit post.
Personally, I have the format already fixed in my mind before I start writing (bullet points, letter format, prose, story), and I’ve only happened to change the format once in between a post. The words I use also remains the same 95% of the time. Blogs are best when they are raw and true.

If it’s a diary entry- it’s entirely emotional and an art.

If you are a speaker- which is one of my avatars, the process would be 30-70 in favor of craft. You have to keep in mind what you are writing and make sure there is a template/format that ties it all together.
Experimenting with different formats/templates and altering words during delivery always happens with me. The end result is very different from my creative flow; only the core idea remains the same.

If you are a professional writer- as one professional writer told me, the creative part is the easiest. You finish it with one flow. It’s the editing and re-editing of this draft that kills you. The end result again, tilts in favor of art.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that writing, depends largely on the purpose. To me, I’d still tilt in favor of art, because that’s really the underlying purpose of writing; letting your emotions flow. The craft aspect is the demands of the modern professional world.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below!


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