TC Myths

All technical communication myths in place.

Technical writing is not creative

Technical documentation should be plain and straightforward. There is little room for creativity when writing technical documentation.


This myth depends on what you consider creative.

Anuradha (14 Technical Writing Misconceptions That You Should Know!) turns the myth around by saying that “Catching and holding a reader’s attention is a creative business.” Creativity is required to make the content attractive to the reader.

Caruso (Technical Writing Is Boring, and 5 Other Misconceptions About This $100K Career) refutes the myth by describing personal experiences as a freelance technical writer.

It’s possible that this myth grew out of observations, such as when Patel compares it to creative writing by saying that, “Creative writing is written to entertain and educate,” and describing how the pleasure derived from creative work exceeds that a reader would get from techincal content. While one might evoke more pleasure than another in the reader, that seems to be disconnected from (and almost non sequitur to) the creativity required to write technical content. Mishra refutes the myth when she describes some of the creative activities in which she engages while writing technical content.

Survival tips

  • Technical writing is very diverse.


If creative means imagining things and then writing about them, then no, technical writing is not particulary creative. If creative means thinking of ways to make technical, factual, and detailed content interesting and engaging, technical writing can require considerable creativity—even more so, when you consider the creativity required to solve the many challenges technical writers encounter on the job. But, you probably won’t get to write about unicorns in technical content…unless you’re very creative.