What is the definition of creative essay

Writing lessons

"Creative writing" is a collective term taken over from the USA in the 1970s and increasingly independently defined since the 1980s (cf. Spinner 1993) for writing processes that, in contrast to "free writing", consciously set rules and / or provide patterns that to provide inspiration and imagination in the learners.

Kaspar H. Spinner (1993) characterizes creative writing according to three principles:

  • Irritation: Breaking through the familiar everyday patterns
  • Expression: Self-expression
  • Imagination: Imagination and imagination


Taking up the concepts of free essay from reform pedagogy, there was a desire to change school writing in the 1970s: Back then, creative thinking meant breaking norms (also in German lessons). From the 1980s, however, it was more associated with research into one's own consciousness and possibilities. That meant a retreat into the private sphere: writing was now considered a means against the anonymization of society and had therapeutic content such as self-expression and expressions about the inner world. The writing situations were deliberately designed with a large number of exercises and methods that were intended to encourage writing (see requirements and guidelines).

Psychology, especially the depth psychology according to Sigmund Freud as well as learning and developmental psychology, had a significant influence on creative writing - it is said that in creative writing emotional content can be represented and repressed things are shown. And language development psychology according to L.S. Vygotsky sees creative writing as an opportunity to activate the "inner language", which is more open and subjective (see personal writing).

Creative writing is understood and applied differently (cf. aspects of creative writing). More than other approaches, it encompasses the whole person, can reduce writer's block, increase performance, maintain the joy of writing, but also introduce literature (see writing literature?). However, special educational sensitivity is required of the teachers, since creativity can be disturbed by assessment and evaluation - therefore, new requirements are placed on the professional competence to find other ways of assessment (e.g. a joint discussion with colleagues, classmates, see revising and publishing). It is just as important that a creative attitude determines the entire lesson - not only in German lessons should fundamentally be given the opportunity to think creatively, to find solutions to problems independently, to allow mistakes as a path of the learning process.

In the German-language subject-didactic literature, creative writing has always been a fighting term that opposed the rigidification of essay lessons and the "obsolescence" of school lessons in general. With reference to Rico (1984) one emphasized the function of creative procedures to strengthen the "right hemisphere" (half of the brain) with its capacity for holistic perception and the formation of feelings in relation to the "left hemisphere". That is now considered obsolete. But it explains the great importance of literary writing patterns in creative work. The use of such patterns (literary genres and forms) results in a concept of literary writing (cf. Abraham / Brendel-Perpina 2015).

A strong emphasis on the personality-building, possibly also therapeutic value of such procedures, as they come from Gestalt psychology (e.g. Fritz Perls), leads to personal writing (cf. Schuster 1994), a more communicative and technical orientation to journalistic writing (cf. Rau 2014).

Finally, if one emphasizes the process character of a (long-term) examination of writing tasks and goals, one speaks of "writing as a process".