Writing goes with the job of being a business owner or corporate manager. Whether you are writing copy for your website, putting together a newsletter for your database, crafting social media updates or brainstorming inspiring words for an annual report, all of these pieces demand a certain level of writing skill.
Business writing demands a way with words across myriad documents that entertain or inform or entice readers – sometimes all at once. So what can you do to tighten up those writing skills to ensure your business words hit the mark every time? My suggestion is to get creative.
I know I’ve just been outlining the different types of documents you may be called on to write for business and now I’m telling you to try out other writing styles, but bear with me.
Trying new writing styles can work wonders for your business writing. I predominantly write non-fiction as a journalist, blogger, student and business author. However, I’ve been writing fictional short stories and short memoir pieces (or personal essays) and through experimenting with different genres I’ve discovered some bonuses for my business writing.
Here are three ways creative writing can help your business writing:
- Your vocabulary improves – as you explore new ways to express how you or your character is feeling, words and phrases you wouldn’t normally use present themselves. The process of thinking creatively to incorporate these new words follows through to your business writing too. In addition, reading different genres expands your vocabulary so it’s a great excuse to hit your local library or book store.
- Alternative structures encourage different thought patterns – while you may be used to writing in a standard format that introduces the topic, explains your argument with pieces of information and examples and then concludes by wrapping it all together, creative writing follows a different structure. This difference helps you formulate new ideas by organising your thoughts in new ways.For example, journalists are trained to cover the five Ws (who, what, where, when and why) in the first paragraph or two, while memoir generally starts with drama to reel the reader in, but flash fiction often covers an entire scenario with drama, emotion and a climax in 500 words or less. Trying out new writing styles will help you hone your thoughts and get your point across effectively.
- Think of the hook – many words have been devoted to certain author’s abilities to hook their readers with a compelling first line. The same can be said with hooking a business reader too, so it’s worth thinking about why some writers have that knack and how they do it.
Read these examples of compelling first lines from fiction:
- Kate Morton starts The Forgotten Garden at a point the reader instantly knows is important from the words used and the image they portray: “It was dark where she was crouched but the little girl did as she’d been told”.
- In Rebecca, Daphne DuMaurier painted a vivid picture for her reader when she wrote, “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”.
- Sara Gruen’s narrator instantly draws the reader in by saying, “I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other”. How could the reader put Water for Elephants down without learning the story behind that statement?
Writing creatively challenges the author to create characters and scenarios the reader will follow, cheer for, laugh and cry at right through to the last page. The words used to build those works are equally powerful when used for business purposes. Try a new writing style to freshen up your business words and see what happens as a result.