We’re all creative on different levels. Being creative doesn’t translate to possessing the talent to draw or paint beautiful pictures, it can mean solving complex problems using solutions no one else dreamt possible. Next time you’re about to tell someone you’re not creative: stop. Be patient. You will discover and develop your creative talents over time.
Innovation is not some useless corporate jargon. It’s a vital building block of American culture. Without it our business world would be void of character and substance. We would not have cars, planes, computers, or mobile devices. Think about that the next time you plan to insert a form of the word innovation into a press release.
In 2012 while working with my mentor Anne Witkavitch in my pursuit of an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing at WCSU, I wrote a review of Little Bets by Peter Sims, a book I quite enjoyed. Little Bets looks at how creativity is applied successfully in various types of business ventures through creative risk-taking. Anne graciously offered to post my review on her professional consultancy blog – the link is below.
Long blogs are the equivalent of an overtime baseball game ending well after midnight. The audience arrived interested in the outcome, but they are tired and ready to move on after the first 500 words. Likewise, readers will disappear quickly as they discover a blog is nothing more than a self-serving meandering stream of thought.
Avoid the “TL;DR” Declaration
You might have seen the comment “TL;DR” on social media posts regarding a shared blog article. Readers who deem a linked blog much too long to spend their time on, typically more than six minutes, will label it with the kiss of death: “TL;DR” or “Too Long; Don’t Read.” It’s easy to get carried away on a subject, particularly when you are passionate. The good news is you can do it thoughtfully and with brevity.
Spare Us Your Rants
Countless blogs are filled with rants about politics, religion, and product failures among other polarizing topics. People anger easily and feel the need to express their frustrations to the world. Meanwhile, other people are not likely to read an angry rant unless they share the same passion for the same topic. Yes, writing out frustrations can be cathartic to the benefit of one’s mental health, but there are better ways to accomplish this.
Know Your Intentions
When you set out to write your blog know what you want to achieve. What are you paying forward? A successful blog offers insight, advice, information, education, or entertainment – or some mix thereof. You can absolutely gain catharsis in writing a blog that helps another learn from your experiences while releasing your pent-up energy.
Know Your Audience
If you are a writer your audience may include newcomers looking for writing advice or readers interested in the genre in which you work. A video game fan may be sharing tips and tricks with other like-minded fans. A chef might be writing to someone who searching for cooking methods. It’s not rocket science. Write about your unique expertise or perspective for an audience that is most likely to be receptive to your knowledge. Just don’t make the mistake of telling them what they already know.
Good Writing Matters
You were once educated in your writing language, but you may have allowed some rules to lapse. Grammatical rules exist to keep writing clear and concise. Stumbling across multiple errors in an article is quite discouraging to readers; they strike as unprofessional and sometimes just plain lazy. Do yourself a favor – proofread before you publish. There is no shame in referring to a dictionary or thesaurus when you need, or following a set of guidelines on best grammar practices.
Offer A Resolution
Now that you have established your subject matter, goals, and audience, you need a conclusion that entices your readers to take action. You may want them to share the article, engage in conversation in the comments section, or apply key points in their own lives. You are now bringing your intentions full circle.
So go forth and write well. Keep your blogs short and concise. And share this advice with your friends and network.
[Editor’s Note: this post also appeared on LinkedIn Pulse on July 8, 2015 posted by D.T. Griffith.]
Writers, musician, visual artists, performers, designers, comedians, filmmakers, and all other creatives not listed here….
HarvestingCreativity.com is looking for creative professionals to share their stories and experiences.
What drives your work? What mistakes have led to your success? How does your creative process flow? How do you get out of bed in the morning and create? What is the craziest story tied to your profession? How do current politics and economics effect your profession?Why do you bother doing what you do? What advice do you have for newcomers to your profession?
I think you get the idea.
I would love to hear from you. Email me your ideas email@example.com and let’s tell the world what it means to be a creative.
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Motivation has been on my mind lately, due in large part to reading Daniel Pink’s Drive, which I recommend everyone to check out. So I’m looking at how it relates to what I do as a writer and how I can write about its existence in a professional setting. And I continue to wrestle with it.
Then I had the brainstorm when fear motivates us. What could possibly be good about a negative motivator? Are there exceptions to the rules of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation? As I felt the need for my bones to rip out of my skin in pondering this, an epiphany struck me – I’m fighting through motivational issues right now as I type these words. Feeling unmotivated to write about motivation. Not good.
Returning to my earlier question about fear motivating us in a positive way – sure, in that no one wants to…
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