Writers Write creates resources for business writers. In this post, we write about how being creative at work improves your writing.
As part of the business writing course we teach at Writers Write we include a module on creativity. If you want to see a competent, skilled and talented business writer quake with fear this would be the place.
I start the session by asking the delegates if they consider themselves creative. Perhaps one or two say a hesitant yes, two or three say maybe, and one always says a very definite no.
How Being Creative At Work Improves Your Writing
What is creativity?
I believe that every single person can be creative. Google says creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness. That would be the ability to draw, to choreograph a new dance, to build, to invent, or to make.
I can’t draw anything other than a stick figure. I can only dance with the aid of alcohol. And building? Well let’s just say my kids ask their father to build their forts. Mine tend to collapse, taking down everything within a ten kilometre radius. But all is not lost. There are things I can do. I like to play with words. I love arranging flowers. I love wrapping gifts.
I create something that was not there before.
Why is it important to be creative at work?
Creativity is what sets you apart in business. We have been raised in a society that does not value or does not prioritise creativity. Doctors, lawyers and accountants have the same degrees. What makes one better than the other? Passion, dedication, work ethic, and creativity all play a role. Experimentation and the willingness to take risks are part and parcel of a creative mind.
Most of our business writing today is loaded with jargon, long passive sentences, and more acronyms than anyone can possibly know the meaning of. This is a problem because complicated documents lead to unclear communication.
When we address the problem creatively, we are willing to change and experiment with words to make new, simple sentences. People who acknowledge their creativity are more inclined to experiment and more able to take risks.
This does not mean you have to wear tie-dye to work. Try writing without the jargon. Create new sentences and simple ways of explaining lazy company speak.
Instead of writing the nonsensical words in the first image, you could say:
Suggested viewing: Ken Robinson’s TED Talk about Schools Killing Creativity.
Find out more about our business writing course, The Plain Language Programme.
by Mia Botha