Creative writing – the unwelcome truth

May 09, 2016
Creative writing is not a science, it’s an art. I know there are creative writing courses wherever you look but I am not sure that you can learn it. Not really.
The problem is that creative writing is less to do with the words chosen and more about the thinking process.  If you think in straight lines it’s very difficult to be creative.  Instead you need to let your mind wander, drift, head off at tangents that will probably lead nowhere but might, just might, bring a touch of brilliance.  It’s not hard – then again, neither is anything else if you can do it.

What’s the value in business?  Much better to get straight to the point, be clear, unambiguous, direct.  Most of the time that’s true.  It’s very rare that I would choose two words when one will do or even three syllables if they are not essential.  But we are not robots: we are people with emotion, frailty and our own special hang-ups.  Sometimes we need a little more stimulation than the simple unadorned facts to get us going.  Sometimes we just like to be told a story.

And it is by telling stories that we can influence people.  Every child loves to be told a story; in that respect we don’t change as we get older.  Since the days of ancient soothsayers who would travel around peddling their own versions of ‘the truth’, we have craved a release from our own hum-drum existence into a world more exciting and beautiful in which our fantasies can become reality, if only for a while. Those stories we remember, and business messages can also become much more memorable with the aid of a little imagination.

But my advice is not to force it if it’s not there.  The people who can write creatively, just can.  Let them get on with it, sit back and enjoy their talent as you would a dancer on a stage or a masterpiece hanging in the National Gallery.

Steve Jordan, Managing Director, The Words WorkshopAnyone can learn to play a guitar, but to be Prince, McTell or Clapton, you need a little more than practice.


Steve Jordan
Managing Director