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Communications, Design

Don’t let the corporate world crush your creativity

Writing is creative, but it can also be a demanding job, with the associated pressures of deadlines, review cycles and other people’s needs. As professional (or semi-professional?) communicators, we can’t simply await the inspiration of one’s Muse. Writing is something that we have to get done regardless of how we’re feeling, writers’ block or whatever else we’d rather be doing.

Deadlines are deadlines, and the business’ needs are paramount, after all they reflect (or at least, should be aligned with) the needs of your readers.

But are your creative talents undervalued? Is your role within Marketing or Internal Communications treated like any other task-based role?

The business world demands that we deliver the copy, the content, on time and to a decent standard – time and time again. Yet as communicators, we’re not simply churning through our work-list and trying to get everything done by 5pm. We’re creatives, and we have to consider a multitude of stakeholders when we’re crafting our articles.

When writing, we need to factor in time for our own personal review of our work, and reflection on its scope and impact. How can we be creative if we’re chained to that desk for eight hours of the day staring at the dame dying plant and trying to block out the inane gossip of the open-plan office?

Writing isn’t just done at the keyboard; a good deal of writing is done within one’s head while walking around, pottering about the home and office, talking to people and surfing the web. Writing starts with an inner conversation with one’s self, don’t you agree? In order to be heard, our inner thoughts need a little space and time to coalesce.

Don’t let the open-plan office and the corporate ‘work hard’ culture silence your inner conversation or snuff your creative spark. Take some decent breaks throughout the day regardless of how colleagues from other departments choose to work (head down, chained to their email client and Word documents).

Let your boss know that you’re popping downstairs or out for a coffee while you chew over some primordial ideas for that big comms piece on ‘continuous improvement’. Let your team know when you’re crafting some troublesome paragraphs – maybe they’ll leave you alone for half an hour.

You don’t have to be aloof or crazy to be respected as a creative, just ensure that people get a grasp of what it takes to write hundreds and thousands of words each and every day – let them know that you choose your words wisely, and meditate on your paragraphs. This isn’t a brain dump, this is well though out content ready for consumption and digestion by a specified audience.

Good communications should be respected – start with respecting yourself as a creative and respecting the process that you yourself require in order to craft the finest comms.


About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.

One thought on “Don’t let the corporate world crush your creativity

  • I feel a bit of a fraud commenting on this post as I’m not touched by the corporate world, but it still makes a lot of sense to me. I write volumes and volumes in my head, but the majority of it stays firmly there! I think my head is a better writer than I am, because I can’t always translate the manuscripts of my mind into good, solid writing….

    You’re right though, quiet time within one’s mind to think and ponder is essential to any writer.

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