The definitive guide to creative writing: how to create compelling content
Creative writing can be a powerful tool for communication. Think about what content you remember best; is it an article full of dry facts? Or is it a social media or blog post that was thought-provoking and informative?
When writing government communication, this tool can be used to engage your audience and convey your messages in a simple, straightforward way. It adds meaning to your messages and helps you create compelling, informative content.
By providing a distinct voice for your department or agency it sets you apart from others and makes your content memorable.
Here’s our top tips to help get your creative writing juices flowing to produce compelling content with impact.
Show up and throw up
Often the hardest part of writing is getting started. If this sounds familiar, task yourself with the challenge of writing whatever comes into your head for 10 minutes.
Write down everything that comes to mind as fast as you can and forget about editing and re-reading, let it all out. Don’t even correct your spelling – just sit down and write!
This exercise helps remove any barriers or obstacles you put in the way of writing great content and allow your real creativity to escape.
Don’t try to get it right the first time
Your writing only gets better with time, so don’t agonise over getting it right or wrong on your first try.
Creative writing is an iterative process and even the most talented writers spend time reworking content.
After completing your first draft, put it aside and come back to it with fresh eyes. This will allow you to come back with a clear mind and new ideas.
Outline your ideas
Mind-mapping is a great way to get all of your ideas out of your head and onto paper. Start with keywords and images and don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense at first. You can always come back and organise your ideas later.
Once you’ve laid out your thoughts, start to sort them into an outline for your piece. This will help ensure it spreads your message, the ideas flow and keeps you on track if you start to get lost when writing.
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Get your creative thinking cap on!
At contentgroup, we’ve made a big effort to run a rapid ideas session at the start of every project we work on. During these sessions, we participate in brainstorming exercises that stimulate creativity and get us thinking outside the box.
These sessions have produced a number of exciting ideas for our clients and have saved us a lot of thinking time in the process.
The one rule of our creative session is there are no rules; any idea is a good idea!
Practice makes perfect
The best way to improve your writing and build on creativity is to practice, every day.
Simple tasks like writing an email or memo are great ways to build your skills, develop a distinct voice and tone and start to add some creativity to your writing.
A good exercise is to challenge yourself with different styles to diversify your writing and learn new ways of presenting information.
The ability to creatively and effectively convey messages to tell your story is one of the most important skills you can develop.
By taking these steps you will build your confidence and voice and create some really unique compelling content.
Learn more with our Ultimate 10 Step Content Creation Checklist for Government Communication.
Also published on Medium.