In the many workplaces I’ve worked in, some stand out vividly. Why? Because the employers there embraced their teams’ creativity, nurtured original approaches, and allowed the creative process to develop.
Ample brainstorming and thinking time is encouraged, forcing designers and content developers to dream up all kinds of wacky ideas and then hone them down to something outstanding. Thus were born unique pitches to the media, eye-catching brochures and memorable magazine layouts.
New perspectives on storytelling
It seems that at each stage – story planning, writing, photography, design and editing – working professionals were awarded for thinking beyond boundaries.
Indeed, some of the most stimulating and enjoyable moments I’ve experienced in the workplace occurred in the brainstorming meetings I had with creative teams whose members respected one another enough to collaborate on innovative approaches to produce striking design and writing packages.
Take it slowly at first
Still, it may not come naturally for those of us who work with words to expand our horizons beyond the story we’re writing. Every time I’ve been forced to look up from my work and take a breath, it has widened my perspective. In developing my stories, I often include my clients’ art director, photographer and graphic designer into the key messages I’m trying to impart. In doing that, I become a better storyteller.
One reason is that artists ask a lot of questions: Is that the best way? Are there other options we could explore? In “7 Real-World Ways to Think Like an Artist for Better Content Marketing,” Sonia Simone, co-founder and chief content officer of Rainmaker Digital, notes that “It truly doesn’t matter what your topic is. If you ask questions – lots of them – you’ll start to come up with interesting answers. Questions lead us to new places. They build cathedrals and pyramids and space stations.”
How can writers change our ways?
Just as participating in a writing workshop can help your writing become crisp and lean, so can conversing with your colleagues and asking their creative advice about our stories.
Thinking visually requires us to include creativity in our world. We visit museums full of amazing works of art; we walk our dog in the park and breathe the fresh air; we take a drive to the beach and enjoy the sound of the pounding surf.
Those experiences beg us to use our senses fully, and can be the seeds that lead to ideas and approaches that come from very different places than we’re used to. We must be open to the possibilities and the perspective of our photographers and designers. Melding words with pictures is the best way to communicate our ideas quickly and concisely to our audience.
Delving into your artsy side can introduce us to new ideas and renew our creative energy, so much so that you return to your computer focused, inspired and ready to rock and roll.
Putting it all together
Becoming open-minded to creativity means not dismissing original thinking as silly or dumb. Each idea may be the kernel of a new approach; you never know what will come out of a good brainstorming. That said, it’s important that everything you produce have your ‘stamp’ on it. Your writing style, thorough research and attention to detail make your writing distinctive. And your writing is only enhanced by a brilliant photo in a sophisticated layout.
Most important, don’t let criticism discourage you. Criticism can be one way to learn and improve. But don't let thoughtless input squash your creativity or cause you to doubt yourself. You are doing what you love – and that is made clear in everything you produce.
Six Proven Ways to Increase Your Creativity