There are some web writers who are able to flip on their creativity switch and make a description of the clunks and bangs of a furnace sound like Beethoven. Then there are writers like me: I tend to approach subjects with a critical eye and an organized mind. I like to line up my facts like little soldiers and lay them out on the page so they’re easy for the reader to understand.
In some ways, this makes writing content easy for me because I can poke around the web, pick up the necessary details, tidy them up, then lay them neatly on the page. On the other hand, the web is overflowing with blogs and articles and how-tos and other neatly organized content. In order for a writer like me to make it in today’s market of killer content and engaged readers, I had to get more creative.
Start With the Perspective
If you’re charged with writing yet another article on laundry tips or furnace repair, chances are there are hundreds of blogs and articles from the obvious perspectives. 10 Signs Your Furnace is About to Kick the Bucket, 3 Ways to Get Cleaner Socks. Done and done.
Thinking about writing another furnace checklist for Bob the Homeowner? Yawn. You have to find a new way in. Think about old ladies, college students, kids, or small business owners. This doesn’t mean that these groups have to be your target audience, only that looking at the problem from their perspective will give you a new way to talk about the subject.
Always Connect with Readers
If you’re writing a research paper, there aren’t many opportunities for you to connect with readers on a personal level. Web writers, however, often have the opportunity to write in a more informal tone and with a little more personality, even if the audience is professional. Connecting directly with your readers will help you write content that is more creative and natural, rather than stuffy and formal.
One way to do this is to start out your piece with a quote, a story, a song lyric, or some other tidbit that will start off your writing in a more narrative way rather than the formulaic posts and bulleted lists that can dry up quickly. Beginning in a creative space will help set your words in the right direction.
Creative Writing Doesn’t Have to be Fluffy
Too many analytic people think that they cannot make the leap into creative writing because they just aren’t the creative writing type. The truth is that creative writing doesn’t have to be bursting with brilliant metaphors and similes; it doesn’t have to be sparkly.
Writing creatively simply means finding a way to reach people in a new way, to connect with real people in a way that draws out a bit of emotional connection. Creative writing means acknowledging the fact that the web is full of boring content and then doing something about it. In other words, creative writing is a problem that can be solved.
Robin K likes to dress words up as fancy little soldiers and then send them to battle gracefully on the web. She practices with little Lego soldiers and her two sons, the masters of all things Lego.