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This month’s achievements

New-Year-Celebration-Pictures

For the month of June I participated in a blogging challenge created by the awesome Michelle Goode from WriteSoFluid.com.  You can check out my interview about the challenge on her site HERE.

Overall the challenge was amazing.  I did end up missing a couple of days, but I managed to nail down most of them and I’m pretty happy with the outcome.  I loved having the daily inspiration and I definitely hope she creates another challenge like this so I can participate again.

Looking back on the month a lot has happened (it always surprises me how much can change in a month).  I had a couple of goals that I outlined when I started the challenge this month and I thought it would be good to take another look at them to see how they worked out…

1) To finish my novel to the point of sending it to beta readers.

Holy cow!  I did it!  I’ve sent my novel out to around ten people and I’m so nervous about it, but now that it’s out there I can’t take it back!

2) To get at least one more client for my burgeoning freelance corporate copywriting career.

I have one in the works, not set in stone, but definitely a good possibility.

3) To finish my query letter for my novel and find at least five agents to query when the novel is ready to go.

I have definitely finished a rough draft of my query letter, it still needs a bit of tweaking and some more personality, but overall, it’s getting there.

4) To decide on my next novel (at least a basic story).

Ben and I have started plotting out my next novel, this one is going forward with more of a pre-defined structure as an experiment in how I work best (to outline or not to outline).

5) To maintain the highest possible level of awesomeness.

Always.

Wow!  I honestly didn’t think I would have achieved all my goals.  Some are a little up in the air, it’s true, but most of them are rock solid.  Sweet.

So what have I learned?
Setting goals it cool, kind of like making lists where you can look back and tick them off and it’s super satisfying.  I’ve also been inspired by my month to stick to blogging more.  I definitely won’t be able to do it everyday, but it’s good to know I have enough to say to be able to blog almost everyday for a month.  Very promising.

So a big thank you to Michelle Goode for being my muse this month!
How about you, what were your goals this month?  Did you achieve them?

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The Beauty of Corporate Writing

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Corporate writing can be beautiful.

Don’t believe me?  I guess I don’t blame you, but I’m telling the truth.

Fiction writing is an unbounded thing, wild and fancy free.  There are some boundaries, sure, but not many.  You’re unfettered, letting your imagination wander and run wherever it wants to.  Although this can be wonderful, it can be intimidating.  With fiction writing, it’s all on you.  It’s up to you to be fabulously imaginative, unique, un-cliche.  I used to have a reoccurring fever dream when I was young.  In it, everything felt big, not big and free, but big in an impossibly massive way that gave my little mind an existential freak out.  In my dreams the world felt too huge, too unwieldy, there was too much to be done, to be explored.  That’s sometimes how I feel about fiction writing.  Like if I pick one idea, I’m leaving too much out there, unwritten.

Corporate writing is the exact opposite.  It is tightly bound by rules and values, concepts and plans.  You must take a specific idea and communicate it in the exact way someone else wants you to (but with your own flair).  You must aggregate massive amounts of information and churn them through the well oiled machine of your mind, then it must come out clearly and concisely on the other end.

Sound boring?  Think again.

I think what people often forget is that corporate writing is still writing, so it’s a gift.  The trick is to remember it is writing and you are a writer.  As writers we have the unique enjoyment of being allowed (and sometimes even paid) to play with words.  It’s our job to put one word after another and make them sound smooth, flawless and wonderful.  Corporate writing can be a challenge, which is great, and better yet you are allowed the opportunity to add in your own personal challenge.  The challenge of making it beautiful.

So what is beauty when it comes to corporate writing?  Pretty much the same thing that beauty in fiction is.  Here’s some ideas for challenges you can issue yourself when it comes to adding beauty to your corporate words:

Brevity

I think brevity is stunning.  The simplicity, the awe-inspiring lack of confusion and clutter.  It takes a masterful mind to write something short, but exactly to the point.

Rich Imagery

I was writing a proposal for a client the other day and I was inspired by how much imagery I got to infuse.  It was a challenge to balance the imagery with the information, but by the end I was proud of the simple beauty of the piece.


Making it compelling

A lot of corporate writing can lean towards being a little dry, but it’s your job as the wordsmith to make it compelling.  Words have an endless amount of combinations, but if you choose the right order, any piece can have an element of art to it.

Information

Weaving information into the writing can be a challenge, but to do it well can be enormously satisfying.  Think of all the times you’ve had to communicate a bit of information.  You juggle the words, play with them, move them around, then bingo!  If that eureka moment isn’t a bit of beauty then I’ll eat this paragraph.

Still think I’m nuts for thinking corporate writing can have beauty in it?
Just surf the internet for a bit and check out websites.  Read a bunch of the copy and compare.  Some websites are quick, punchy and to the point, while others are slow, paunchy and drop the ball.

Corporate writing can be beautiful.

Beauty is everywhere, but sometimes we have to look a little closer to find it.

Look closer at your corporate writing and tell me how you find beauty in it.