Writing in the Business World
The Post-It Note, beloved of both writers and business people, is a direct result of 3M’s investment in creativity. The company’s “15 percent rule” encouraged researchers to free up 15% of their time for projects of their own design. In 1974, Art Fry became interested in sticking bookmarks to the pages of his choir hymnal, and his colleague Dr. Spence Silver had already developed a not-so-sticky glue for a company that prided itself on superior bonding power. Soon, their little yellow pads were on practically every desk in the country.
“I believe in businesses where you engage in creative thinking, and where you form some of your deepest relationships. If it isn’t about the production of the human spirit, we are in big trouble.” —Anita Roddick
No matter what business you’re in, you’re likely generating more words than will fit on a Post-It Note. There are e-mails to write and proposals to draft. Investors and board members await letters and reports. Communiqués, press releases and newsletters need to be proofed and sent out. With all the deadlines and snowballing pressures within the workplace, time and space for creativity may feel minimal.
Why should a businessperson take a creative writing class? I’ll give you three reasons, because I know you’re short on time.
- At the heart of both good business and creative writing is communication. The first draft begins with the essentials of what you need to convey. The second or third draft is more concise. The final draft is confident and expressive.
- Writers know their audience, just as anyone in business must. Practice choosing the right words can make all the difference in engaging clients and inspiring colleagues.
- Writing creatively or in a journal is a proven stress-release technique. Who doesn’t need that?
Creative writing can be a vehicle for self-expression or processing the world, for telling stories and capturing moments. It can also be an excellent model for developing your ideas, communicating your strategies, and energizing your message.
Cristina Pippa is teaching "Inspired Business Writing" this fall at the Loft. She has taught in the Television and Film Arts Program and the Theatre Department at SUNY Buffalo State College. She completed her BA in the Creative Writing Program at Columbia University and her MFA in the Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop, where she received the Iowa Fellowship for the Arts. Her screenplays have won third place in the A Film Writer Screenplay Contest, top ten for Drama in the StoryPros Competition, and top 10% at the Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition. She writes coverage for screenplays and works as a script doctor. She is currently at work on a new screenplay inspired by her family in Sardinia.