Attention Corporate Writers: You Have 2 Hours to Be Creative

June 30, 2010  |   Posted by :   |   Copywriting,Corporate Messaging,Corporate Writing,Slideshow   |   2 Comments»

Corporate writers have everything they need these days–except time to create. Two hours to be creative? That’s not an exaggeration. It’s a recent quote from a fellow writer, whose boss would rather she crank out words than “waste time” staring at clouds.

I like staring at clouds. I like daydreaming. In fact, it’s some of the most productive creative time a corporate writer can have (at least, for those who have windows).

Even the guys at Harvard agree. According to Peter Bregman in Harvard Business Review, our best ideas come when we’re being unproductive: “Our minds begin to wander, looking for something exciting, something interesting to land on. And that’s where creativity arises… To lose those moments, to replace them with tasks and efficiency, is a mistake.”

What’s worse, we don’t just lose these moments. We “actively throw them away,” according to Bregman.

And we do so in the name of productivity. Why write one great article when you can knock out two mediocre ones? Why discover the one big idea that repositions your company when you can regurgitate the same talking points in half the time?

Why think when you can simply do?

I’ll tell you why. Because that’s where the best creative ideas come from.

Make no mistake: Agency writers feel the same pressure as their in-house brethren do. The debate over timesheet write-offs is raging now more than ever. And according to some, it’s driving the best talent out of these firms.

Says one agency writer: “You can make more money off the best work I produce than you can the quick work I produce. Because no client we have can duplicate my best work. They can all duplicate my quick work.”

So what should you do: Write fast, or write right?

Maybe, you don’t have to make a choice. For nearly 12 years, I’ve been creating Corporate Messaging Platforms to help my clients and me do better work in less time.

Corporate Messaging Platforms give you the freedom of a narrow focus. So you have more time to think creatively. And, satisfy your employer’s need for more efficiency.

As one corporate writer recently reminded me, even Michelangelo had to work for the Pope. And people still look up to his work.

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2 Comments for this entry

  • Andy Bartling

    June 30th, 2010 on 8:43 pm

    Writer Insider Note: Here’s a comment from Linked In’s Certified Professional Writers Association group:

    “There was a video games development company which turned its back on the standard corporate philosophy – it set aside a huge recreation room for its programmers and designers – and became successful because it encouraged creative play time.

    For writers, though, deadlines are often a fact of life – the trick is to make sure the deadlines are consistent with maintaining quality, and that usually means factoring in ‘creative daydreaming’, or ‘thought-crunching’ time.”

  • Mike

    July 1st, 2010 on 11:18 am

    The time spent on a creative assignment, whether it’s a written one, or an illustrated one, cannot—and should not—be measured by the corporate clock. Writers and artists never really do ‘clock out’ (or in) for the day, the creative wheels always spinning as they draw from a well of inspiration, education and personal experience that routinely takes them back through past jobs, past relationships, and lived moments that sometimes go as far back as their earliest conscious memories. Meeting deadlines of course is the required duty of the corporate-creative practitioner, but make no mistake, a writing assignment that is due in two hours requires a lifetime of ability, understanding and experience. Non-creative, number-crunching widget producers will never be able to understand this.