“Writing is only limited by the imagination within us and the reality around us. Consequently writing is unlimited!” ~ Judy Dippel

This is a writing truth whether you are writing for business or for pleasure. Use all of your senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.

Most of us have heard the phrase, “Bloom where you are planted.” An example of this is the gray, windy and rainy Oregon spring day in which I write this newsletter. It could be depressing, but within my imagination I envision the beauty of the rainbow that will glow at the end of the rain and the bright yellow crocus and daffodils that will soon be seen pushing upward, giving us the first signs of spring—rain or shine.

I live in Oregon, so I get real and ask myself, “What do I love about rain?” I love the sound of it tapping away on my kitchen skylight. I love the effervescent green it creates in the lawns and the vibrant color within the flowers it feeds. I don’t necessarily like the slugs and snails that also enjoy the rain, but that’s my reality.

Ask yourself what is news-worthy or a story-starter for fiction or nonfiction from my two paragraphs above. At first glance, I count 20, but there are many more, because it’s all about your imagination. You simply have to open your eyes to the world around you or envision in your minds-eye. If you do so, you will never be stumped with nothing to write. This is true for promoting your business, as well as for those of you who write for sheer pleasure.

Let’s talk how this influences a commercial newsletter. Many of my clients are companies who send out e-newsletters. You may be one. It’s distinctly different from direct marketing materials in style and even content, and because of this writing it can seem intimidating. You want to “show, not tell” even though you won’t be writing about rainbows and daffodils!

Generally speaking, a direct marketing piece primary purpose is to sell, whereas a newsletter is the next best thing to talking to you personally. Newsletters help to build trusted business relationships. They are written in a conversational style, with key points evident, like this:

To assure your e-newsletter is well received, consider the following:

Link back to your company mission and yearly goals as newsletter content is developed—   this will help your writing remain focused, balanced and consistent.
Selling is not your primary objective with an e-newsletter. Rather the purpose is to build relationship, allowing your audience to get to know what you do and why you do it.
As you write it, ask yourself what information you need to provide to your audience. How, and about what, will you educate and increase their knowledge? What expertise, service or product do you have that your audience needs?
And … remember show what you do and why you do it. Don’t forget to include basic information. Link to your website. Include where you are physically located and how customers/clients can best contact you.

For you CREATIVE WRITING BUFFS, “bloom where you are planted.” Open your eyes.

 

As you are reading this, where are you? Look around. What do you see that gets your creative juices flowing? Mine is my dog. She is on all-fours, tense as she stares nonstop at a squirrel who is taunting her from the tree outside my office window. This could be a great opening page for a children’s fiction story, or an interesting hook for nonfiction article about the dynamic between dogs and squirrels.

In the same way, to begin writing, use all of your senses. Here are a few from me as I sit in my office. Hear: The garbage truck just rumbled to a stop, dumping my garbage into their truck. What happens to my garbage from here is a great story-starter for fiction or tremendous content for nonfiction. Touch: Today in my office, an ant just crawled across my arm—we’ve been fighting them for months, yet I hate to kill them. Why is that? Smell: The smell of coffee makes me relax. What are some other smells that bring fond memories or help me to relax? Taste: The zinc tablet I’m sucking on is supposed to shorten a cold—true or false?

I think you get my point. We are never at a shortage for things to write about. Again, we are only limited by the imagination within us and the reality around us—write on!

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