Business Writing: Does your Business English need a little innovation? Try creative writing (Guest Post)
Do you ever feel like your English doesn’t tell your whole story? That it’s still sometimes hard to think on your feet? That the language is not quite yours?
When you need to use English to express your best ideas, you need to be able to innovate and to be yourself in the language. Especially when you’re counting on English to be a vehicle that will carry your career forward.
So why not try a fresh and innovative approach to your English study? Why not try a little creative writing?
Are you a goal-oriented person with a fast-paced lifestyle? Are you thinking you don’t have time for creative writing? Then read on, this is especially for you.
Because creativity and connection to your life are not just fluff and fun, luxuries you can put off until you succeed. They may be the secret to your success.
Today let’s take a look at four reasons a busy and motivated person like you should carve out a little time for creative writing.
One: Creative writing helps you think (and innovate!) in English.
You’ve already seen here on English With a Twist that you can use writing to help you prepare for challenging and even uncomfortable situations that may arise in the workplace.
But writing doesn’t just help you prepare for specific situations. Keep up a writing habit over time, and you’ll change the way you think (and speak) in English. You’ll find your words more easily, and start expressing yourself in a way that feels natural to you.
Creative writing can help you get the most from your writing habit. Why?
When you use creative writing techniques, you challenge yourself to
- Take on new situations,
- Think on your feet.
You forget how hard you’re working as you immerse yourself in the language and invent new characters, situations or capture moments from your own life. But make no mistake, creative writing is challenging.
That’s why it’s so effective.
Two: Creative writing makes English part of your ‘me time.’
Worried about finding the time to improve your English? Some of the best advice you can possibly take is to make English part of your ‘me time.’
If improving your English always feels like ‘work,’ it can be hard to invest your precious free time in practicing.
Want your English to reflect who you truly are without sacrificing your time for fun, meaning and inspiration?
Creative writing can help because it’s
- A fun, enjoyable way to immerse yourself in English.
- Self-paced. You can enjoy creative writing in small doses each day or set aside some time for more intensive focus on your writing.
- Full of meaning. I know so many people who start out with creative writing because it’s enjoyable, because they want to improve their English. But they keep doing it because it changes the way they view the world and themselves.
- Intellectually stimulating. Creative writing is an art form, after all. You can enjoy the writing of other authors as you find inspiration for your own writing.
- A chance to connect with others. While writing is something you do at your own pace and on your own time, there are also many opportunities to share your work or connect with others who enjoy writing. Want an invitation to a small community to support your reading and writing habits? You’ll get one when you sign up for my short, free creative writing course here.
When life feels fast, you owe it to yourself to reach your professional goals in a way that also brings some meaning, beauty and inspiration into your life.
And if one of your professional goals is improving your English–maybe it’s time you tried creative writing.
Three: Creative writing helps you slow down and appreciate what matters.
I can’t tell you what makes life so fast or how to find more minutes in your day.
But writing–especially creative writing techniques can help you change the way you face this busy world.
Here are a few of the unexpected ‘side-effects’ of a creative writing habit:
- Mindfulness, presence: Creative writing forces you to notice things–the way people speak, the sights and smells around you, places, people so that you can capture them on the page.
- A new awareness of your priorities: Telling your own story…or creating a short piece of fiction about a topic that matters to you can give you insights into your own experience, and into what matters to you.
- Perspective: it lets you explore situations in new ways, and changes the way you view worries and problems.
If you’re working in a demanding job and reinventing your English, you’ll probably feel like time is flying. Like there are so many things you’d like to do if only your situation was different.
I know just what that’s like–I’ve had to reinvent my language and my career since I immigrated to France in 2009.
But I also know this: I can’t imagine navigating such momentous changes in my life without writing.
Four: Need to perform? Then you need creativity and connection to your values.
I want to leave you with a lesson I learned in my first few years of teaching that I’ve never forgotten.
My teaching career started in the Silicon Valley in 2002, and I found myself working in one of the area’s top high schools. In the community where I lived and worked, it was common for families to pick up and move to the region–some from overseas–because of the educational opportunities the school system provided.
Expectations were high. The pressure was on. The students were motivated and hard-working.
And yet, we discovered that our students (though hardworking) were not always ready for the challenges they faced at university. In particular, they weren’t ready to innovate, to think on their feet.
In fact, Stanford University reached out to us with a training session to present a surprising solution: more chances for creativity, more freedom to innovate, more opportunities to infuse learning with meaning, with personal values.
That training session was an ‘aha’ moment for me as a teacher–and a lifelong learner.
So often, we focus on what we think are the essentials–the musts…we treat innovation and connection to our values as if they were not priorities.
Well maybe that’s just my own experience–so let me ask you a question:
How many opportunities have you had to learn in a way that is creative or meaningful to you? In English–or in any discipline.
Maybe it’s time you tried.
Could a little creative writing help breathe new life into your English?
If you’re interested in reaching your goals for your business English in a way that is enjoyable, meaningful, inspiring and innovative, I encourage you to explore creative writing.
Ready to give it a try? I’d like to invite you to participate in the Short Story Series–a short, free, self-paced creative writing course that I’ve designed for busy, innovative people like you. It’s a fun and simple way to get started reading examples of short fiction and using simple and fun creative writing techniques so that you can find your own innovation and connection in English.
When you sign up, you’ll also get an invitation to a small community on Facebook where you’ll find support for your reading and creative writing habits and meet busy and creative people from all over the world. I hope to see you there.
Trisha Traughber is a writer and teacher. Originally from California, she now lives in France. Trisha loves reading and writing adventures. Want to join her on the next step of your writing journey? You can visit her website and blog here.