Crimson, ochre, ghost white and lemon yellow. A faint, earthy waft of late summer chestnuts. Eye-delighting sunrise and twilight. Oily jamon, coal-black caves, carving cortadores.
That’s my week in Spain in a paragraph. I visited in late September for a writing course with a difference. It’s called Dark Angels, and promotes itself as creative writing for business.
My writing background is as far from business as you can imagine. I grew up penning short stories and scribbling scripts, not coming into contact with straplines, web copy, tone of voice or verbal identity until the grand old age of 23. By then, I’d studied a creative writing degree in Surrey and master’s in writing in Falmouth. My writing was more creative than corporate, and more focused on readers than objectives.
A year into ‘copywriting’ for a web development agency, I noticed something. It seemed I could still squeeze some creative writing techniques into this copywriting thing. I could still entertain, persuade and inform (the first three things you’re taught about writing at degree level). I could be creative and corporate, help businesses meet objectives while focusing on readers.
John Simmons, co-founder of Dark Angels and a man who’s been there, hovering almost like an angel from the day I went freelance, told me this during the course in Spain:
‘I find myself drawn more and more to creative writing. And learning with every piece I write how useful it is as a practice to improve the writing we do for and with businesses.’
Five years down the line, I agree more than ever. When we can help our clients understand the attractiveness of good, creative writing, we can write for them in ways unimaginable 15 years ago. We can persuade, cajole, entice, entertain, inform, delight, make proud, make cry, make smile and do so much more.
If creativity is the process of going from nothing to something, then by definition writing is creative. So let’s all be proud as creative writers, whether we’re writing a piece of prose or an annual report.
Fancy reading more? Check out our blog on finding your writing flow.