Not every corporate story you write will merit a Pulitzer, but focusing on what you love in your writing, producing in volume and not letting reader stats distract you from your course will steer you towards your best work.
Trust that you have good taste
Following my last blog on balancing time between story selection and story production, inspired by a series of four short videos by Ira Glass, in Part 3 – On Good Taste Ira observes that you get into something because you love it, you have taste, but to expect that for a lot of your early work, your output won’t match your ambition or reflect your taste very often. But you’ll know that gap – and you must continue to produce and the quality will come.
Focus on what you love
In corporate story telling, you may have limited choice on your content, your medium or your writing deadlines. Try to find an element that you love, and hone your story telling skills around that. It might be your ‘voice’, it might be the format you work in, it might be a content specialism. Try to identify the essence of what you enjoy in your writing – and your reader will likely ‘hear’ that too.
Keep viewers’ feedback in perspective
Views and likes are great, comments are better, but keep them in context and critique your own work. Look at the work of other writers and ask yourself what it is in their writing that appeals to you, and see if you’re using the technique in your own work.
Start now – and keep on writing
One of Ira’s key points is that you mustn’t let your own critical eye dissuade you from writing, it’s only in producing a body of work that you’ll create material that you truly feel reflects you. If you stop at the first hurdle – you’ll never know. Many employees have a sense that everything they write has to be Pulitzer worthy, it makes them nervous, and they dabble only as far as comments and status updates, likes, or don’t join in at all. Take a leap of faith and ‘publish and be damned’.
My take outs
- Amongst all of your corporate content and obligations, find what you love in each piece and let that be your focus.
- Audience feedback is great, but write first for yourself – your audience will appreciate it more.
- Every article won’t win a Pulitzer – it’s not supposed to – so ‘publish and be damned’.
Have you found a foreboding sense of corporate writing perfection has prevented you from publishing or felt constrained to venture only as far as reading, liking and commenting?