{flickr photo by new1mproved}

Who is Cathy Miller? For months, she was the sweet commenter who made my day whenever I read her encouraging words on my blog(s). Then, I started chatting with her on Twitter and kept seeing her on LinkedIn. And after awhile I began to wonder what was wrong with me?!

Why hadn’t I ask this successful business writer to guest post on my blog?! Well I finally did. And better yet, I was able to write one for her too. Writing self-care tips for the self-employed was about the most fun I had writing a guest post in a long time. And then she wrote this post on business writing.

For all you writers who have negative perceptions about business writing, read this!  Cathy’s written an important post on the real truth behind business writing.

by guest blogger

Speak with business writers, and chances are many have a dream of writing the next great novel. I am no exception.

Does that make business writing our day job?

Think of a day job and what do you get? †Do you think of it as your “real” job until you can afford to follow your dream? A lot of people do.

  • For others, business writing is their dream job
  • That’s the great thing about people – we are all unique

Whether business writing is your day job or your passion, it does not have to be boring.

Our Little Secret

Because most of us like to eat, we look for ways to earn income.

For some of us, that’s business writing. Combine that with being a freelancer, and what’s not to love?

  • You get to write every day
  • You decide on the type of writing
  • And someone pays you to do that

Awesome.

Brighten Your Day

That doesn’t mean freelancing or business writing is a cake walk.

Like anything worthwhile, it takes work. It takes passion.

Sometimes, you take on a gig that you really wish you hadn’t. Or you get discouraged by the stress of finding the next gig. You set aside your dream of writing the next great novel.

  • You are not alone
  • We have all been there

Here’s the thing, you control your writing.

You can make it shine – or – you can pull the shade down on creativity.

From Boring to Sizzle

Last year, there was an article, Why is Business Writing So Awful, at online magazine, Inc. The article exploded with viral popularity.

The author’s main points were:

  • Business writing is bad
  • It’s boring
  • It’s barely read

In the cases where that’s true, it’s possible the business writer treated the writing like their day job – and not in a good way.

So, what can you do to put the sizzle back into your day job?

Here are a few ideas.

1. Do the kind of writing you love.

There are endless possibilities in the kind of writing you do.

  • Online and print articles
  • Blogging
  • Ghostwriting
  • Technical writing
  • White papers
  • Case studies
  • Commercial copywriting
  • And on and on

When you first start out, it’s often more about show me the money than the type of writing you do.

If you are doing a form of writing you hate, don’t you think that creeps into your copy? If you love telling stories, think about specializing in case studies – which brings me to my next point.

2. Educate yourself on your specialty.

Business writers are not born with a specialty.

  • Some honed their craft in the corporate world
  • Others took classes or bought books
  • Many attended seminars

With all that is available online and onsite, there is no reason you cannot find good training.

If you want to specialize in case studies (or any specialty), do your homework and find good resources.

3. Feed your creative soul.

I spent 30+ years in the insurance/healthcare industry. So, I do quite a bit of technical writing. While I love it, from time to time, my creative soul cries out for something different.

There are several ways I feed my creative soul.

  • I work on case studies
  • I look for commercial copywriting opportunities
  • I write blog posts
  • I work on my eBooks and novel
  • I am a huge fan of the writing prompts site, Creative Copy Challenge

If you are a writer, you have a creative soul. Regularly feed it and it will energize your business writing.

4. Take care of yourself.

Brandi wrote a wonderful guest post, 6 Self-Care Tips for the Self-Employed, at my personal blog.

I can personally testify to the value of taking care of yourself. When I left Corporate America behind in 2008, I was a physical wreck.

Being so unhealthy cramps your style and silences the writer inside. Take that writer for a walk outside and you will be amazed how the ideas will fly.

5. Write so others can see.

Imagine that your business writing cannot be seen by the reader – one of those computer glitches. If you read it to them, could they see what you wrote?

  • Walk away from your draft writing
  • Come back and read it through the eyes of your readers
  • Does it paint a picture?
  • Could your readers visualize your writing?

If the answer is no – edit, edit, edit.

  • Replace words with figurative language
  • Punch up the copy with action words
  • Make sure the writing identifies a problem, solution and outcome

I may never achieve that next great novel, but that’s okay. I’m doing something I love. It only took me 30 years to figure that out.

How about you? Do you love your day job?

=========================================

Cathy Miller is a freelance business writer with over 30 years of professional writing experience from small businesses to Fortune 500 customers. Cathy started her own business in 2008, providing all forms of online and print business writing.

Cathy has a business writing blog at Simply stated business,†a health care blog at Simply stated health care and her personal bog, millercathy: A Baby Boomer’s Second Life.

 

  • Brandi-thanks so much for the opportunity to share my post. I enjoyed it and hope I get even 1/2 as much comment love as you did with your guest post at my blog. :-)
    Cathy Miller recently posted..5 Social Media Spring Cleaning Ideas

  • brandiwplogin

    Hi Cathy. I should be thanking you! Brilliant post. And I’m sure it will get lots of comments. It’s a good one!

  • Hi Cathy!

    Thanks for inviting me to your guest Blog post…it’s so nice
    seeing you today. :)

    I’m not a professional writer, per say, but I have learned
    enough about ‘writing copy’ over the years to catch your
    drift here. I always put myself in the position of ‘outside
    looking in’ when creating written text.

    KUDO’s on an excellent article!!

    Have a highly inspired day…your tribal friend Steven Suchar

    PS…What a nice gesture on Brandi’s part :)
    Steven Suchar @ StevenSuchar.com recently posted..Are You Creating Value By Giving

  • brandiwplogin

    Thanks Steven! I like what you said about positioning yourself as outside looking in. I think that’s a great tip for all kinds of writing. Glad you stopped by.

  • Hi Steven:

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your comments. Brandi is great, isn’t she?

    I’ve always thought there’s a writer inside all of us and with so many people blogging today, it’s more true than ever. So, I am happy you can find some value in the post. You know it really is about sharing your passion. I thank you for sharing yours and your wonderful idea of the Facebook blogging tribe.
    Cathy Miller recently posted..Guest Post at Brand-Ann Uyemura About Business Writing

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