The following was originally posted by PW blogger Kelly Cawcutt, MD, to her personal blog site, paragonfire.com.
Can Practicing Grant Writing Make You a Better Creative Writer?
Grant writing is inherently scientific and considered by many to be the epitome of non-creative. After spending hours in a grant writing workshop today given by Paul Casella, I was compelled to consider how the lessons learned are applicable to many writing opportunities. I would argue, that these lesson have the power to advance your creative writing skills.
1. Be bold.
Write from your place of innermost confidence. Make your goal very clear. What is it you want to say? What do you want your reader to believe? How do you want to educate your readers? What is your call to action?
2. Use graphics.
Graphics, illustrations and figures should not be excessive or without clear intent, but when well done, they can enhance the ease of understanding. They add valuable visual interest. Readers develop an immediate sense of what you are writing about. 3. Know your readers.
To provide a compelling story, educational opportunity or actionable call, you must understand the audience. What will draw them in so they want to read more? What do they already know? How can you engage them?
4. Draw in readers with a staggering start.
A powerful, startling statement, a description of imagery, a question or quote can leave readers immediately wanting to know more. Each can convey the importance of, and desire to know, what comes next.
5. Consider the intent of every word in every sentence.
Every sentence should have a purpose and each word should truly convey specific meaning. Why are you choosing that word? Is it descriptive enough, would a different verb be better? Sometimes shorter, strong sentences are more effective.
Of course, each tip is not always applicable to every writing opportunity, but this is a great checklist to run through in your head as you are writing. When you are expressing your expertise, talents or creativity, skilled written communication is critical.
Bonus points: Consistent, clear communication helps elevate your brand (yes, everyone does have a brand)!