Content Marketing is KILLING Creativity
Today, I told a client their article wasn’t blog worthy because it didn’t follow a few rules. As the words were leaving my fingertips (because it was in an instant message), I realized the damage we content writers and marketers are doing to and it hit me pretty hard. By attempting to make things more readable and quick to read we are killing the creative process, the very thing that many of us spent years finding.
Let me back up a bit. When I was 11 like many people my age I was dealing with a lot. I grew up during the cold war. Between the thought of being nuked, serious family issues and puberty I was really screwed up. I began to write as a way to express myself. I wrote poems and stories about the bomb, girls, my parents, girls, zombies, and girls. I loved writing and I was pretty good. Then my stepmother found my journal and was mortified at the “filth” and violence in my writing.
They sent me to a therapist and things just got worse from there. It wasn't until I ran away to forge my own path that things changed, but the damage was done. I was disgusting, and my thoughts and feelings were wrong. It took me over 20 years (and the book The Artist Way) to start writing again, all because someone told me my writing was bad.
Today, I did the same thing.
The truth is his writing was amazing. He wrote a story that taught a lesson. It explained what to do a lot better than “5 Tips on How to Do It”. In the old days that was called storytelling. The lesson it taught was called a moral but because it was long, wordy, had no pictures and didn’t use bullets and sub-headings, I deemed it unworthy and I was so wrong.
I thought things would get better with the new algorithm changes and content focusing on storytelling. But it’s not! Now it’s all about imagery, word count, link building and readability. The quicker you can make your point the better because readers don’t have the time or the attention span for you to actually tell a decent story. As I am writing this, Microsoft Word is telling me to change the way I write. We are being taught to write by robots and technology and it’s going to do more and more damage the longer we allow it to go on.
The worst part of this whole moral dilemma of mine is I am a content writer. Chances are this post will get read more often than most because of the two first words in the title. I will continue writing my ‘How to’s’ and ‘Top 5 ways to blah, blah, blah’ because it’s my job and I want to do it well. But after today, I am never going to tell a client there writing is wrong. I will make a place for it because it NEEDS to be read and the people who read it will be better for it. Screw the robots!