Gini Dietrich

Six Creative Writing Prompts for Content Marketing

By: Gini Dietrich | January 30, 2019 | 
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Six Creative Writing Prompts for Content MarketingFor most of January, I’ve been focused on how we can advance our creativity in our work.

We’ve looked at how to feed your inner creativity beast and how to be your best creative self.

Today, I want to help you have less writer’s block and create more writing.

We’re going to focus on creative writing.

When I was in college, my creative writing professor turned advisor used to say:

To be your most creative self, you have to dig into every horrible thing that has ever happened to you.

Because I’m not too keen on focusing on the past and reliving nightmares, I was never a creative writer in his eyes.

Today, of course, I’ve learned that’s only one kind of creative writing…and that certainly wouldn’t work in business storytelling.

So let’s look at how you might use creative writing that isn’t full of drama and teenage angst in your work.

Writing Prompts

For Christmas this past year, a client sent me the Hemingway Deck, a deck of cards that are journal prompts.

(It’s really more than a deck—it’s 100 cards.)

There are six categories of journaling prompts:

  1. Life
  2. Education and career
  3. Love and relationships
  4. Self-reflection
  5. Random
  6. World

They say:

There are no rules. You can choose to go in order or shuffle the cards and choose a topic at random. Even if you have a repeat prompt, challenge yourself to come up with something different. The point is to keep up the routine of journaling until it becomes a habit.

As I was journaling the other night, I thought about how beneficial this would be in content development.

To show you how it works, I am going to randomly choose two cards from each category—one for me and one for you.

I’ll use it as a prompt to start a blog post and then I’ll give you a prompt to do the same. But it doesn’t have to be a blog post. It can be any kind of content.

All you have to do is commit Ron answering one of the following—and use it in your content

Ready? Let’s do it!

Creative Writing: Life

If you had to write a book, what would you write about?

Clearly, I have already done this. I’ve co-authored Marketing in the Round and written Spin Sucks.

But if I were to write a novel (which is next on the list of things I want to do), I think it would be a fictionalized version of what we went through to adopt out of foster care.

It feels like it was 100 years ago—and like it was just yesterday.

When we were in the middle of it, I kept saying, “If business were run this way, there would be nothing to buy. Anywhere!’

It drove me crazy. While the system is supposedly set up to serve the best interests of the children, it sure didn’t feel that way most days.

Of course, we ended up being given the biggest gift in the end, but it was a looooooooong three years.

THREE YEARS!

So my novel would be about that experience (and I’d be able to dig deep into the pain of it all; you’re welcome, Dr. Spencer), but it might not end so well.

Now it’s your turn:

If you found out you would die in one year, describe what you would do for the next 365 days.

Creative Writing: Education and Career

What career advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

Dear Gini:

First things first, I know you know this, but you HAVE to stop biting your fingernails. Not only have you made them nearly non-existent, you’ve picked hangnails until they bleed so your fingers are all scabby.

This is gross and unprofessional in a work setting. Plus, no one will take you seriously. Stop doing that.

Second, before you can take care of clients or colleagues, you have to take care of yourself. You say you want to be a leader someday. To do that, you have to be comfortable in your own skin.

Love yourself. Love who you are. And love who you will become.

And, for heaven’s sakes, stop being so dang shy!

I know you have an innate need to be liked and it’s really hard when people say mean things about you, but those things don’t matter.

So stop worrying about how you’ll be perceived when you open your mouth and just get your voice heard.

Much love,

Gini

Now it’s your turn:

What do people say you can’t do?

Creative Writing: Love and Relationships

List the three people you spend the most time with. How have they affected your behaviors, thoughts, and life?

It’s kismet I got this prompt because one person I spend time with every day is Laura Petrolino, our chief of client service.

🎉🎊AND IT IS HER BIRTHDAY!🎊🎉

I mean, I couldn’t have planned that more perfectly.

She is one of the most positive, optimistic, and diplomatic people on earth. Being around her has changed my attitude about many, many things.

She has made me a better leader, a better friend, a better human.

Plus, when I’m faced with a sticky situation, I always turn to her and her diplomacy to help me through it.

Next on my list, is my small one, The Bean.

Being a parent has changed me in ways I never imagined. I laugh at how selfish I once was. I had no idea, but I was very selfish.

But more than that, she’s made me incredibly patient. We always joke that we thought I’d be the disciplinarian and Mr. D would be the softie.

Nope! Other way around. I mean, she has boundaries for sure, but I also am far more patient than I thought possible…even when there is a complete and total meltdown.

And, while I’d love to say Mr. D is my third person, he travels a TON so he’s never home we don’t get to spend much time with him right now. 😢

The third is our nanny turned sitter turned Spin Sucks social media intern, Paulina Michael.

She teases me that I’m old enough to be her mother (I am, but let’s not talk about it) so I’ve essentially adopted her without the legal paperwork.

Being around her college-aged enthusiasm has been rewarding in so many ways.

Not only do I have my own little market research of Gen Z every day, she has an energy and passion that is contagious.

Plus, I’ve molded her into my cycling buddy and I love that.

Now it’s your turn:

When are you most unhappy in relationships?

Creative Writing: Self-Reflection

Describe your worst fear.

My worst fear is we will have an emergency in our home and 911 won’t answer the phone. It’ll just ring and ring and ring.

And then I read last year that this way as actually happening in some parts of the country. Not OK!

So I keep up on my CPR and other life-saving skills  Just in case.

Now it’s your turn:

When was the last time you left your comfort zone? How did you grow?

Creative Writing: Random

When do you feel happiest?

On my bike!

I think that surprises just about no one. But I love my bike.

My team can read whether or not I’ve been on my bike. If I haven’t, someone will say, “Have you ridden today?” Which really means, “You’re very grumpy.”

While it’s hard work (a lot of hard work) and my body is in a constant state of exhaustion, it keeps me the happiest.

There is nothing better than riding along on the lakefront of Chicago and kick it into gear when a guy is about to pass you…and you leave him in the dust.

THAT makes all the hard work worth it.

Now it’s your turn:

What are you the most afraid of losing? And what would you truly lose if you lost it?

Creative Writing: World

What isn’t fair right now?

We’ll I’m writing this on my phone because our internet isn’t out. #chiberia

So I don’t. think it’s fair to not have internet, but that also is one major first world problem.

In the big scheme things, it’s not fair we still don’t have equality for all humans.

We just had this conversation on Facebook. Someone asked if his friends have ever experienced gender bias and inequality.

Every, single day.

I think he was surprised to hear that answer, but that’s the world in which we live.

We must do better. All of us.

Now it’s your turn:

Where in the world do you have no desire to travel? Why?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, the lead blogger at Spin Sucks, and the host of Spin Sucks the podcast. She also is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.