Zen-like business writing blossoms into a better reader experience

by Cara Crosetti on April 13, 2013

People want to read clear stories and messages that don’t take up a lot of their time.

zen creativity in business writing

Inspire your writing process with shimbui 7

The average person spends 18 minutes a day reading and 2.7 hours watching TV! That’s what Twitter, work demands and our to-do lists have done to our lives – reduce the time we spend on everything.

Follow a few Zen-inspired ideas to create business writing and messages your audience wants to read.

The business writing nap

Writing to sound smart or keep up with the competition only results in boring copy for your customer. This typically comes from voluminous paragraphs with lots of jargon. A quick Google search for “end-to-end solutions” brings up 816 million entries!

Meet Koko, one of seven shimbui concepts. Shimbui is an aesthetic principle that comprises the “Zen of design.” Koko is about restraint and exclusion. Translate this Japanese concept for your writing and it means edit.

The joy of you

Make the time to think through what you really want to say – in your own words – to express a genuine point of view. Readers love authentic, humanistic writing.

Enter Kanso, the concept of understated beauty and utility. Remove the decorative adjectives and phrases from your writing and cut straight to the point of your story in your own voice.

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The power of one

One change can have a big impact on your outlook and writing.

Datsuzoku is the concept of taking a break from your routine or pattern to let creativity emerge. Write in a different location or at a different time of day. You’ll find a new point of view when you break free of your current patterns.

Zen business writing gets results

Slim down a 2,000-word article to 300 words and reduce your reader’s time from 10 minutes to 1.5 minutes!  This is plenty of time to tell your story and get your key message across completely. Now, that’s a business win.

Try these Zen-like ideas on your next assignment and see what happens. If you feel you just don’t have the time, contact Cara for some inspiration and help.

Sources: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671947/7-design-principles-inspired-by-zen-wisdom, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/06/your-day-in-a-chart-10-cool-facts-about-how-americans-spend-our-time/258967/
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