Previously, I introduced I.E.I. Inform, Entertain and Inspire. A way to think about written works and works in progress.
It occurred to me that while initially the “E” was supposed to represent entertain, the word “engage” could also apply. Writing isn’t always going to be about entertainment. It’s not entertaining for instance, to write a message of sorrow. It’s not entertainment to deliver bad news for a news website. That would however, fall under engage because you are engaging the reader to deliver a message and get a prescribed response.We have started out with informing the reader. We want to entertain them with the content we are delivering. In freelance work, I’ve written for clients who have made it clear how they want the content to be entertaining and engaging.
In a few assignments, I would be given several key words and key phrases with the client requesting those keys be included a minimum amount of times in something such as a web page. One of the great fun challenges of that kind of work is to make those keywords and phrases as entertaining and engaging as positive to give them great quality. When I’m working in a notebook, I still want to be as entertaining and engaging as possible because I don’t know if those ideas are going to be the ones that pop out later on. Some of the best things I’ve written on scrap paper and in notebooks have become sold work.
Entertaining and engagement is critical for good writing. During your final pass-through of a work, always ask yourself if you feel entertained by what you’ve written. If it’s not meant to be entertaining, does it at the very least engage the reader? Does it engage you as the writer reading it? Think for a minute about your favorite writers. Look through something they’ve written and identify ways that they have entertained or engaged you. It could be their use of language and how they tell the story.
Even if the client was more concerned about quantity I would still Take a few minutes and read back to part one of the series on how content should be informative. Then review this post again and see if you can run both concepts together.
In September, we will close this series on I.E.I. by looking at creating content that inspires.