3 Things Country Music Can Teach Us About Writing

by Brian Burns on 7 July 2011

in Uncategorized

Our music playlist at SpeakWell Communications is wide-ranging, including albums from Miles Davis to Big Boi to Justin Bieber (we admit it). However, it is also heavy on country music artists like Garth Brooks, Justin Moore, Easton Corbin and Jason Aldean.

While many people turn up their nose at country music, especially in the urban-oriented world of online communications, we believe it has valuable lessons to teach us all. Here are at least three things about writing you can learn from country music:

1. Be Genuine

Even with the inevitable contradiction of million-dollar entertainers singing about the working man’s life, country music labors to stay true to its roots. The lyrics speak clearly to who the artist is and what they love to do, not just how great or famous they are.

Even if you don’t have someone named ‘Bubba’ in your family, you can strive for this genuine tone in your company’s writing. To copy this approach, aim to speak the truth about who you are, what you do, and perhaps most importantly, why you love to do it.

2. Be Values-Based

Country music is primarily values based. The list goes something like: God, family, country, hard work, drinking, chewing tobacco and getting over a heartache. Even if you have a completely different set of values, you can’t help but admire the straight-forward way that these are presented.

In your own writing, you can do well by trying to emulate this approach. Potential customers can likely get your product or service from numerous other sources, and want to know what makes you different. Speaking to your values, and giving them a chance to form a connection, is a great way to compel someone to shop with you.

3. Be Simple

The saying goes that all you need to write a hit country song is a dog that died, a truck that broke down and a lover that walked out. While the reality may be slightly more complex than that, country music is simple at its very foundations.

It’s a wise policy. The simple approach was good enough for Strunk & White, who penned an entire chapter in their book, Elements of Style, that read “omit needless words.” It’s probably good enough for you, too. Say what you came to say. Say it passionately. Then get out of the way.

—> Have a writing or communications lesson you learned from country music? Share it in the comments section below.

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  • Daniel BE

    Brian, great article! A lesson that comes to my mind from country music is that of integrity. This sounds similar to your Values lesson. Integrity to me is living by one's values, whether that be personally or in business. In my mind, this means staying true to your word (not just because of contracts, legal jargon, etc.), providing the highest quality product and work possible, and treating customers with respect and decency. Thanks for a insightful article!

    • http://speakwellcommunications.com/ Brian Burns

      I couldn't agree more, Daniel. Integrity is a crucial element too often overlooked by many modern web companies, and something that always comes across clearly if it's genuinely stated. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks for leaving an insightful comment!

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