“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” ― Ernest Hemingway
As a fundraiser you have to write a lot! You have to construct compelling narratives for campaigns, funding applications and supporters.
- They need to stand out.
- They have to connect with the heart.
- They need to help people to say YES!
My writing process always goes through the same roller coaster – is this the same for you?
1.Blank paper dread
Where do I start?
How am I going to do justice to the amazing work of this charity?
How will I be able to construct something that explains very complex issues?
I often find gems in writing, films or social media that a charity already has and sometimes they are hidden.
- What are they already saying about their work?
- How do similar charities talk about their work?
- How can we make them stand out?
I love this stage! When I did Strengthsfinder 2.0 (LINK) two of my key strengths were Input (I love shoving information in my brain) and Contentedness (if I let it peculate and give time to process connections are made).
3. Throwing stuff at the page
What do we already have written about their work?
What did I find in the research?
Sometimes there is already great work done, you don’t have to start from scratch. I just copy and paste (thank you Larry Tesler) lots of information onto a page in general sections.
4. Don’t panic stage
This is where I lose all confidence in my ability to write.
Impostor syndrome sets in and I start thinking ‘I can’t do this’ and ‘why does anyone else think I can do this?’
This stage always happens and I have to remember what is to come!
I have come this far, I can go on!
I have to step away, listen to music (I find a something with a great beat that makes me smile works well!) and breathe!
I then usually remember that this is a familiar feeling. Not because I can’t do it but because this is my normal roller-coaster.
Now, I can do this (but it’s not my last wobble!).
6. Drafting, printing, editing, redrafting, printing, editing, redrafting…
This is what people thing the writing process is. But I’ve already been on a few up and downs to get here!
7. Stop messing about
Now I’m refining something that the charity now needs to input into. It is not going to be perfect first time. I need to get them to input now.
8. That’s actually quite good!
So I do know that I am doing! Phew!
Do you recognise this process?
What stages do you also have in yours? Are you a Hemingway? I know people who have an ‘angry stage’, an ‘I’ll pull an all nighter’ stage or an ‘I give up stage’. What’s your process?