Some copywriters get all the breaks. Their fundraising packages raise tons of money, people respect and appreciate their work, and new opportunities just seem to pop up for them again and again.
Others, for some reason or other, couldn't catch a break with a fishing net. They struggle, and swear, and pull out their hair — and just crank out one average package after another, each with the same lackluster results.
Some people are just lucky, right?
Wrong. Luck is not fate. Believe it or not, it's largely an attitude. One that can be cultivated. And for writers, doing so is surprisingly simple.
Ten years ago, psychologist Richard Wiseman did a study on lucky vs. unlucky people with fascinating results. (This article about his tests is quite short and well worth your time.) He discovered, for example, that, "Unlucky people often fail to follow their intuition when making a choice, whereas lucky people tend to respect hunches," and that, "Unlucky people tend to be creatures of routine … In contrast, many lucky people try to introduce variety into their lives."
Here are three simple steps you can take to start getting luckier with your writing:
1. Write. Woody Allen's oft-quoted remark that, "Eighty percent of success is showing up," is also oft-misunderstood. He didn't mean just being geographically present, though that's what a lot of people think. What he said, in context, was, "My observation was that once a person actually completed a play or a novel, he was well on his way to getting it produced or published, as opposed to a vast majority of people who tell me their ambition is to write, but who strike out on the very first level and indeed never write the play or book. In the midst of the conversation, as I'm now trying to recall, I did say that 80 percent of success is showing up."
Willis Turner believes great writing has the power to change minds, save lives, and make people want to dance and sing. Willis is the creative director at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He worked as a lead writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 15 years before making the switch to fundraising 20 years ago. In his work with nonprofit organizations and associations, he has written thousands of appeals, renewals and acquisition communications for every medium. He creates direct-response campaigns, and collateral communications materials that get attention, tell powerful stories and persuade people to take action or make a donation.