Nonprofit Copywriting: What Writers Say About Writer's Block
“[When] the thoughts rise heavily and pass gummous through my pen … I never stand conferring with pen and ink one moment; for if a pinch of snuff or a stride or two across the room will not do the business for me — … I take a razor at once; and have tried the edge of it upon the palm of my hand, without further ceremony, except that of first lathering my beard, I shave it off, taking care that if I do leave hair, that it not be a grey one: this done, I change my shirt — put on a better coat — send for my last wig — put my topaz ring upon my finger; and in a word, dress myself from one end to the other of me, after my best fashion.” — Laurence Sterne
“Writer’s block is a condition that affects amateurs and people who aren’t serious about writing. So is the opposite, namely inspiration, which amateurs are also very fond of. Putting it another way: a professional writer is someone who writes just as well when they’re not inspired as when they are.” — Philip Pullman
“I don't believe in writer's' block. Do doctors have 'doctors block'? Do plumbers have 'plumbers' block'? No. We all have days when we don't feel like working, but why do writers turn that into something so damn special by giving it a faintly romantic name?” ― Larry Kahaner
So ... crisis for creatives or complaint of crybabies? Like most things, the answer for most of us lies somewhere in the middle. But wherever you fall on the spectrum, you can always take solace in Charles Bukowski’s belief that, “Writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all.”
Willis believes in expressive writing, exceptional fundraising, and exuberant living.
Willis Turner is the senior copywriter at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He was an experienced writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 20 years before making the switch to fundraising nearly 15 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, as well as collateral materials and communications, that get attention, tell emotional stories, and persuade people to take action or make a donation.