Outsource Your Non-Fundraising Brain
Writing fundraising copy takes concentration and focus. There are a lot of elements, strategic and creative, that have to be accounted for as you write. It takes up a lot of your headspace.
Ari Meisel, author of "Less Doing, More Living," says you'd be able to stay more focused and do better work if you could free your mind of mundane-but-important chores, tasks and errands that eat up your time and attention. Ari cured himself of Crohn's disease using a strict regimen of exercise, nutrition and yoga, so he knows something about eliminating distractions and staying on task.
The idea is that there's a limit to the number of tasks, chores, responsibilities and decisions you can manage before mental and decision fatigue set in (if you don't think these things matter, check out what happened to these prisoners). And the more extraneous stuff you can take off your plate, the more mental and emotional energy you can devote to your work. So Ari offers up a long list of services, mostly online, you can use to manage the little things so you can stay focused on the big ones.
He calls it outsourcing your brain. Some of it seems a little mushy, but there are quite a few tools that could help make a writer's life easier. Here are just a few:
Outsource your research. If you only use one idea from this list, make it Evernote. It's a free suite of software that lets you take notes, archive, organize and access them from nearly every device you use. A "note" can be a piece of formatted text, a URL, a photo, a voice memo or a handwritten "ink" note. If you use a Smartpen you can link it directly to Evernote too. It also has a separate download called Web Clipper that sends any Web page into your Evernote file.
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.