How the pandemic is making your writing worse

Is social distancing making your writing weaker?

It might be, as observed in this post at Marketing Profs: Social Distancing Is Changing the Way We Write. That’s a Problem.

The author oversees the work of copywriters for a marketing firm. He noticed that his writers’ work over the last few months became increasingly less “personal” — especially in pronoun use: third person pronouns (he, she, it, they) started to predominate over second person (you).

His observation on that:

The writers (like the rest of us) are living in a state of isolation, and we’re bombarded with messages about the importance of maintaining that separation. Our thoughts, our behaviors, even our fashion choices are governed by the need for distance. Over time, that need is finding its way into our writing.

It might be happening to you, and it’s insidious because its not conscious.

As you know, effective fundraising is highly personal. And it uses the word you a lot.

What should you do?

  • Be aware. That’s half the battle.
  • Count pronouns. You may find a shortage of you in it.
  • Read it out loud. If your writing has become formal and official sounding, it will be more evident if you read it out loud.

Writing is mostly about effective revising. It’s okay to have a lousy first draft with no personality in it — as long as you fix it in subsequent drafts.

Bad news: The Fundraisingology Lab will be closed to new members until 2021. That’s a long wait for the best fundraising training, resources, and community anywhere.

But here’s some inside information for you: Next week, everyone on the waiting list will get one final chance to join. You can sneak in by joining the waiting list now!

It’s your last chance until 2021. Check out The Fundraisingology Lab here!


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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