Romancing the Writing

I’m a “just the facts” kind of girl. As a newspaper reporter, I cut my teeth on the police beat. I covered city and town government. I covered higher education.

Eventually I moved into feature writing, but I struggled to paint a picture for my readers and create a connection.

Now I have a new way of looking at my writing. I focus on “romancing the writing.” It’s a phrase I heard during a recent meeting.

We were talking about messaging in the context of donors and how we could connect in a more meaningful way with them. But the “romancing the writing” phrase is applicable on so many levels.

Writing this blog is one way that I think I am “romancing the writing” and that’s because I have a clear picture of you the readers of this blog. I can imagine you asking me specific questions and so as I write, I weave in the answers. I think about what might be relevant or of interest to you.

It applies when I write my column for NFPW’s monthly e-letter. It applies when I’m writing a speech or a magazine article. Only now instead of simply painting the story, I try to introduce some romance into the writing so that the reader or listener will be intrigued by my flirtation with them and will want to read further or listen longer. I attempt to punctuate my writing with gems and other small gifts.

When the reader finishes the article or the listener has heard the final words of the speech, I hope they will have enjoyed the date and will want to make a commitment to meet again.

Romance – on any level – requires work, and never more so than in writing.