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.

4 thoughts on “Romancing the Writing

  1. Romancing means surprises and being faithful, right? So I have to admit, I’m not doing such a great job on my Twitter relationship, too sporadic, but I will try harder. Press Women are definitely romancing this upcoming national conference. The NFPW website enticed us to come to Chicago, but I’ll be glad to see the exact times of the breakout sessions as it’s hard to plan travel and other excursions out to the city without those times. And talk about romance, we’re riding the overnight train right to Union Station and the Union Club.

  2. dotolonovich says:

    Cynthia – I agree. The relational aspects of writing are often dismissed, but real communication actually requires quite a bit of context. Professional writing requires a balanced level of engagement… anyone who’s been to school can write, but to be able to walk in the shoes of your audience takes practice.

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