I’m excited to be embarking on a new adventure…freelance writing and editing.
While this is a new chapter in my life, I’m no stranger to writing. In fact, I’ve spent my career doing just that. And I’ve found I have the skills to be persuasive in my writing and to provide clarity to the subject at hand.
In this, my first blog post, let me tell you a bit about me. I recently retired after 34 years with the Iowa Newspaper Association, the last seven as Executive Director. Prior to that, I ran the INA’s advertising and marketing arm, Customized Newspaper Advertising.
If you’ve had any experience in the non-profit world, you know that effective writing for members (and, in my case, members who are editors), demands succinct, professional and effective communication.
Members of a non-profit organization have very limited time to review communication from their association…they have a business to run. And, believe me, when faced with the choice of whether to address an issue directly related to their business or one indirectly related (affecting their trade organization), their business will win out every time…as it should.
My writing experience falls into what I would characterize as three buckets:
- Business writing usually involving complex subjects that needed to be explained to those not familiar with the specifics. For me, this most often includes proposals relating to legislation and summaries of court cases. It also includes cohesive summaries of long-range planning meetings and board and committee meetings.
- Persuasive writing intended to earn the readers’ respect and draw them to a specific conclusion. During my career, I worked with all sizes of businesses and their advertising agencies and my persuasive writing skills were called into action almost daily. And, working with hundreds of newspaper publishers and editors, many of whom communicated with me primarily through the written word, demanded clear, concise communication that left the reader with a clear understanding of what needed to be done.
- Feature writing that tells a story about a person(s), business, idea or event. I love to meet people and learn new things. Feature writing allows me to share the stories of people I meet. People have the most fascinating stories…often just waiting to be told.
Effective writing skills require not only the ability to write in a clear, persuasive and professional manner, but also the use of excellent grammar skills. An understanding of the English language is a lost art and one I’m proud to have in my skill set.