What to write when someone has lost their job due to coronavirus

One of the most popular articles here on HTWB for the last four years has been “What to write when someone has lost their job.” As you know, at the moment (May 2020) this has become even more of an issue due to social distancing, self-isolation and of course the closing down of many businesses.

Even a short email or private message on social media can help support someone who’s facing job/income loss due to coronavirus, but it’s a delicate path to travel. Here’s how to help, not hinder…

Some workers are lucky and have been furloughed, but others – especially in small businesses and the self-employed – are facing not one but two major dilemmas: one, loss of income, and two, no clear vision of how – and when – the job and business markeplaces will get back to normal … if they ever do. [Read more…]

Diary of a self-isolator: to-do list for when COVID’s all over

What plans do you have when this COVID pandemic is finally over? I’ve jotted down some ideas for my own, er, intentions … and please do add your own thoughts into the comments.

When this sh*t is over I will …

Wrap myself up from head to foot in toilet paper

What things are you most looking forward to once COVID is all over?

Touch my face, if I can find it again

Accept – maybe even enjoy – that we’ll now go back to talking about Brexit [Read more…]

Letter from the doctor: can you understand this awful jargon?

An Agony Column email from Emma in Gloucestershire, England brought this pearl of gobbledegook to my attention this week…what are these doctors on? Read on and be gobsmacked…

Dear Suze

chickenpox and shingles

Having an attack of shingles is no joke – but the letter warning patients about it is.

My mum has just turned 70 and received an invitation from her GP doctor’s surgery (family doctor’s office) to go get a jab to help prevent shingles. The first paragraph was plain enough and referred readers to the enclosed leaflet produced by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), which was also plain enough and explained everything well.

The rest of the letter, though, is unbelievable…

[Read more…]

Writing to someone who just lost a loved one

If you are on the point of facing the loss of a loved one, or just have, or you know someone who is doing so … you might find this blank verse poem helpful.

bereavement

No matter what a loved one has or will have left you for you to cherish, what matters is not what that is, but how you use it

I wrote it the other night because a wonderful family I know are about to lose their mother, who has been a friend of mine for many years. I’m not sure if this poem can reach out to that family, or indeed whether this would be appropriate now anyway.
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For more articles on how to write about bereavement and other difficult, painful experiences, click here.
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You can only judge by what would you might find helpful in the circumstances and in mine, yes – I will. I just hope others may find similar comfort from it.

Your loved one’s legacy

It’s not about what might have been
It’s about what has been
It’s about understanding what has been [Read more…]

Search engines: how you have murdered the art of copywriting

At one time, advertising copywriters were almost the most important people in the ad business. Today, copywriting is offered as a side dish on most VAs‘ admin menus. Professional freelance copywriters today are lucky to get paid the same daily rate their colleagues got back in the 1980s.

Rolls Royce advert

Probably the most famous advertising headline ever, written by the legendary David Ogilvy – yet Google would turn its nose up at it.

What has happened? Search engines have happened, that’s what. Consumers no longer read advertisements; they tap in keywords. It doesn’t take talent to write keywords; it just takes a little skill in basic arithmetic.

Copywriting? Whassat?

[Read more…]

What I’d like to have written to my dying friend

This past weekend I followed my own advice about writing to someone who is dying, and knows it.

He is C., a friend from my youth who, in his early sixties now, has contracted an incredibly rare disease: approximately 2 in 1 million people get it. It is incurable and fatal within months of diagnosis.

writing to a friend who is dying

When someone is dying, all they have left is memories.

It is vicious, evil, and the most cruel part is that the conscious brain is the last bit to go when everything else has given up. Victims can track their own decline almost to the end.

Only a couple of weeks post-diagnosis he no longer can work his laptop or read his emails. His son contacted all our old group of friends to say his dad is still OK mentally so if we wanted to share our thoughts, we had to do it now, via emails. He will be reading them to him.

C. only has weeks to live and can’t have visitors other than immediate family. What could I possibly write to him? [Read more…]

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