How to Encourage a Writer

Writing is often deemed a solitary pursuit, in which we chase stray plot threads and rebellious characters across the wastelands of the fictional worlds we’re still discovering. It can be exhausting, and we writers could use encouragement (even if we won’t always admit it).

Here are six ways to encourage the writers in your life (complete with Lord of the Rings GIFs, just because):

Let them know you’re rooting for them.
Whether it’s at the start of a new first draft or in the middle of endless revisions, it’s nice to know there are people cheering for you.

Read their work.
If a writer asks you to read something they wrote, it means they trust you and value your opinion and perspective. And don’t worry if we avoid you or hover while you read (or do both by lurking in the shadowy corners of the room). 


We’re not trying to creep you out! We just want to know: WHICH PART ARE YOU READING??? WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER? WAS THAT PLOT TWIST PREDICTABLE?

If you liked their poem/short story/novel/etc., let them know!
We writers tend to be vain creatures from time to time—but we’re also incredibly self-conscious of our work. Basically, this is how we want you to feel about our writing:


And this is what we tell ourselves your feelings really are:



Never underestimate how much a writer will value even the smallest compliments regarding their work.

Keep us accountable.
As much as we love writing, there are many times we will do everything in our power to avoid it. Half the time, we don’t even know why we’re procrastinating. WE JUST DO.

But if someone is helping us stay on track to meet our deadlines, we’re more likely to buckle down and start typing.

Make us take a break.
Sometimes, we get too caught up in our stories, often to the point of being so focused on it we can’t make progress. Remind us it’s okay to step away for a while and not write.

Geek out over our stories with us.
We love our characters and storyworlds. We could probably talk about them for hours if given the chance. No one fangirl-shrieks over their fictional people like a writer does, and it’s nice to know someone loves them as much as we do.

What do you think is the best way to encourage a writer (or anyone)? Tell me about it in the comments!

Comments

  1. You're an amazing writer! So proud of you and your stories. Our family is a long line of storytellers :) You have gone farther than we could ever have dreamed. Love you! Now get back to work!

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  2. Awesome use of LOTR GIFs! :)

    I'm curious whether I'm the only writer/creative who has mixed feelings when people say "I loved it!" about my work. Like, "I read your story--I loved it!" And then nothing else. No specifics, favorite characters or moments, anything. At which point I start to wonder whether they actually loved it, or whether they're just saying that because they can't come up with anything they were actually enthusiastic about.

    *Totally ungrateful writer* :P

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    1. Thanks!

      Ah, that makes sense though. I definitely enjoy finding out what a reader's favorite aspect of a story is as well.

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  3. YESSSS. I LOVE THIS. Every single point is SO. ACCURATE. And the gifts were perfection. XD

    Being a writer can be one of the loneliest, most discouraging jobs in the world. But when we have people around us, cheering us on, it makes it all worth it. ^_^

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    Replies
    1. That is so true! Having a supportive group of people to help us stay encouraged definitely makes it worth it. :)

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