Perhaps the most famous line comes from Hemingway, stating that “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.” This is a view reiterated by several people that I talked to about my goals in writing, and I would be a liar or insane (I’m definitely the latter) if I were to deny its truth. Every day I write, I think, I imagine… and I am alone. Having said that, however, I have found refuge from this loneliness through the support of friends, family and other lonely writers.
See? The life of a writer is not so lonely, after all.
I’m writing this post in response to a query from Amanda Staley from Support-a-Writer (a writing community on Google+), who asked about how the group could be made better – and it all came down to SUPPORT. I’m in the very fortunate position of being able to talk about support from personal experience – the support I have received has been overwhelming and humbling. Thank you.
20 ways to support a Writer:
Please comment with any that I have missed, and I will add them to the list.
- Buy their book and read it. A writer writes so that you can read. Give them the satisfaction.
- Recommend their book to a friend that you think will enjoy it.
- Recommend their book to an agent / librarian / other-person-of-bookish-influence in your network.
- Leave an honest, kind review for them on Amazon, Goodreads, your blog etc. But remember what your mum told you – if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
- Offer to critique to their work in progress.
- Visit and read their blog. Some of us even have interesting things to say every now and again.
- Leave a kind comment on a blog post.
- Share an article they have written via social media – write a short comment about why it’s worth reading.
- Support their milestones – give them a (real or virtual) high five for reaching their wordcount goal for the day, or pushing past a bad case of writer’s block. It’s the little things, people!
- Interview authors on your blog.
- Share personal stories about the pitfalls you have faced – help others learn from your experiences.
- Ask about their day – sometimes we just need a little normal conversation. With voices that aren’t in our head.
- Link to other relevant blogs in your blog post.
- Share links to opportunities for writers – challenges, competitions, review offers etc.
- Follow other writers on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or social media of your preference.
- Join a discussion group and join the discussion, it helps us to think outside the box.
- Remind them that they’re not alone.
- Send them an article you think they will find helpful (perhaps an article that a fellow author has written? See #8)
- Be a sounding board for their ideas.
- Don’t let them give up.
Extras from my readers:
- Let them be accountable to you by checking up on their goals e.g. “Have you sent out 5 queries this week?” or “Did you reach your word count? No? Then put away that bar of chocolate and get writing!” – Cindy Ray Hale