Do you have a friend or loved one who is a freelance writer, blogger, or aspiring novelist? Do you (rightly) find their work brilliant? Do you (correctly) admire their bravery for consistently putting themselves out there? Do you do nothing more than occasionally “like” their posts on Facebook and otherwise have no idea how to support them? Then you’ve come to the right place!
I’ve learned a thing or two about this blogging and freelance writing business in lo these 100 posts, and decided to share some of my learned wisdom with those of you looking to support a friend or family member in your life who are making the writing effort as well.
- READ THEIR WORK. Hands-down the best way to support someone who is trying to put their work out there is to actually read it. Nothing is worse to a writer than spending hours on a piece that no one reads. Your writer writes because they love it, but it’s of course made much sweeter and feels so much more worth it when their work is actually read. If the writer in your life churns out content on a consistent basis, don’t take it for granted; read every damn piece. Plus many publication’s pay scale depends on the amount of clicks a piece receives, and you should be contributing to that number.
- SHARE THEIR WORK. Nothing is better than reaching as wide an audience as possible. Your beloved writer spends hours not only writing the posts and pieces, but also the quippy captions to accompany those pieces on social media. Not all of us are business-savvy either, so it is a HUGE help when you help shoulder the marketing and share the piece. Even if what they write about isn’t especially to your interest, the more shares, the greater the chance the work has of finding the right audience.
- LET THEM KNOW. If you read your friend’s work and enjoy it, let them know! They likely put a hell of a lot of time and effort into it, and may be questioning whether or not it even matters. If something about the piece stays with you or made you laugh? Tell them! If you are gun-shy about commenting online, I get it, but you can give it a like, a share, a tweet, without much trouble. The cost to you as a reader is very little, and the reward to your beloved writer? It will, without a doubt, make the writer’s day. It always makes mine and is often the fuel that I need to keep going.
- BUY THEM A COFFEE. As ever, these are hard times for freelancers and bloggers. It’s a saturated market, the rates are low if you do get paid, and most often, you don’t get paid. This is the life we have chosen, but it’s not exactly glamorous. Writer’s survive on coffee. If you love a writer, and especially if you love that writer’s work, buy them a coffee. If you don’t live near that writer, you can buy them a virtual coffee like this (wink, wink).
- ASK THEM ABOUT THEIR WORK. Just as you would about their day job, ask about the work of blogging or writing. Writing is an isolating and lonely business at times, and much of the interaction around it is virtual. It’s not work that we actually get to speak about all that often. Whenever someone asks me questions like “how’s your blog or book going? What are you going to write about next? Have you submitted anything lately?” it’s such a genuine thrill.
- ENCOURAGE THEM. Writers are easily discouraged. It takes a certain disposition and developed skill to block out that annoying voice inside that tells you what you have to say doesn’t matter. Offer them encouragement if their posts aren’t taking off the way they hoped, or if they’re experiencing a publishing drought, or if they are struggling to find the right words or creative path. Remind them that their work has inherent value, no matter what.
- CELEBRATE THEM. When they do hit accomplishments, however small they seem, celebrate them! A milestone of followers, a newly published piece, a breakthrough after writer’s block are all huge. Text them a string of dancing gifs, dedicate a social media post to their work, or take them out for a drink. Tell them in no uncertain terms that you are so very proud of them.
- SEND THEM THIS POST THAT CONCLUDES WITH THE FOLLOWING OPEN LETTER:
“Dear Beloved Writer,
Your Friend/Sibling/Parent/Spouse/Former High School Classmate wants you to know that they are so utterly proud of you for pursuing your writing. They are impressed with your dedication, your bravery, and ability to put yourself out there time and again. They know this isn’t an easy field. They know that it can feel exhausting at times to have to be your own biggest cheerleader. And they especially know that you have what it takes. Because, your work is getting better and better with every piece you write. Did you know that? Because it totally is. Go you! They see you and they love you and they promise to share your work more frequently and ask you questions about it, too. You may even get a free drink out of this.
Keep going and never forget that the world needs your voice!
Thank you for reading! Now to the next 100!
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