My intuitively helpful friends and the support they gave is at the heart of the list below. Share it with the people who love you and wish you well, with thanks for all the ways they already brighten your world.
Six tips for supporting writers1. Take an interest. Ask what they’re working on, what they like about it, where they’re struggling.
2. Offer resources. Research can be a major challenge--offer helpful Internet links, books, and access to experts the writer could interview.
3. Provide practical helps. Babysit or invite the writer’s kids for a playdate with your kids. Offer to drop off their dry cleaning when you’re planning an errand run. Carpool. Take the family an occasional meal.
4. Encourage. More than anything, writers need voices of hope in their world. Writing is labor intensive and filled with rejection and disappointment. Writers need to hear that stories matter, that using their gifts brings more light into the world.
5. Advise only if invited. Writers need sounding boards, so let them bounce ideas off you very informally, and give them a sense of what might or might not work in a story, based on your life experiences. But please beware of telling a writer he or she should write. Writers can give their hearts and talents only to a story that captures their own imagination.
6. Celebrate. When a writer publishes something, even if it’s in an online literary magazine, praise them and celebrate with them. Share links on social media sites. Purchase copies of their work for yourself or as gifts if it’s a genre that might appeal to others more than to you.
[This is a modified expert from my October guest post for Connecting Stories, the blog of Lynn Simpson].
How well are you supported outside the writing community? What steps might you take to make your needs and wishes known to non-writer friends and family?