Do you know a writer? Perhaps you have a friend or family member who has a blog, authored a book, or writes for other online publications? Maybe someone you know has their work in print magazines, anthologies, or newspapers. I’m so glad you are here to learn more about how you can support that writer in your life.
I have been blogging for several years and I also write for various online publications. I am in a few anthologies, and I have published two books. I may not be able to speak to all the important ways one can support a writer, but with the experience I do have, I want to offer you insight and information that can help you support the writer in your life.
It’s rare to think of going into someone’s workplace to learn all about their work, then feeling obligated to acknowledge what they do- when in fact, their workplace has nothing to do with your own life. But this is where a writer’s work differs from other careers. If you are reading this, you are in our workplace! If you are on social media, you are in our workplace! If you read books, you are in our workplace! And the digital world holds a wealth of opportunities for your support in our work. Many writers work online, through their blogs, additional publications, and social media accounts. You may notice them in your own social media streams. You may see them sharing articles they wrote or promoting their book.
As most of us don’t know the intricate details of other people’s work, I would assume you may not know much about ours. This is why I wrote this post. I want to educate you on a few things that might be useful in enlightening you to our work.
Most writers pursue writing because they love the craft, have a passion for the art, have a message to share, and want to develop a name for themselves so they can get their work seen. In essence, all writers want people to read what they write. Many writers might try to make a living off of their words through freelance writing, authoring a book, or having a successful blog where they can host advertising space, write sponsored posts, or use their blog as a launching ground for queries into regular paying gigs, book publishing, or any writing pursuit they deem prosperous.
With that said, much of a writer’s success is measured by the number of readers they have and the number of people who follow their work.
You could be a part of their readership. You could also help grow their readership, consequently improving their reputation as a writer. This would help them make a living, create a brand for their work, and validate their efforts, their art, their voice.
One caveat to consider here is the possibility that you do not agree with their message, their ideology, their publications. If this is the case, there are different options to consider. The obvious solution is to not support that writer, which is justified. I would, however, like to offer you a suggestion about how to approach this issue. When I read and share pieces that don’t completely align with my own beliefs, I am considering the viewpoints and the needs of many- not just my own. There will always be differences of opinions and differences in lifestyles and various values- the beauty of writing is that it explores endless possibilities- and I believe this is the great benefit for us all to consider and appreciate.
With all that said, here are some easy ways you can support the writer in your life:
Support the writer through social media:
1. Like their Fan Page on Facebook.
2. Like their posts on social media where they share their work.
3. Share their posts with links on any social media platform.
If you see the writer in your life share a piece they wrote on their Facebook page, why not like it? It’s as easy as a click. On Facebook, your simple ‘click’ shifts the algorithms increasing the exposure of the writer’s post- expanding the possible readership of the writer’s work! Just one click and you have impacted those words and benefited the person you want to support.
If you take it a step further, you could click on that link and read their piece, then comment on that article- either on the site or on Facebook. This shifts the algorithms in the writer’s favor even more! With your like and your comment, you have made a difference.
Taking it one step further would be to share that piece on your own personal Facebook page or any social media outlet! If you see them share their work on other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, you can do the same. There are many various social media outlets people are using these days, so wherever you are- I’m guessing they are too. Every share, pin, re-tweet, comment, etc. opens more opportunities for the writer’s words to be read. Sharing the post will add more eyes on it and more traffic to that article.
Freelance writers often get paid based on the number of comments, shares, likes, or views on their work. You are contributing to the income of the writer when you comment, like, share, tweet, Pin, Stumble, etc. And to think it only takes about five seconds of your time to have a big impact on that writer! This is one simple way you can support the writer in your life.
The challenge on Facebook is always the question of if you are even SEEING the post your writer is sharing because of so many technical variables that come into play. You can alter your feed to have more visibility of your writer’s posts by going to their writer page, liking it, and clicking on the ‘following‘ button drop-down, then click on “see first“. This makes it easy to scroll through your feed and catch the posts your writer is sharing. And liking and following the writer’s FB page is an important show of support. Sharing your writer’s FB page and inviting others to like and follow that page? Well, let’s just say it makes us giddy and grateful.
Support the author in your life.
- Share their book and any information about their book with people in your life and on social media.
- Buy their book.
- Write a simple review on Amazon.
This might seem like more work, because you will spend your money and time, buying and reading an entire book and writing a review of the book on Amazon. Sharing the author’s links to the book and various posts focused on the book on social media, as described above, can be a great show of support for the writer in your life. Authors can spend years working on their book as the process is complicated and exhausting, but worth every word because they are passionate about whatever the book is about. Once it’s published, it is up to the authors to promote and market their book for sales. Those sales are critical to the book’s success through Amazon’s system of measuring and marketing exposure of the author’s book. The more purchases and reviews the book receives, the more success the book will have in the industry’s market.
Sales and reviews are the most important part of any book’s success. Buying the writer’s book and then writing a simple review means everything to the author.
And here is what you need to understand most: You don’t have to be a writer to write a review! There is no need to write a long eloquent review with explicit detail and an exhaustive summary. A few sentences describing why you liked the book is fantastic and just what any author wants to see. Be yourself, because an honest and genuine review proves to be more valuable than any literary claim. Customers READ REVIEWS and they want to read what regular people think of the book. That would be YOU!
I think non-writers shy away from some of these tasks because they don’t deem themselves to be a ‘part of the writing community’. They don’t want to step into the writer’s ‘work world’ because they think it isn’t their place of expertise. I had a friend once ask to buy my book and during the exchange, she expressed worry about showing interest in my book, thinking it wasn’t any of her business! I was SO surprised to learn of her apprehension to purchase my book. WOW. Please, please know this:
ALL writers want you to read their work! THAT IS WHY THEY WRITE.
Friends, family, loved ones…
Step into your writer’s world. Read their words, share their words, purchase their books, review their books. All of your support means everything to them. You have a great opportunity to validate their work, because, you are their customer. Their work is revealed to you every day. There is no boundary line that exists between the writer and the reader, except for a choice. A choice you can make to both read and share the writer’s words. A writer’s career is challenging, and often vulnerable to failing in this massive industry we pursue. You may not feel like your click, share, purchase, or review is necessary or even significant.
But. oh, friend…
I can recall every person who has reviewed my books on Amazon. Each one counts. Each one matters. Each one has impacted the sales of my book.
To sum this all up, writers appreciate your decision to support our work in any way you feel comfortable. It is a choice, and we know sometimes decisions are difficult and often overlooked because of life’s pace and practicalities. We understand this reality, so this post was not written to evoke shame for you not supporting a writer in your life. This post was written, because too many times, I have learned that people want to support writers but they don’t understand how to do just that or they believe it is an area they don’t belong.
The writer’s world is complex and challenging. There are hours upon hours, days upon days, even weeks upon weeks, (months upon months and even YEARS upon YEARS) of work that goes into the writer’s words. There are pitches and contracts and negotiations and rejections and networking and editing and researching- to name a few things that happen behind the scenes of that one article that writer may have just shared. It’s a ton of work.
And we love it or we wouldn’t be doing it.
Unlike many careers, you have the great opportunity to not only get a view into what we do-
We want you to read the words we write.
That is our goal as writers.
To create something valuable for YOU.
This is so good, Christine! I am sharing, and honestly? You have spurred me on to become a better online friend by reviewing their books.
Thanks so much Wendy! I’m glad this helped and encouraged you too! Before I wrote a book, I had little insight as to how important those reviews are. They are everything to the new author… everything!
This is a fabulous piece of writing that I will share with all those who love me! You are such a gift and I am thankful!
YOU are such a gift, Lisa. If only everyone could be YOU- with unending support and encouragement EVERYWHERE you go… You are a light in this writing world, my beautiful friend. I true LIGHT. <3
Kelly L McKenzie says
Yes! You put a lot of thought into this worthy and beyond informative post, Chris. I agree with you that this writing gig is a ton of work and I think that those pieces that sing are usually the ones that have been worked on for hours! Thank you for opening the door to your office today and please know that I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Here’s to spreading the word that the most important thing a reader can do is share. I’m off to do just that.
Thank you soo much Kelly!! Your comment is just so awesome, my friend. 🙂 I so appreciate the share too…
“…those pieces that sing are usually the ones that have been worked on for hours!” <---- so true. And often the ones that don't 'sing' have been worked on for hours too. Am I right? It's HARD WORK! XO
Janine Huldie says
Aw, the writer in me couldn’t love this more, Chris and everything you said here is so true and than some as how to support the writers in your life. Hugs and thank you so much for putting it out there for those who may not know what or how to do this!! 🙂
Right? We all need support! I know you get this! Thanks so much for reading and sharing, Janine! XOXO
Stephanie D. Lewis says
You covered everything SPOT ON my dear friend!! Anything I would have hoped to impart, you said it soooooo eloquently. Sharing and I hope this goes viral!
Aw I LOVE that you saw this one and shared it, Stephanie! Girl, that would be awesome if it went viral… or at the very least made a difference for us all! 🙂
Ah!! You are such an inspiration!! Such a comprehensive, thoughtful article that speaks for so many of us..you have also been an incredibly HUGE support of my writing, and INSPIRED me on when I often felt how can I write this week with such a full plate! Your words here also make me own the fact that, although I didn’t start writing my blog to become a writer or publish, I realize I am a writer, and if I’m called to publish or write, I’ll remember you as a KEY PERSON who is an inspiration for me as a writer!! Someone who I admire as a woman of God, a writer, and awesome friend and person with a huge heart and great talent with a gift for inspiring, words, and compassion..you are a blessing, and I hold your words here as guidelines for lifting up my sister/friend writers and rememberin we are in fellowship!! I’m taking a summer break from blogging, but will be posting on my Holy Vacation FB page other’s blogs and inspirations! I plan on sending a post out tomorrow hopefully! Warm blessings!
Kathy, EVERYTHING you said is exactly how I feel about YOU. Oh, how I adore you… <3 I could read your comments over and over- they always make my heart SWELL with love and gratitude.
Good for YOU for taking a break, my friend. I am deep in the trenches of swim season/dive season/ baseball season.... SUMMER- with two busy kiddos! It's non-stop around here... so yes, I have little time for online stuff lately too.
ENJOY your time off, and I'll keep grabbing those few free moments to catch up with you too. 🙂
lisa thomson says
Perfection. I am thrilled with this post, Chris, because while it helps a writer like myself, it’s also a reminder that as a writer I need to support my fellow writers as well! Getting reviews is like digging for gold, seriously. This post almost brought tears to my eyes b/c I have been disappointed in those closest to me so far as zero support. Luckily I have some good friends who have made the effort and some even posting a book review.
I also love this: ” the beauty of writing is that it explores endless possibilities-” So true. Thanks for writing this Chris, I’ll be sharing it everywhere! Hugs.
Oh Lisa, I’m SO glad this meant something to you too! I understand 100% about your challenges with the support/ non support. Oh do I… It’s so perplexing to me, and I hope this post offers some insight and help to those who don’t know the significance of supporting us! Thanks so much for your beautiful encouragement and YOUR support, my friend!
Julie Gardner says
I’m here because Jennie Goutet shared your post (thought I’d give her the shout-out) and I plan to share on Twitter and Facebook. I couldn’t agree more with everything you wrote here. My debut novel came out a year ago and I appreciate every little thing my friends have done to support it (and me)!
It’s amazing how important it is, and how many non writers have no idea what their support means to us! I really do hope this helps… And thank you for reading and mentioning dear Jennie! Oh do I adore her and I’m so glad she shared this. <3
Yes!! Buy the book! Especially when it’s amazing like yours!!
Oh friend, you are the BEST at all of this. If only everyone could be like you… <3
*You make my heart swell*
Kristi Campbell says
For me, it’s a good reminder that it’s okay to ask although I really REALLY struggle with that. I just deleted about a book about this here in your comments section. I think I typed for 10 minutes at least, and…. I just have so many mixed feelings about it based on my own experience but YES to sharing, and I so so so know the hurt of those closest to you (me, us, all of us) not even bothering to take a few minutes to read an essay, much less a book…
UGH, deleted again. Let’s chat when you have time <3
It’s a tough one, isn’t it? Soooo hard- to ask, to understand, to accept…
Julie Jo Severson says
Wow. You absolutely nailed it. And so glad to know you care about this stuff too, because sometimes I feel petty thinking it. As a writer who would prefer to stay off social media, I cringe at how dependent I am on it for growing in my field. Know how loved and respected you are, Christine, by writers all over the world!
Oh Julie, you are so so kind. Thank you friend. <3 (WOW- I'll hold your words tightly in my heart.)
And yeah- I DO think about it, wonder about it, and hope many of our non-writer friends/family gain a better understanding of the significance of their support. We all deserve it!
Yes, yes, yes! I don’t think so many of our friends, family and colleagues know how easy it is to help us. This explains it all so well.
I don’t think so either, Katy. I really do hope this helps them understand and take some of these steps to support us writers.
Marie Kléber says
YES to everything Chris!
Support to writers is key and so precious. And most of the time it’s also a good opportunity for others to discover new voices. You never know what wonders you can find behind a shared link!
Sending love to you.
Ah I love that Marie! “You never know what wonders you can find behind a shared link.” <--- love that. <3
Lynn Simpson says
I learned a lot here as a writer too! And how to be supporter of other writers as much as possible…I just learned recently about how the ‘like’ works on facebook for business pages. And helped me more understand it. The trick for me is to still craft and not just social media! By the way, I have your book on my shelf just waiting to be delivered to a friend who is in health recovery. I look forward to giving her this gift that you created!
Aw Lynn! That just means the WORLD to me to know you will be gifting someone with my book! Thank you, friend. Praying it helps. <3
Chris, this is everything. I am a writer and I forget this so often. It’s like rainbow sprinkles – all those ways to support and encourage and LOVE your writer friends and family members. It’s also an awesome way to discover new writers and friends and writer friends.
YES exactly that Tamara! 🙂
Thanks for writing this, Chris. It’s so true: it takes five seconds or less to like, comment, or share someone’s work on social media. And it makes the world of difference to know that your work is being seen and appreciated!
AMEN to that, Alison! I don’t think people understand how important this is to us writers. I hope this helps them take those steps to support our work.
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
This was so awesome and so helpful Chris. I want everyone to know about these suggestions!
Amazon reviews / reviews on my blog MAKE my day. I love feedback – especially when it’s good 😉
Thanks so much for sharing.
It’s sooo needed and I don’t think people understand the significance of it all. I hope this helps. Thanks Jennifer!
It needed to be said, and you said it!! Thanks Christine <3
Aw thanks Tammy! It DID need to be said… now I just hope it makes a difference and helps those non writers understand and take these few steps to help support us all.
My daughter noticed that I’m putting a lot of effort into writing this summer. It’s nice that she can see it now that she’s 12. Now if I could just get them to stop taking to me when I’m in mid-sentence….
Support makes all this difference. Thanks for this lovely post.
That is just so sweet that your daughter notices all your writing efforts, Joey! And yes, support makes a world of difference to us writers! Thanks for reading. 🙂
As I’m reading this, it struck me how many people DON”T know how to support the writers in their lives. I do, because I’m a part of wonderful blogging community that is built on support and encouragement. Thank you for the reminder of how I can help my author friends get their work exposed to as wide as audience as possible!
It makes sense to me that most people have no idea their support can make such a huge difference! And yes, even us bloggers can still learn. Lord knows I have a lot more to learn myself!
Wow! This is such great advice. I love that you offer grace for those who don’t know how to support writers or have been too timid to do it. No judgement, I love it!
Thanks so much Stephanie! I think it’s often the case of people not understanding what to do or not knowing how much they can help writers in their lives. I hope this helps!
Shaly Pereira says
What a lovely article! As a freelance writer, I completely identify with your views. Sometimes I find hundreds of ‘views’ on my articles but then so few take the trouble to leave a like or comment. I try not to let that demoralize me but lately I spend less time blogging and more time pitching to various publications. At least it does wonders for my confidence levels when the editors respond.
Thank you for your insightful thoughts. Sharing on my page????❤
Comments are such a beautiful thing, aren’t they? And yes, it is a great confidence booster when we get an acceptance from an editor! HUGE reward! 🙂 I get it. I really do.
Kenya G. Johnson says
Excellent post Christine! I’ve shared it on social media.
Thanks SO MUCH Kenya! I really don’t think people understand all that we do and how to support us. I really hope this helps.
Debbie Rust says
So great Christine!! Sharing ❤
Thank you Debbie! I hope it helps! 🙂