Encourage A Writer Today
By Christine Carron
Today is National Encouragement Day. Find a writer, or writers, and lay some encouragement on them. Consider it your Goodjelly move of the day.
Goodjelly’s not-so-stealth mission is to teach writers how to unleash their writing progress. How? By teaching them the same process and project management techniques used by the most innovative and creative companies in the world. Part of that effort includes helping writers (a) strengthen (or reclaim) their power and agency and (b) instill more kindness and joy into their writing practice.
That last bit about kindness and joy is not for feel good reasons. (Though kindness and joy do feel better than harshness and criticism.) Kindness and joy are actually smart, proven strategies for getting things done.
Here are two excerpts from a Fast Company article Why Positive Encouragement Works Better Than Criticism by Belle Beth Cooper.
In his book Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, Daniel Goleman explains that heightened prefrontal activity, which is associated with positive emotions, enhances mental abilities such as “creative thinking, cognitive flexibility, and the processing of information.” The left prefrontal area of our brains, which lights up with activity when we’re in a positive mood, is also associated with reminding us of the good feelings we’ll have when we reach a long-term goal.
In Focus, Goleman looked at how talking about positive goals and dreams can be a better way to encourage employees. Richard Boyatzis, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University explained that focusing on what someone needs to do to “fix” themselves will effectively close them down to new possibilities or ideas.
So encouragement supports creative thinking and cognitive flexibility; reminds us writers how good it will feel to reach a long-term goal; and keeps us open to new possibilities and ideas.
Seriously, go find a writer and encourage them today. And if you are a writer, give yourself some pep and love. It could make all the difference in helping them, or you, stay on the writerly adventure.
Need some ideas?
10 Ways to Encourage a Writer
- Send them a text or email and tell them you believe in them.
- Check in on them and ask them how their writing is going.
- Tell them what moves you about their writing, or how their writing has positively impacted you.
- Tell them what impresses you about how they are following their writerly dream.
- Tell them why it is important for them to keep writing, i.e., why their voice matters.
- Gift them with a tea or coffee or chocolate or whatever writerly treat they desire.
- Compose an ode to their creativity. Note: it does not have to be a good ode. In fact, terribly bad but heartfelt odes have a charm all their own.
- Write a haiku, sonnet, or blank verse about their writerly grit. (Like odes, heartfelt is more important than technical skills.)
- Treat them to a gift certificate from their favorite bookstore.
- Go full acrostic on them, as I have done for you here. . .
Writer, You Rock!
(An encouragement acrostic)
Y ou are a writer.
O h, my word-wielding friend, do not doubt that.
U nfurl your your grit, your fierce determination.
R elease all fears
O rient ever toward your possibility.
C laim your creative soul and above all
K now this to be true: You’ve got this!
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