I debated writing about emotion but that is such a loaded word when it comes to our writing. And we’re supposed to keep this brief.

I honestly don’t know how writers go it alone without a critique group or online support from other bloggers. All of you – yeah I mean you – have enriched my life and kept me going  – and blogging.

But how can we encourage our fellow writers?

  • Send virtual cookies or chocolate when needed.
  • When critiquing – always make sure to include a lot of positive, because a crit only filled with criticism can be pretty discouraging.
  • Support other writers by reading their books and writing reviews, by tweeting their links and their blog posts.
  • Say hi on Twitter and @reply to their tweets.
  • Comment on their blogs with a smile!
  • Use crazy hashtags to make them smile.

A big thanks to all of you who encourage me every week – even when you don’t mean to!

I should also say something about this vicious cycle most writers go through – the ups and downs. One day feeling super encouraged and the next day like our writing totally sucks and our dreams are impossible. You never know when your virtual smile will make someone’s day!

We’ve all been there. I’ve been there. Sometimes once a day. Try and ignore it and see it as part of the cycle.

How do you deal with those down days? How do you encourage others?

36 Responses to Encouragement

  1. Tab April 6, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Encouragement is so important isn’t it. I love the virtual hugs and chocolate 🙂

    I try to stay connected when I am down cause you are right, others can lift us up.

  2. Kris April 6, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Love you, Laura! Your humor, great crits, and unwavering encouragement have all contributed to my writing the past two years. Yay for crit partners! Great post!

  3. Talei Loto April 6, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Positive comments, virtual cookies and bubbles, and yes definitely saying hi on twitter! 😉

    • Laura April 6, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

      How would any of us keep going in this journey without a little bit of love and friendship? I’m sure we would but it wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding.

  4. Lola Sharp April 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Awww, I love this post. *hugs* I’m big on being supportive and I agree, sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most.

    And good CPs are crucial. CRUCIAL.

    Have a lovely week and a happy humpday, Laura!

  5. Creepy Query Girl April 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    oh, without encouragement from my writing peeps, I def wouldn’t still be here. I try to give it as much as I get it and I think the point about giving lots of positives with critism is key. A spoon full of sugar and all that…

  6. Lydia K April 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Lots of heartfelt emails my way help. The supportive nature of the writing community is just awesome.

  7. Chelsey April 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I came across this randomly just when I needed to. It’s good to know other writers need encouragement this way too.

  8. anne gallagher April 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    If it weren’t for the writing community here on the blogs, I think I would still be stuck writing my first book. This online world is full of win.

    And on bad days I usually don’t turn on the computer. If I can’t say anything nice, I don’t say anything at all.

  9. Lynn April 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    I need to get twitter figured out! And pass along chocolate and cookies more often. Being supportive is so important and finding new ways to provide inspiration makes me smile!

  10. Stina Lindenblatt April 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    I’m lucky to have some amazing cheerleader/blogger/writer friends who always know when I need the encouragement and when I need a kick in the butt. 🙂

  11. Wendy April 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Sometimes I need to get out and have coffee with fellow writers…meet in person b/c all the online stuff can get overwhelming.

    Hey, I think you might live near me. Here’s my email: millerct1@cox.net (if you ever want to meet up).
    ~ Wendy

  12. Jenny Lundquist April 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Your posts always encourage me :0) I’m getting into the habit of reading them in the morning before I have to face the blinking curser. I like how you mention the highs and lows. Sometimes I feel a little bit bipolar about my writing, as in, “I’m awesome!I suck. I’m awesome! I suck…”

    Is this the week you submit to your beta readers? Either way, good luck.

    • Laura April 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      thanks everyone for commenting! Be encouraged today!

  13. Joyce April 6, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    I rectify my down days by reading your blog! You always have some post, whether it be that day or previous, that lifts me up!

  14. Patti Nielson April 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    It’s so great to have this community where we’re all going through or have gone through similar emotions. I find my real life friends don’t quite understand.

  15. Susan Sipal April 6, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    While it’s tempting to reach for the chocolate, sugar just makes it worse for me, and makes the bad feelings last longer. It may sound trite, but striving to eat healthy truly helps me deal with the down times and stress of writing. I think as artists, we’re all super-sensitive to environmental factors, including what sugar and processed foods do to us.

    And having this online community is just so awesome for instant sharing and support, like you, Laura! 🙂

  16. Susan Kaye Quinn April 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    We all have bad days. #writersjustfeelitmore

    We all have great days. #writersjustfeelitmore

    I couldn’t make it without my author/blogger friends either. #theymaketheworldgoround

  17. Laura Marcella April 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    I like giving virtual cupcakes. Crazy hashtags are also great pick-me-ups!

    • Laura April 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

      and I agree with Susan. Virtual chocolate is great but no real chocolate. I am a full advocate of eating healthy while writing! 🙂

  18. Lisa Green April 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    You are just one of those awesome, supportive people that make the world a better place. Maybe it was the virtual cinnamon coffee that got me all emotional today.

  19. Misha April 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    Hehehe I read a post to that effect (being brief) today. Whoops!

    I love what you said about encouragement. It is amazing how the smallest thing that someone says or does encourages me. Particularly in the community we have here on the blogosphere.

    There’s no end to the encouragement here.


  20. Sherrie Petersen April 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    Your blog ALWAYS makes me smile!! Thanks for spreading encouragement to all 🙂

  21. Shelli April 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Down days are easily fixed by chocolate. And I find that social media is a great way to encourage others, writers and friends alike. It’s simple and easy to do, and it doesn’t take much time at all. Great post!

  22. LynNerd April 6, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    I love this post, Laura. I’m new to the blogosphere world. I can’t start my own blog until after my daughter’s wedding in two days — talk about emotion with a capital “E” and then some. I don’t even know how to twitter. So much has changed since I started writing 14 years ago. But the ups and downs are part of a writer’s life. In the beginning, I was lonely – so very, very lonely, dying to learn everything about the craft of writing but had to wait for the classes to start at the college, so I read books from the library about writing. Still very lonely. Emails were not part of life back then. I finally met some other writers. Yes, life was getting better having someone who could relate. Then I was blessed with a critique group! That’s where encouragement is most prevalent and fuels that spark of hope burning within us. We became very close. It was better than any therapy session because not only did we encourage each other and offer support, we had lots of laughs — released tons of endorphins! So good for the writer’s soul.
    I can see how following blogs brings writers together. In the short time I’ve been checking out blogs, I’ve become involved with some of the writers, all over the world! How cool is that? So I look forward to meeting lots of new writers when I finally getup the gumption to start my own blog (shaking in my slippers!), but with encouragement and support, I’ll find my way! I also find it so satisfying to give a pep talk and a shout out (through emails and on Facebook) to other writers and encourage them to keep moving forward in their journeys, with all the hills and valleys, jagged rocky terrain, and teetering on cliff hangers! I’ll never forget those very lonely days when I first started out, so I try to make a special effort with new writers and welcome them into the writing community. It’s so important to feel like we belong. Cheers!

    Lynn Kelley – No longer lonely!

  23. Shelley Batt April 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Encouragement is so important. Great post! And if you need it hang in there 🙂

  24. Karen Strong April 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    This is one of the reasons that I love blogging so much because I get to meet awesome writer friends like you. 🙂

    It’s really essential to have that writer support — because this journey like a roller-coaster. You need your pals to yell when it’s fun and then hug you when you’re down.

  25. Margo April 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    The best life advice I ever got – and it applies to writing too – is whenever you are down, take the time to encourage someone else, and you will find yourself encouraged too! It really works! (Carolina Valdez Miller guest blogged about this recently, she nearly made me cry).

    You’ve really inspired me with the #hashtagsthatmakeyousmile. Great idea.

  26. Jessica R. Patch April 6, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Encouragement is vital! When I’m having a down day, I grab a gal-pal and force her to make me laugh and buy me an Oreo Blast from Sonic. I try to be encouraging through all of my social media links. I also love sharing cyber coffee.

  27. Jami Gold April 6, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    My favorite of your suggestions? Use crazy hashtags. LOL!

  28. Jeanne Kraus April 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Hmm. Very well written. I don’t have too many down days because I just don’t deal with writing when I am down. Music is good. I have mood music that is geared for right brain activities like art and writing and I love how that keeps me perking. Mostly I tend to procrastinate, do a couple emails, play some online Scrabble, and have to convince myself its time to write. But most of the time I am pretty upbeat about it.

  29. Ghenet Myrthil April 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    I know the vicious cycle all too well. I’m so grateful for the support of the writing community, which is why I’m so glad I blog and tweet. I don’t know how writers who aren’t connected (either online or in real life) to other supportive writers do it!

  30. Terri Tffany April 7, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    Oh yes I have those down days. It helps like you said to have those writer friends that you can go to who lift you up and keep you going. It’s a vicious cycle but that’s the job:)

  31. Ansha Kotyk April 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Talk about encouragement. I’m in awe every time I visit your blog and see how successful you are not only in your masterful posts but the amount of visitors you have. You make this critique partner proud.

  32. Michelle Gregory April 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    great post. i try to encourage my writing friends with emails and with my blog posts.

    nice to meet another writer. i found you via The Bookshelf Muse’s post on medieval markets.

    • Laura April 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

      I guess writers could possibly get preachy if they decide ahead of time what their theme is. But I usually know going in because it’s tied up with my character’s internal conflict. But yes often times things like that change as we write the first draft. Theme is often better layered in during rewrites when we know for sure.

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