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How to Be Inspiring!

inspirationBy Lori Widmer

Part of the reason why I contribute here at About Freelance Writing is because since I’ve met her, Anne has been an inspiration. She espouses a genuine, reflective approach to client relationships and writing projects that make writers feel good about being writers. I want to be around that kind of person, and I want to be like that.


On my own blog, it’s been a little less than inspiring at times. I’ve taken on some touchy topics (content mills, sexism, etc.), and I can’t say I’ve always been inspiring about it. But sometimes I’ve felt I needed to say what was on my mind, even if it was unpopular or controversial.

But I’m getting better. Recently I brought up, very briefly, my thoughts on content mills and writers who contract with them. It was a brief “live and let live, but don’t expect me to like it” post. It drew some very bold posts, which I think is good in a way. When someone touches a nerve, it’s a great time to learn something. One poster in particular took offense at something that was said in the comments section, and a discussion ensued.

At the end of it, he said something that made me feel the discussion was worth it, warts and all. He said my opinions were focused and he’s considering them based on their merit. Amen. My goal is to introduce the idea to writers that they can, and should, be always reaching beyond themselves toward better clients, better projects, better income.

Each of us holds strong opinions on some topic. And sometimes the frustration and anger and maybe even a little resentment creeps into those opinions. I’m guilty of that. But focusing on the topic, not the “You offended me” stance, we can learn to hear each other and maybe even grow as writers from it.

Some ways to be inspiring to other writers:

  • Don’t sugar coat, but don’t offend intentionally. In some cases, just holding an opposing opinion will offend. That you cannot help.
  • Champion their career. Help them see their own value.

  • Be genuine. Say what you mean and defend it if you need to. But be open to new ideas.
  • Care about your fellow writer.
  • Allow yourself to change your mind.
  • Agree to disagree.
  • Defend the right of all to their opinions, good or bad.

How do you inspire other writers?

Lori Widmer blogs at Words on the Page. You can learn more about her at her business site, and if you want to follow her on twitter it’s:http://twitter.com/LoriWidmer

Two newsletters:
Abundant Freelance Writing – a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • I agree, it’s all in how it is delivered. When I worked as an editor I had to tell writers things that they didn’t want to hear and I always tried to preface it with something good first and then gently move on to the points that need improvment. The same goes with when my work needs some critiquing. If you can say what you mean without attacking the person and respect them, it will go much better. Even hot button topics can be approached with respect. I don’t have to agree with you, but I can respect the fact that you have the right to your opinion whether I agree with it or not.
    Kathryn Pless recently posted..International Fame!My Profile

    • The criticism sandwich! I learned this in my short stint as a grad school education student. Give something positive, then put the suggestion for improvement the middle, and end on another (related) positive note. It’s intended to inspire a pupil to rework or revise rather than to become discouraged and give up, because their work isn’t perfect or they’ve made mistakes. And it works pretty well, most of the time.

      I think we have to remember also to do this with ourselves. We deserve to treat ourselves well also. 🙂
      Elizabeth West recently posted..Grrrr!!!My Profile

      • Criticism sandwich- I love that, Elizabeth! What a great visual and easy to remember–better than eating crow! 😀
        Cathy Miller recently posted..When Stupid Customers AttackMy Profile

        • OMG–my crow comment might drive you over the edge-I just read your Grrr… post. Way too funny–sorry to laugh at your expense & then I throw in another feathered comment. LOL!! 😀
          Cathy Miller recently posted..When Stupid Customers AttackMy Profile

  • Excellent post, Lori. I can attest to the fact that you do everything presented on your list.
    Kimberly recently posted..A Small Change Brings Unexpected ResultsMy Profile

    • Anne

      Yes, she does, and even more.

  • Absolutely, Lori! It really does become a family. I moved from San Diego after 20+ years and left behind some long-time friends. My virtual community has been a delight & helped ease that pain of moving.

    I couldn’t say it better than one post I saw – disagree, but just be nice. Thanks for your high-quality posts. I always learn something new.
    Cathy Miller recently posted..Business Blog Post ProtectionMy Profile

  • Hi Cathy! Loved your post on creating community. I love a place where you can get critical without attacking. My own writing group can do this quite well. We’ve known each other long enough that we cut right to the chase and no one takes offense – they take notes instead.

    It’s all in how the message is delivered, isn’t it?

    • Anne

      I love it when people get constructively critical here.

  • I think encouragement is one of the best inspiration. |Let them see you appreciate their efforts, their opinions.

    One of the best example of this is the community over at Creative Copy Challenge. Anne is the one who turned me onto it and I am very grateful for that. Besides helping your creativity, the community is so supportive.

    We have all levels of writers and non-writers. I am inspired by the genius and I am inspired by the support. No matter how lousy I think my submission is, the community is always there to say “well done.” Now, that’s inspiring!

    P.S. I wrote a recent interview post about the creators- I adjusted ComLuv to show the link–better yet-join us at CreativeCopyChallenge.com
    Cathy Miller recently posted..How to Create a Community With CreativityMy Profile

    • Anne

      Cathy, great post (I’m just catching up after my move.) Wish I’d thought to interview Shane 😉 Love your definition of his success: Keep it simple, clear & uniquely yours. Great advice.

      • I put a reply on my blog re: your comment. My Dad had a saying: Even a blind hog picks up an acorn every now and then. Consider my interview with Shane that acorn. 🙂

        Thanks, Anne. Glad to hear you survived the move! Hope MzTiz did, too.
        Cathy Miller recently posted..When Stupid Customers AttackMy Profile

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