Friday, January 13, 2012

The Care and Feeding of Writers by Michelle Griep

I’ve often said that no one can truly understand a writer except another writer. We are a unique breed. Today, author Michelle Griep explains some of our tendencies and what we can do to help take care of our species. You may want to share this article with family and friends! ~ Dawn

The Care and Feeding of Writers
by Michelle Griep

I’m a writer. It says so on my business card. Sometimes I pull one out just to remind myself because it still doesn’t seem real. Seriously.

Could just be a strange quirk of mine, but I doubt it. Most writers I know are slightly psychotic. Not in a bad way, mind you. Hearing voices makes for a much easier time when penning a piece of fiction.

Yes indeed, a writer is an interesting animal. Certain traits mark the species, and once you know what to look for, you’ll see them all over the neighborhood. Common identifying characteristics are:

A Tough Hide
Writers deal with rejection after rejection. Oh sure, there are a few successes sprinkled in the mix, but most often not. A true writer feels the pain then moves on…and the scars make for some great stories.

Solitary Tendencies
A writer is not a herd dweller. Give them a laptop and they vanish. Even a lousy piece of paper and a pen will have the same effect.

Unique Hoots and Howls
Walk up to a suspected writer and say, “So…what are you working on?” Then stand back and listen. There’s a musical lilt in the tone of an author explaining their latest and greatest.

Now that you can successfully identify one of the writerly beasts, it’s important to understand their care and feeding. Writers not only crave encouragement, they need it to survive. Here are a few tips to keep these animals from becoming extinct…

Mail out a handwritten note.
Guess what…writers love words and they especially love words that support them in all their ups and downs. I’m not talking pages of epic praise. A simple you-go-girl will suffice.

Be a name dropper.
Tell your friends, family and countrymen about your writer buddy’s latest accomplishment, then be sure to let your writer know what kind of lovely anti-gossip you’ve been spreading around.

Write a review.
Yes, authors do look at their reviews on Amazon, so post one. And while you’re at it, stick one up on Goodreads and Barnes & Noble, too.

Visit their blogs.
This might seem counterintuitive being that writers are often solitary, but they do like to see comments on their blogs. It’s comforting for them to know someone actually reads what they write. You don’t have to be a daily visitor. Just pop in now and then and leave a short note.

These are just a few suggestions. Put on your thinking cap, then get out there and encourage a writer today.

Michelle’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas...professionally, however, for the past 10 years. When not squirreled away with laptop in hand, she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. 

You can find Michelle at:


  1. Love this article, Michelle. You go, girl! LOL. Think I'll name drop on facebook.

  2. Thanks Dora! Name drop all you want. And you're welcome to keep up with my writing antics at Writer Off The Leash.

  3. Thanks so much, Dawn, for letting me visit Seriously Write!

  4. Thanks for the tips. Yes, it is really nice to have a visitor who gives comments


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