Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Use These Five Ways to be an Encouragement to Other Writers

by Lucinda Secrest McDowell @LucindaSMcDowel

I just returned from serving as faculty at a favorite conference for writers and speakers. Doing what I love the most.

Encouraging others.

Friend, did you know it takes so little to speak so much into someone else’s life? Today, I’m going to break it down into small, simple steps all of us can take. Because no matter where we are in our own experience as a writer and speaker, there is always someone who could use our encouragement.

5 Ways to Encourage Other Writers


This can mean any number of things – going to at least one writer/speaker event as an attendee or volunteer or invited faculty. It can mean joining a local critique group or even starting one in your community. It might be responding to that person who once said to you, “I want to be a writer too, but I don’t know where to begin.” Show up, not necessarily as an expert in the field (even though you may be,) but as a fellow traveler on this wild journey. Be there for someone today.


And then, do one of the hardest things of all for professional communicators – Listen. Hear their heart, their vision, their hopes. Ask good questions that will prompt them to clarify the next steps. “What do you consider your personal expertise?” “What hard lesson do you hope to share with others?” “What are some of your own personal stories that reveal the intersect between God’s Word and practical life?” Don’t respond too quickly with feedback but ask God to reveal more about that person and how you can help.


After a season of listening, offer to brainstorm ideas and words and titles and outlines with them. Always with pen and paper, a whiteboard, or easel. If they want to plan a 3-part retreat series on emotional healing, join them in coming up with powerful words that might be included. Both with speaking events, and even a book proposal, it helps to have an outline. Play around with alliteration and 3 key sessions or 8 key steps/chapters. Target special biblical characters or scripture to unpack in the teaching portion. Two brains are better than one and it’s always encouraging to have someone with whom to bounce off ideas.


One of the most encouraging things we can do for another person is to introduce her to our people. Whether that be another writer friend, a fellow faculty member, an agent, publisher, or even an online group she might be interested in joining. Please don’t be selfish or threatened by widening someone else’s circle. There is room for all of us at the table. And, when we deliberately connect people with one another, God does amazing things for us as well as them. Remember, we all probably know someone else who might also pour into her life. I call this the stewardship of good friends.


Yes, you read that correctly. We all have the power to bless another person. To ask God prayerfully (through His Spirit) to give insight into the gifts and future He has for them, and then to use well-chosen words to speak into their life. Words that remind others of God’s promises and power; words that comfort others with God’s unconditional love. Words that encourage others to live their unique story with God as the divine Author. Be attentive. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s insight and direction. Then pray over them and promise to follow up later.

I have been the recipient of much encouragement over the years and my prayer is to be a vessel of encouragement to others for the rest of my days. Don’t be overwhelmed by the task, just try one of these today. And one tomorrow. I’m behind you all the way.


Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, McDowell is the author of 17 books and contributing author to 36+ books. Her award-winning books include Soul Strong, Life-Giving Choices, Dwelling Places, and The Courage to Write. Lucinda, a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and AWSA, received Mt. Hermon “Writer of the Year” award and guest blogs monthly for ‘The Write Conversation.’ 

Whether pouring into young mamas, leading a restorative day of prayer, or coaching writers and speakers through “Encouraging Words Consulting,” she is energized by investing in people of all ages. As a communications teacher, she co-directs “reNEW – spiritual retreat for writers & speakers” and has served on the faculty of Speak Up Conference, Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Florida Christian Writers Conference, Asheville Christian Writers Conference, and She Writes for Him. Known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways, McDowell shares words from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and blogs weekly at WWW.LUCINDASECRESTMCDOWELL.COM

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  1. Thank you for these great tips! I, too, feel as though I've been encouraged so much by others over the years that I enjoy reciprocating by encouraging other writers! Thanks for the reminders and fresh ideas!!

  2. Beautiful post, Lucinda! Encouraging others is a biblical principle and we writers need a lot of encouragement!

  3. Thank you, Lucinda, for these tips. I've been on the receiving end of encouragement and help so many times in this generous writing community. I hope I can give back an equal amount.

  4. Wonderful suggestions. I've been blessed by other authors so many times so I know these actions work. Thank you.

  5. Love this! I am meeting with writers tonight and this nails it! Thank you for the encouragement, Lucinda!