* You may not be a reader, but could you read this post? You should be able to read it in 3 to 4 minutes. *

One aspect of writing that I find particularly frustrating is the lack of interest or support that you sometimes or often feel, especially from those you know personally. Other writers can relate. I realize not everyone is a reader, so some people will never read anything you write, and you should not expect them to do so. And certain types of writing have a limited audience, only of interest to a small segment of people. Yet…

Writing can be particularly isolating and lonely. It is not a group social activity! Of course, other things are done in isolation too, but one can expect feedback and interest in the finished product. For example, my husband is a woodworker (as a hobby) and when he shares a photo on social media of a completed wood creation, he receives many likes, comments, and encouraging words about his talent. And the likes/comments boost it in the social media algorithms, so more people see it in their feed, getting even more folks to see it. Compare that to sharing an article you wrote…

Consider that writing is like art. Some would say it is an art. You take words and create an essay, an article, or a book. Editing involves the moving around and shifting of words and sentences. It takes effort, and you finally end up with a finished product. You share it, and then it is…crickets. There is little, if any, reply or interest. Of course, admittedly, reading an article requires more than just looking at a photo or picking up a piece of art to admire it.

Just because you aren’t a reader, does not mean you can’t support and encourage the writer in your life!  How?

(Realizing there are different types of writing, and I am thinking mostly of Christian non-fiction.)

♦ Acknowledge your friend or family member’s writing for the ministry that it is.  I’ve begun referring to my writing as a ministry. “I have a writing ministry.” I am finding this gets an odd response! Writing is somehow not viewed in that way. Maybe we think of ministry as being more…in-the-flesh, tangible, hands on…with other people? Yet writing can minister to people! Writing can serve the Christian community. So…pray for their writing ministry, just as you would for other types of ministry, and let them know you have prayed for them.

♦ Even if you are not much of a reader, you can make an effort to occasionally read a post or article! (And let them know you did so by a comment.) When you see them, inquire about their writing. “What have you written about recently?” – In other words, express just a little interest on occasion! I have done the same for others many times over the years. For example, I do not like sports, at all. Yet I have attended sporting events, just to encourage and show support for someone in my life who is on a team or a big fan of a team. Can’t you do similar for a writer?

♦ Even if you aren’t much of a reader, you must have some friends who are readers. Tell them about your writing friend! Share a link to their article or give one of their books as a gift.

In the church…I’ve seen writers express discouragement at how little their church cares about their writing. One writer expressed frustration that it was not seen as something that could be utilized in the church setting. There are different types of writing, but what about…writing curriculum? writing articles or descriptions for a church newsletter? writing something creative for a youth group activity?

I’m also reminded of an article I read by a Christian author, who changed churches more than typical due to moves. When she’d share with a new pastor that she was an author, she found surprisingly little interest. She is a small-time author, but nevertheless has multiple books with traditional Christian publishers. Sometimes she is  brought in as a guest speaker for gatherings or events. But the churches she has attended did not utilize her!

This drifts into another topic, but I have observed churches that overlook the gifted in their own church, and seemingly only see the gifted as “out there” to be brought in as a guest speaker!

⇒ ⇒ It also seems odd that churches overlook writers in their midst since our Bible is filled with writing of various types! If God did not utilize writers, the Bible would not exist!

If you are a church leader (even informally as a lay person, like being on a church committee) could you put in a good word for a writer?

Suggest their book for a reading group. Suggest their curriculum be utilized. Or simply make people aware there is a gifted writer at the church.

I hope this gave you some ideas for encouraging writers! They need it!