Writing can be challenging at times, especially when feeling overwhelmed by the size of a project, afraid of rejection, or unsure of your abilities. That’s when finding a positive writing role model proves helpful. Whether it be a favorite author, prolific blogger, or committed writing buddy, having someone to look up to, learn from, imitate, and glean inspiration from can profoundly impact your writing journey.
Let’s look at the power of positive writing role models and how they can encourage and motivate you to succeed.
The Power of Positive Role Models
Humans are creatures of imitation, shaped by the company we keep and the models we follow. That’s why positive role models profoundly impact shaping our character and habits.
When you see someone who represents desirable traits, habits, mindsets, and values, you realize that person is worth emulating. While negative role models can lead you down an ineffective or undesirable path, positive role models can inspire greatness and motivate and encourage you to achieve your writing goals.
Positive writing role models probably exist outside your immediate circle of family and friends. They can be any writers—dead or alive—you admire and respect. Be sure to choose a role model with traits you want to emulate, such as confidence, perseverance, positivity, commitment, self-integrity, productivity, or courage. By observing and learning from this writer’s positive character traits, you can strengthen those traits in yourself.
In fact, you can decide to take on an identity that has those character traits. If, for example, your positive writing role model is exceptionally committed and self-integral and, therefore, consistently keeps his promise to himself to write for three hours every day, you can decide to be committed and self-integral, too. When you adopt this new identity, you will almost automatically take on the same character traits. Thus, you will find it easy to keep your promise to write daily because you are being someone who is self-integral and committed.
Don’t underestimate the power of positive writing role models. They can and do have a profound effect on your life and inspire you to become the kind of writer you know you can and want to be.
My Positive Role Models
To give you an idea about the kind of positive writing role models you might choose, let me tell you about a few of mine.
Joyce Maynard has established herself as a powerful and influential voice via her writing, public speaking, and social media presence. Her writing career began at age 18 when her article, “An 18-Year-Old Looks Back on Life,” appeared in The New York Times Magazine, and catapulted her to fame. Like Maynard, I got my first by-lines in high school, but I would have loved to be published in such a prestigious publication—then or now. While she dared to submit her work, and I sometimes still struggle with taking such bold action and can learn a thing or two from her courage.
Maynard often draws on her experiences to create vivid, engaging stories that capture readers’ attention. Like her, I pull on my life and experiences in my written work, but I’d love to adopt her confidence in pursuing different genres—fiction, memoir, and journalism. Indeed, she inspires me to get my novel published, write a memoir, and submit to publications again.
She also has made her living as a writer, supporting her children and herself with written words. I’ve wanted to do the same since I began my career as a magazine journalist.
Wayne Dyer was a renowned self-help author, motivational speaker, and personal and spiritual growth teacher. Dyer’s first book, Your Erroneous Zones, quickly became a bestseller. The personal empowerment theme became the cornerstone of Dyer’s work throughout his writing and speaking career. Over the next four decades, Dyer published over 40 books and became one of the best-selling self-help authors.
As a transformational coach, I resonate with Dyer’s life’s work and message. I aspire to model his charismatic style and holistic personal and spiritual development approach. Also, it’s my goal to produce a large body of work—Maybe not as large as his!—in my lifetime and leave a legacy of transformation and contribution.
Gabby Bernstein is a renowned American motivational speaker and author whose work is built on the teachings of spirituality, meditation, and personal growth. I first discovered her on the stage of one of Hay House’s “I Can Do It” events. She had just published her first book, Spirit Junkie.
Gabby’s books teach readers how to find inner peace and create meaningful lives of purpose and have sold millions of copies worldwide. They include Miracles Now and The Universe Has Your Back. Obviously, Gabby—like Dyer—writes the type of books I want to write, and Gabby provides a great role model for how to do so.
Gabby also draws on her life experiences when she writes, including many anecdotes in her books. Additionally, she writes with a personal tone that is inviting to readers. I’d like to emulate both of these writing characteristics.
Gabby’s accomplishments are a testament to the power of personal and spiritual growth. Through her work, she has helped thousands of people transform and live more fully—things I want my books, articles, and blog posts to do.
Natasha Khullar Relph
Natasha Khullar Relph is a freelance journalist, author, and entrepreneur who has worked from four continents and in many countries and been published in The New York Times, TIME, CNN, BBC, ABC News, The Independent, The CS Monitor, Ms., Elle, Marie Claire, Vogue, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan.
Relph claims to have reached “career nirvana as a freelance journalist.” If I’m honest, I wanted to do the same for most of my writing career—to support myself with my writing while traveling the world, interviewing interesting people, and learning new things. Therefore, like Maynard, she provides a fabulous positive writing role model for what is possible.
Additionally, Relph is the author of eight books for writers, including Shut Up and Write: The No-Nonsense, No B.S. Guide to Getting Words on the Page and seven other bestselling books for writers. Relph’s productivity and success provide me with inspiration and motivation to begin writing for publication—and getting paid for articles—again.
What You Learn from a Positive Writing Role Model
Even the most seasoned writers need inspiration and guidance to excel in their craft. Believe me, I know! A positive writing role model provides both. Some of the things you can learn from a positive writing role model include:
1. Good Writing Habits
Positive writing role models are disciplined and have good writing habits. For example, they set aside specific times or days to write and stick to their schedules. They prioritize writing because they understand the importance of consistency in the writing process. You can learn to develop good writing habits by observing and emulating them.
Positive writing role models are creative and use creative techniques to capture readers’ attention and write with enthusiasm consitently. You will learn how to develop a unique voice and style by studying how such writers incorporate creative elements in their writing and fill their creative wells.
Positive writing role models are passionate about their craft and topics, and their passion is evident through their writing. They love what they do, and it shows in their work. You will learn to infuse your writing with passion by observing positive writing role models.
4. Attention to Detail
Positive writing role models pay attention to every small detail, from grammar and punctuation to sentence structure and flow to dates and attribution. They understand that every detail matters in creating a compelling and correct piece of writing. You will learn to develop a critical eye for detail by studying how positive writing role models do the same.
5. Self-Reflection and Self-Improvement
Positive writing role models always look for ways to improve. They are open to constructive criticism and feedback and use it to become better writers and people. Additionally, they reflect on their weaknesses and find ways to strengthen them personally and professionally. Thus, positive writing role models provide insight into how to use personal growth to enhance their ability to succeed as writers.
As you can see, finding a positive writing role model can be a game-changer for you and your writing career. By studying their habits, creativity, passion, attention to detail, and dedication to self-improvement, you can improve your writing skills and ability to achieve your writing goals.
The Difference Between a Role Model and a Mentor
Don’t confuse a positive writing role model with a writing mentor. While they might sound similar, significant differences exist between the two.
Let’s start by defining both terms. A role model represents an ideal or a perfect example of a particular trait, characteristic, or skill. On the other hand, a mentor is someone who offers guidance, support, and advice to a less experienced person to help them reach their goals.
One of the primary differences between role models and mentors is their level of interaction. Role models, such as bestselling authors, are often people we admire from afar. Their influence comes from what we see or read about them in the media and their speeches, social media posts, or books. We might never have the opportunity to meet these authors in person. Still, their actions and values are visible to and influence us.
Mentors work closely with mentees to help them navigate a specific field, career path, or life situation. So, another author might offer you their expertise, guidance, and support to help you reach your writing potential. Mentors are often seasoned professionals who agree to share experience and knowledge to help you succeed.
Another difference between role models and mentors is their level of engagement. Role models tend to be passive influences, and we look up to them without interaction or communication. However, they inspire us to be our best selves by showing us an ideal path we can envision for ourselves. Mentors work directly with their mentees, offering personalized guidance, feedback, and support. Usually seasoned or experienced experts in their field, they provide their time, attention, and knowledge to help you succeed in the same area.
The Undeniable Power of Positive Writing Role Models
The power of positive writing role models lies in their ability to inspire and motivate. Writing is a craft that requires consistent practice and active learning, and having inspirational figures to look up to can be a great motivation. Also, positive role models can provide guidance, support, and encouragement and show you what is possible with dedication and perseverance.
So, keep your eyes open for inspiring writing role models, and learn all you can from them. As a result, you will find yourself motivated to reach your full potential as a writer and author.
Do you have positive writing role models? And have they helped you move toward success as a writer? Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post with a writing buddy.
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Photo courtesy of EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA.