I IWSG POST 10: A Tribute to Influencers


[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]



When you think back on the one thing in your life that makes you get out of bed and move through your day, how did you know it meant so much in the first place?

When I close my eyes …

… I see myself as the little 7-year-old in braids with more dreamy thoughts and a whole lot of “prove myself attitude,” staring up at my teacher Mrs. Heinz, blinking, listening, letting the words sink in how much she loved my story about a girl who could see unicorns. She handed me that scribbly card and said something like, “Someday Erika, you will be a writer.”

… Standing outside in the cold after a fire drill at 16, talking to an astonished peer who smiles and said, “You mean you come up with these thoughts naturally?”

… My Sophomore history teacher Mrs. Lafoy, who took me under her wing. I joined my first formal writing group and she really really wanted me to follow in her footsteps, to become a history teacher and develop my writing projects on the side…

…Dr. Martin, an English professor who loved my creative voices in a creative nonfiction writing class I took from him …

… And I picture the faces of all my fellow writing friends and readers, Martha, Debbie, Becky and Adrienne, and of course my mom and stepdad … I can’t say thank you enough for every last bit of encouragement and advice.

Today, I am thinking about Influencers. Those people in our lives who did just the right thing or said just the right thing and woke up that passion or internal gift. Would your life be different without them? 

I was asked to write about the topic, “The best thing someone ever said about my writing.”

I don’t really have a best thing. I do know I may never have pursued writing without others who stepped forward and convinced me I could write and make something of my writing.

So here I am. And the photo of flowers above? It’s just there because they make me happy and smile. 🙂

Question: Would you agree? Does your writing passion, or any other passion you may have, stem from the belief of someone else in you?

My last thought is this: “One thing I’ve learned through all the ups and downs is that if you’re doing things right, then you have a core group of people. Not just a core group like your homies or your buddies, but a group of people that has a good influence on you, who you respect and admire, and you know that if they’re on your side, you’re doing something right.” ~Hope Solo, Brainy Quotes

This Month’s List of Awesome IWSG Hosts:

Yolanda Renee
Tyrean Martinson

About Erika Beebe

Author, dreamer, and a momma to a couple of wonderful kids, I try to live life everyday in hope and inspire others along my way.

Posted on July 6, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. It wasn’t one thing – it was a series of things.
    You should have told her you think of those things unnaturally… Make her wonder!

  2. I’m not sure only because I kept most of my writing to myself for a long, long time. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  3. Your background is rich with experiences. I never thought about writing until it reached out to me, as my kids were growing out of their need for my support. Then, I tried it. Lots of people were critical, and others supportive, but I know if my husband hadn’t been in my corner, I would have quit. Something about the person who knows you best believing in you made a big difference.

  4. Loni Townsend

    I don’t know that I have many influencers who inspired me to write. I stayed in the writing closest for well over a decade, too afraid to let anyone know it was an interest of mine because I thought they’d judge me. Made-up gods? Characters who swear? I figured family would be appalled and turn up their noses because it wasn’t Christian.

    I suppose that’s where my husband came in. He was interested in me, all of me, and told me if I wanted to write it then do it. I’ve since fully embraced the world I created. My sis-in-law lets me bounce ideas off her, and her friends act as impartial/non-writing beta readers. Then I have my critique group and online critique partners. They help me hone my craft. They influence me. Yeah, I’d be pretty different if I didn’t have them.

    • I think Loni I hid my work at first. I had a hard time sharing with anyone since I wrote as a teen to escape. But then my creative writing group opened my eyes to everyone’s struggles. It made me feel more human, normal, and how no one has a perfect life. I remember my first review too. The good one and the crushing one. I think now I have a better perspective on criticism too. Thank you for stopping in Loni.

  5. Lots of encouraging thoughts you have this month. I wish I could tie down a specific thing someone has said that has motivated and encouraged. To be honest, I have a hard time thinking of close friends or family who truly motivate me to continue. Oh sure, they are aware and don’t actively try to stop me. But I would be hard pressed to think of a time someone, anyone actually encouraged me. I mean, outside of the IWSG, of course. Everyone here is very encouraging.

  6. As the girl who always had her nose in a book, it was kind of obvious that my future career choice would be books related. Although, there was one influencer/teacher who considered writing as a hobby. Aside from that blip, there were a few before and after her who saw my potential and encouraged me.

  7. Yes, our good influencers definitely help shape our creativity! Love your thoughts on this. Happy writing!

  8. It’s so important to have people around us who encourage us.

  9. My parents always encouraged me, and I will be forever grateful to them. My late husband was the same way. He knew how much I enjoyed writing and said I should go for it. I’m glad you had people encouraging you, too. It’s so important to have people around you who will build you up and not tear you down. Love the flower photo. I can’t look at it without smiling. 🙂

  10. My husband is my biggest fan. He believes anything is possible.

  11. That’s awesome! I know if my friend Christine hadn’t encouraged me to keep writing when I sent her the first chapter of a novel, then I wouldn’t be a writer today. Sometimes that one person can change everything.

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