How to Win Friends and Influence People With Your Writing
I’ve taken the Dale Carnegie course three times.
The first time was back in 1988. I had just gotten through 13 years of thinking that I had nothing valuable to offer, I was worthless, and that nobody cared whether I lived or died. That all started with a traumatic event on the first day at a new school back in 6th grade.
You can read the whole story right here.
How to Find Your Writing Voice Today — Even if You’ve Been Shamed for Sharing It
What does your writing voice sound like?
What set me free was the words a famous motivational speaker wrote a few years before. His name is Zig Ziglar. The book is See You at the Top.
That book literally saved my life. The day after I read it I was a new man. I saw myself differently. The chains of negative thinking fell off. I turned into an extrovert overnight!
Would you like to have the power to change someone’s life with your words?
You can. All you have to do is one thing.
Provide relief from pain.
Writers are really therapists. When you write to speak to someone’s pain, you let them know you’re on their side. You gain even more power when you share how to make the pain go away for a while — or even forever.
That’s what was sorely missing from my own experience that day at school. I was humiliated in public — and no one cared. No one asked how I was doing. No one wanted to be me, or stand with me.
And let me tell you, that sucked the life out of me.
You can bring relief by:
- Solving a problem that keeps people from sleeping
- Giving people a distraction that makes them laugh for a while
- Showing them you care and that you’re here to help however you can
That’s the how.
Now let’s look at WHY you should always write to bring relief.
Your reader will be healthier.
Imagine what your life would be like if you had to carry a millstone around your neck all the time.
If you’re wondering what a millstone is and how much it weighs, here’s the basics:
- Millstones are used to grind or crush something.
- They are usually circular and made in rock quarries.
- They can weigh anywhere from 2300 to over 10,000 pounds.
Imagine having that hanging on you.
Relief is when you get to take the millstone off.
People stress over problems. It can give them heart trouble that feels like a 10,000 pound gorilla sitting on your chest.
Do that long enough and you’ll wish you could have surgery — or die.
When you bring relief to someone who’s suffering, you are like a savior to them.
Like a doctor, you’re really a guide that is making the reader into the hero of her own story.
Speak to the pain. Assure your reader that you have the answers, the remedy, the cure they’ve been anxiously waiting for.
Then you can ….
Set them free and break their chains.
When my psychological chains fell off, I felt like I could float on air. In that moment, as I read Zig’s words, I knew that nothing was impossible for me.
Now I didn’t suddenly think I could do brain surgery or fly an airplane. But I did know that if I wanted to learn to do those things, I could.
The most important thing I learned in that moment is that I mattered. I found that people really did care when I showed them I cared. And I found that I could have all the friends I wanted if I would just be one.
Friends help their friends, don’t they?
If your doctor saves your life, he’ll be on your Christmas list. If your counselor set you free, you’ll rave about him to your friends. When you find a marketing program that helps make all your financial dreams come true, you’re excited beyond words.
Help people break their chains and you’ll have more influence than all the gimmicks in the world could ever give you.
Then you’ll …
Help people see a brighter future.
One morning last year I sat down at my computer and heard an awful crushing sound.
I’d just sat on my glasses.
I’m blind as a bat without them. So I made an appointment to get a new pair.
In the meantime, I had to wear my battered, taped up frames. It was uncomfortable, awkward, and frustrating.
But having those mangled glasses did allow me to have lots of conversations about how they got that way.
When my new glasses came, not only did I look better, I saw the world in a whole new way.
That’s what happened when I read Zig’s book. It was like I threw away my old glasses and put on a new pair.
Can you help your reader see a new future? Sure, that future was always there. But the glasses they were wearing — their worldview- didn’t let them see it.
Bring relief when you write. Break those chains. Set your reader free to see a world filled with hope, possibility, and success.
Do that and you’ll have all the friends and followers any writer could want.
And you’ll be well on your way to becoming everyone’s favorite author!