The Servant Authorship Mindset

Why It Matters, for Your Readers and You

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  • For bloggers, the number of subscribers, amount of engagement, or reshares of posts
  • On social media, likes and follows boost our sense of success
  • The behaviors or beliefs that shift in people who read your work
  • The person who shares your work with others they think will benefit from it, amplifying your impact

Servant authorship-let’s make it a thing

There’s a term in leadership circles: servant leadership. First coined in an essay by Robert Greenleaf in 1970, the phrase describes a style of leadership focused on “the growth and well-being” of the people being led and communities to which the leaders belong.

Most writers are already motivated to serve

This concept isn’t foreign to most nonfiction authors. In fact, over 80 percent of the hundreds of nonfiction authors I surveyed chose “serving others” as one of their motivations, and 40 percent chose it as their primary motivation.

  • Drafting: When we focus on ourselves as we write, we may become self-conscious (if not overly self-absorbed). We write better when picturing our reader.
  • Book marketing and promotion: This mindset supports you during the long phase of authorship that extends beyond publication day-everything you do to get the ideas out into the world.
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Dig deeper

The Nonfiction Author Survey, which covers the findings about people’s motivations for writing. Find survey results and a webinar here.

Author, Writing Coach: Writing about Marketing, Technology, and Writing Itself (very meta).

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