What does it take to inspire someone?
There are thousands of valid answers to this question, but I feel it’s all about authenticity.
In times of social media, our feeds keep throwing clickbaity articles at us. These articles often promise more happiness, better orgasms, and better relationships. Others promise to solve our problems with anxiety, insomnia, and mental health issues.
But unfortunately, many of these articles actually don’t deliver what was promised when we decided to click on them.
It’s not that there is anything wrong with these attempts to share a mindful perspective on topics that really matter. It’s not the responsibility of an author to solve the problems of the ones reading the articles.
But did you ever ask yourself what makes an article relatable, inspiring, and beneficial?
What is it that makes the difference between a viral hit and an article nobody wants to read?
It’s all about authenticity.
The magic of writing happens when we share our thoughts, feelings, and emotions without thinking about the number of reads we might get. And let’s not forget that writing is a craft. We need to practice in order to get better.
I wrote more than 300 articles for Elephant Journal throughout the last two years.
You might ask yourself, “How do you find so many topics to write about?” The answer is, “The more you read, the better you write.”
And I am not even talking about grammar, punctuation, or layout—I am talking about sharing our thoughts in an authentic way.
If you want to learn how to connect with your readers, please look no further and check out these nine authors:
1. Elyane Youssef
If you are looking for advice on relationships that is actually helpful and not making things worse, then there is no way around Elyane.
There is a reason why thousands of readers regularly read her articles. It is not surprising that her words connect with the hearts of folks around the globe.
In a world of shallow coaching programs that teach us how to play certain roles, Elyane’s articles are the antidote to quick, one-size-fits-all solutions.
Favorite article: I’m in a Relationship with Two People at the Same Time.
2. Nicole Cameron
If you are looking for an author who is capable of expressing anger in a caring way, then there is no way around Nicole.
Nicole is writing about heavy topics like racism, breakups, and mental health—but without pretending to know all the answers. Every time I see a controversial topic trending, I ask myself, “What would Nicole say about this?”
And that doesn’t happen overnight. Check out her profile and take a look at all the articles she wrote over time. As a smart man once said, “It’s all about consistency.” And I would like to add, “Nicole is the most consistent author I ever met.”
Favorite article: I am Black. This is what I Need (& what I Don’t) from White Allies.
3. Lisa Erickson
I wrote many articles on burnout, stress, and depression. I still don’t have the answers to all my problems, but if there is one author who is able to offer help that really helps, it’s Lisa.
Many of us struggle with perfectionism, burnout, and anxiety—and a lot of people write about these topics. But there is a reason why Lisa’s articles always stand out—and the reason for that is Lisa.
As mentioned in the beginning, authenticity is probably the most important quality of an author. If you have ever had the pleasure of speaking, chatting, or interacting with Lisa for more than five minutes, you know what I am talking about.
It’s one thing to give advice and another to apply it to our own lives. If you want to learn how to do this, then read Lisa’s articles.
Favorite article: The Kind of Life I want to Live.
4. Michelle Al Bitar
Do you know that one person who always finds the right words when you are upset about something? If you are having a hard time in your relationship, I highly recommend reading Michelle’s articles.
While most authors who write about relationships describe what they expect from a partner, Michelle inspires us to look at our own emotions and struggles.
If you are looking for an author to lift you up when the going gets tough, please let Michelle’s words help you sort things out.
But my favorite article by Michelle is not about relationships. It’s about feminism. Michelle is not the most political person I have ever met, but her perspectives on feminism as a woman who lives in Lebanon opened my eyes to aspects of women’s rights I didn’t know much about.
Her relationship articles are inspiring and helpful, but her takes on feminism from a non-American perspective are the hidden treasure of Elephant Journal.
5. Sukriti Chhopra
If you have ever written for Elephant Journal, you might know that we have dedicated editors who support our authors—Sukriti was my dedicated editor before I joined the family. Maybe she is the reason why I even got to write these 300 articles I mentioned earlier.
Sukriti is probably the most supportive editor you could find on this planet.
But let’s not forget why she is one of the best editors: she knows how to write about topics that really matter.
Sukriti is serious about veganism, climate change, and human rights—and she is walking the talk. Reading her articles inspired me to stop eating meat, so it’s safe to say that her articles actually saved lives.
And besides articles on activism, she is an expert on grief who is capable of giving hope to those who are facing the most challenging situations we get to experience as humans. But my favorite article written by Sukriti is the one that addresses a topic that is really close to my heart.
Favorite article: I Don’t Want to Have Children & my Mother is the Reason Why.
6. Farah Hany
To be honest, how much do you know about Islam and philosophers from the Middle East? Probably not too much, right?
Farah’s articles offer a refreshing perspective that is based on one of the most misunderstood religions on this planet. I remember getting into an argument with her when we discussed the ongoing crisis in Israel—but maybe that’s the reason why I appreciate her articles so much.
Her passion and ability to point out parts of the story that I missed enriched my perspective—and that’s what it’s all about.
Thank you, Farah, for speaking your truth and offering a perspective to our readers that they would have missed without you.
Favorite article: This Beautiful Quote by Imam Ali on Detachment quenches my Anxiety.
7. Catherine Monkman
Not all heroes wear capes—and Cat is one of these heroes. If you are a single mom who wants to read helpful advice on how to deal with life, please read Cat’s inspiring articles.
I am obviously not a single mom, but I am almost jealous of her two sons. Cat is one of the loveliest, caring, and supportive women I have ever met in my life—it almost feels as if she was the mom of all editors, and we would be doomed without her.
But besides being the driving force behind this team, she is also one of our best authors. When she is not busy dealing with other people’s mistakes, she writes words that have the power to change our lives. If you need inspiration on how to balance self-care and caring for others, there is no way around Cat’s articles.
Favorite article: Cigarettes still Have a Hold on Me—10 Years after Quitting.
8. Juliana Otis
If you want to take your spiritual practice to the next level, please make sure to follow Juliana.
I taught yoga for 10 years and have a low tolerance for spiritual BS, but Juliana is one of the few yoginis whose words actually inspire me.
If you take a look at her social media accounts, you will find out that she is not only writing about these things but also walking the talk. It’s one thing to take a nice picture and another to radiate mindful determination 24/7—and Juliana is capable of both.
Her ability to describe feelings, desires, and challenges is unmatched. I am not a friend of ageism, but if I could pre-order the book on yoga she is probably going to write 10 years from now, I would do it right now.
Favorite article: Why I’m Done Consciously Connecting through Pain.
9. Waylon Lewis
Not sure if you have already heard about the gentleman who started this party.
But seriously, he is the one who taught me how to write. He is the one who gave all of us the platform to share our voices with the world.
I don’t always agree with him, and he feels the same way about my perspectives—but the respect I feel for this man is more than special. Together we achieved so many things, and I am sure this is not the end of our story.
If you want to learn how to write, then please make sure to sign up for “Write your Heart Out.”
I signed up for the Academy in 2012—saying that it changed my writing would be an understatement after hundreds of articles and three books.
Social media algorithms made it difficult for indie media to survive, but Elephant Journal is still here. There are still hundreds of authors reaching thousands of readers.
Dear Waylon, thank you for everything.
Please never give up. The world needs your voice.
Favorite article: The Most Important Article on Elephant, Ever: Maitri.