For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a mentor. At least one, but in some cases, more than one. In my previous life, as a career professional then business owner for sixteen years, mentoring was critical for survival and success.
But mentoring isn’t just for business.
It’s a success strategy for excelling in school, building an empire, learning a trade, and of course growing as an author. I currently have one author mentor in my life but am always looking to meet more.
But of course, I’m not the only author that sees just how much having a mentor changes everything. Just listen to my author friends and experts in the industry. They have a lot to say about the gift of mentoring and how it’s positively impacted their author’s journey…
“A mentor is important, especially early in your writing career, simply because you don’t know as much as you think you do. A mentor will help you gain perspective both on the art and on the business of writing as you work your way through the steep learning curve of being a writer. You can find a mentor anywhere. A good place to look is in local writers’ critique groups. If you are fortunate enough to join a good writers’ group, everybody in that group will teach you something from time to time. And you may find one special person whose advice and outlook are just golden.” ~ Larry F. Sommers, author of Price of Passage: A Tale of Immigration and Liberation.
“My partners in crime? Oh, the patience of my master minds in writing Nancy McKinley and Lenore Hart of Wilkes University as I crafted my Capstone, which later became BONE PENDANT GIRLS. They went above and beyond their mentoring roles. Both ladies believed in my make-believe characters and made the book richer with their suggestions. The final mentor was Peter who had opted out of editing at two well-known houses to start his own online business. He was recommended by an editor who rejected me. I invested heavily in Peter (literally and figuratively), and you can see his influence on the back cover of my book.” ~ Terry S. Friedman, author of Bone of Pendant Girls.
“I would have liked to have a mentor, but none were around when I wanted one. If you’re in the same boat, don’t despair. Find a writer friend. Writer friends are people you’d never locate outside of writing. My own critique group includes a hiker of mountains and an avid churchgoer. I am neither. Yet I trust them with my brain children every single week. That’s a kind of intimacy few people have. Where to find writer friends? Look to Mystery Writers of America, or Sisters in Crime, or your local writers’ guild. They’re out there waiting.” ~ Fedora Amis, author of Victorian Whodunits with a touch of humor.
If you experience the immense value that comes from having a mentor (or two) you’ll also understand how much you need to value them. In other words, mentoring is a two-way street. You need to support them, appreciate them, acknowledge them, and honor the relationship.
When your mentor takes time out of their busy schedule to support you, that’s an immense gift. Be certain to repay their kindness and respect their time. Check out the Writer’s Corner: Magic of a Mentor for more ideas on how to build a mutually beneficial mentoring relationship.
Share your experience. Do you have a mentor? Do you want a mentor? What has your mentoring experience like?