After leaving educational administration to pursue a career in writing, I went through a similar process I’d been through as a principal. I found and worked with a mentor. Although mentors are essential in every career, I’ve discovered they’re invaluable for authors. Behind the scenes, there are tears, revisions, and rejection because growth is painful. However, the pain produces gain. Since working with my mentor, his wise support has been instrumental in my writing achievements.
A unique quality about writing is it can be an isolated profession. A mentor makes writing more communal and less lonely. Also, keeping goals in writing is tough, but sticking to them is easier with a mentor. Here are five reasons mentors help authors become successful and achieve their goals:
1. Provide valuable feedback
Mentors work with authors to learn the art of developing a thick skin and responding appropriately to input, revisions, and deadlines.
2. Promote growth
Mentors help establish a baseline from the first draft—to the final copy. They can also help create a process for revision.
3. Procure consistency
Mentors require us to develop good habits of having someone to report to, thus creating accountable writers.
4. Precise guidance
Mentors assist in finessing the craft and business of writing. They often have vital connections and insight. Sometimes, an author’s career can take off because of an introduction to the right person.
5. Prioritize goals
A good mentor serves as an encourager. Additionally, they work with mentees on effective planning and goal setting.
Ultimately, a writing mentor will give us advice and feedback on our unique challenges and goals. When working with a seasoned mentor (who may come as an author, editor, or teacher), their valuable guidance is based on their experience traveling to the places we want to go. Mentors are the traveling companions we need on a journey dotted with success, but filled with pitfalls and disappointments. Yet, it’s a hard path most of us are crazy enough to love.
Oh, by the way, I’ll be at Blue Ridge this year (2022) for BMCWC as an instructor. I’ll have the privilege of offering classes on similar topics: mentors/networking. I can’t wait to meet you and continue this conversation!
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