WRITER SEEKS MENTOR
January and the New Year nudge many of us to look into the future and consider what we might accomplish during the next twelve months. Quite often this season of new possibilities fills me with memories of the English/writing teachers in my life—the men and women who were passionate about grammar, sentence structure and the specific definitions of words. Many of my friends talk about the professors who became their tour guides into the worlds of American and English Literature, Shakespeare and Renaissance writings and the dramatic works of stage plays and poetry. For me, personally, I continued my education through writers’ conferences and local creative writing workshops. Without exception, each of the instructors fed me the knowledge they’d learned—and experienced—giving me the opportunity to absorb as much as I would or could at the time. I will forever be thankful for these counselors, advisors and mentors in my life.
Have you been a protégé of an English teacher, Journalism professor or local Creative Writing instructor? Have you advanced your skills and abilities under their tutoring? Are you now ready to be a Mentor? Here are few thoughts to consider in this New Year—as you find yourself in position to encourage the youngest and oldest writers in your neighborhoods.
- Be prepared with lists of resources. Take an inventory of your own writing resources. Include books and articles you’ve found most helpful and also include several of your favorite books—in several genres—that demonstrate the best of writing expertise.
- Learn about your own personality type and the corresponding communication skills that allow you to connect with someone who asks for your advice.
- Create a list of questions that you can select from which will help you understand what the person—and their writing project—need from you.
- Be willing to decline a request for help. It is quite possible that you are a link to help that person connect with the writer/person who will be their best advisor.
There are several authors I know who are offering creative support to writers. Two of my “go to” mentors are Francine Rivers (Christian Fiction) and Joanne Penn (Thrillers). Their websites and blogs offer excellent advice developed from years of experience and award-winning writing. They are excellent resources for those who are a bit shy about meeting face-to-face. However, should you wish to locate a writer in your location, you can contact the National Writing Organizations in your genre and ask for recommendations. Another source is your local Universities and Community Colleges. Their professors may be a good fit, or they will know of author/mentors in your area.
It is an exciting time when one writer seeks mentoring by another. I never imagined that I would someday be in both positions—simultaneously. Experience has and is teaching me, that every writer—as we grow in our craft—become counselor, advisor and partner/assistant to other writers. What we learn from helping other writers, both through them and their specific projects, enhances our own skills in ways we may not realize for years. These are continuing paths of education that cannot be measured or given a monetary value.
As we begin this year of 2017, I hope we’ll all enjoy the blessings of being mentored and mentoring at least one other person. And may we never be shy about seeking the mentoring we need. It is through these experiences we become lifetime-learners! ⚓︎
ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.