Find a mentor, be a mentor.
As you go throughout your life, without even realizing it, you are mentoring to many people. Be it your children, friends of your children, or people that you come in contact with on a daily basis. Either at work or play, there’s always somebody there that is looking to you to be an example and to answer questions.
Don’t be stingy with your knowledge. Sharing helps other people learn from your experiences, be it good or bad. Sometimes, we learn the best lessons from our mistakes. Why not share those lessons with somebody else so that they don’t make the same mistakes?
I’ve been very lucky in this journey of writing. I’ve developed a number of friendships, both virtual and in real life. Some of these closest friendships are with writers that I’ve never even met the person. Yet they are the ones who helped me through the struggles of authorship.
As I’m doing research, or as I’m struggling in the passage of my book, or getting over the let down when you get when you finish a book, they are there. As I’m beginning to start a new book, we bounced ideas off of each other, throwing out possible plots and twists.
Fellow authors, I find, are willing and generous in sharing what they learn about the industry, as well. From ways to advertise and promote our books, to new tools on the market, the writing blogs and forums are quick to post this information. It is another type of mentoring, but it is priceless. In an industry where there is not a high turnover of money, every bit of help you can get goes a long way.
The friendships that I developed doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) are priceless as well. Each one of us in our cabin are going to the same struggles at the same time, together. As we strive to achieve our own personal goals, we are also there to give each other support. Or, just to cut up and laugh at each other and ourselves.
Sometimes that’s all a mentor needs to do; be there to hold your hand, laugh with you at your mistakes, and help you get over that next hurdle.
But mentoring also takes on community responsibilities. I feel it is our responsibility to bring up the next generation to be responsible. We need to help them develop good business sense, sound moral standing, and the sense of self pride when they accomplish their goals. It can be lonely when you’re trying to start up a business, learn a new career, or are just moving ahead in life. Having somebody there to help you through the obstacles we call life, is a blessing.
So, thank you to all those who have taken the time to mentor me. I may not say it enough but you’re truly appreciated.