Got a mentor?

Listening to some happy writers accepting their Carol and Genesis awards brought home that every aspiring or working writing needs one very important item; a mentor! All of those same happy authors credited a fellow writer, friend or colleague who taught them the ropes, or simply held their hand when discouragement rained down.

Writing is a lonely business. It’s not often that authors meet their agents or editors. Personally, I’m fortunate if I clap eyes on either agent or editor once a year as one is in Oregon and the other in New York. Daily work days are solitary, spent tapping away at keyboards in the quiet of my little house in the company of a box turtle who lacks something in conversational skills. In such a lonely business, the role of the mentor is crucial.

My lovely mentor, the woman who inspired me to keep trying and to learn more about my craft, is the fabulous Penny Warner. She didn’t blow smoke, she encouraged without painting an overly optimistic picture. (It’s a hard business to get into and every author needs to hear the truth.) Her solid, practical advice was invaluable to me then and now as I plod through this crazy career.

Who has mentored you in some way? What did they enable you to accomplish? All comments get you entered in the September drawing for an Amazon gift card. missing person mom

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mark Lundgren on September 22, 2013 at 2:44 am

    Dana, Mentors are indeed a blessing, but hard to find! I’ve been mentored by various people I’ve met at writers conferences and writers retreats. Cynthia Ruchti has been a particular inspiration. The challenge for me is finding a “regular” mentor, someone to get help from beyond just those one or two times a year. Not sure how to develop that kind of relationship, but I’m hoping God will provide. Great posts here, by the way! Mark L.

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    • Thanks for the post, mark. I’ve found the best way to get a “regular” mentor is to join a local writers group. It’s just really motivating having that face to face time with like minded folks. Do you have access to anything like that where you are?

      Dana Mentink

      Christian Fiction Author, ACFW Carol Award Winner Betrayal in the Badlands, a RT Reviewer’s Choice Winner http://www.danamentink.com

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      • Posted by Mark Lundgren on September 22, 2013 at 9:54 pm

        A great suggestion, Dana. I’ve looked in various places (library, newspaper, coffee shop bulletin board) to try and find one but so far, nothing. I live in a small town so actual authors may be hard to find. I’ve considered trying to start up one myself, perhaps using Eva Marie Everson’s Word Weaver’s group. Otherwise, I suppose I’ll try driving further out if that’s what it takes. A writing group would be a gift indeed! –Mark L.

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      • I know American Christian Fiction Writers offers online writing groups as well as different zones you can join based on your location. Here’s a link that might be of help.:) http://www.acfw.com/about/chapters

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  2. I’m not a writer, but just a blogger. And speaking of the person(s) who have meant the most to me and helped me with my computer “knowledge” and “wordpress” are two of my favorite computer teachers (who have moved on to greater things). Jonathan Bowan (http://jonathanrbowman.com), he was my first teacher when I got my iMac and he taught me so much and was so encouraging…best teacher ever! And when he left, I had Ryan Robinson and he taught me all about WordPress and got me set up and he was great, so easy going and helpful. In fact, he’s left this job too, but I recently needed more help with WordPress and I called him, and he came and spent 3 hours with me helping me get some things going that I couldn’t do on my own. These two young men, have been my “computer/wordpress” mentors that I could not have l done a thing without their wonderful teaching and encouragement!
    Debbie

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