Mentoring and receiving instruction
“If you be a lover of instruction, you will be well instructed.” Isocrates
While I was on my morning walk the other day I saw a vine clinging to a tree. It reminded me of mentoring. Weird I know, but then, that’s how my crazy mind works sometimes. Most times. The vine starts out crawling along the ground, it makes its way to the tree, then clings while it grows ever upwards.
Mentoring is partnering with someone more knowledgeable for the purpose of instruction. The corporate world has grasped this concept in a big way, and it's successful among youth programs. Have you ever thought about a mentor in the ‘trade’ of romance writing?
How would I do that? While the question seems a big one, may I add some of my own thoughts on this topic? While you may not need a mentor in the true sense of the word, there is a wealth of information out there already available for newbies to glean from.
Firstly, read widely and generally. Find the niche within the market you feel most comfortable with, (that is, if you haven’t already decided). The one you enjoy reading will prove to be the most obvious place to start. For example – It’s no good trying to write a paranormal if you don’t enjoy reading paranormals, even if the market is huge.
Secondly, find a few writers whose work you love and examine their content, voice and technique. Check out if they have a web presence and learn all you can from them.
Next - join groups, associations and forums with the aim of seeking out those more knowledgeable on topics of interest to you. Historical writers could do worse than forming a professional relationship with a history buff. And, while you’re involved in those group/forum situations don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make a list if necessary, to be prepared. Most people are happy to share their insight of what they’re passionate about. You may find someone who will help you more than you could ever imagine.
Even by entering competitions with feedback, you are submitting your work to others who’ve walked further up the road to publication than you. This feedback can be a valuable source of instruction.
Like the vine, use the strength of the other for your upward growth.
“Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz
Any othe ideas I haven't thought of?
Friday, March 28, 2008
Posted by Annie Doyle at 10:53 PM