In life we can find a mentor for so many things. Athletics. Business. Politics. Our Faith. In writing, finding a mentor to help you be the best writer you can be I feel is one of the most important things we can do. Sometimes you only have one, and if you are fortunate enough you may have more than one. These people take time out of their busy lives to help you as you grow. And they don’t just help you in your writing but help you in your life when the time is needed.
I feel like I have been so fortunate because I have several people I think of as mentors for me. One of the first that comes to mind is Joy Melville. This woman is so busy, yet she not only prays for me and listens to me on those days when I just need to talk, but she has helped me grow as a writer to where I am now. I still remember January 31, 2013, sitting on the phone with her as she helped me to reword out my novel. She helped me talk out how my novel needed a major rewrite to really have some depth to it and make it all that much better. She’s gone over my writing before and helped me improve it in important areas as well. I don’t just call her my mentor but also my friend.
Another mentor of mine is Deirdre Lockhart. This is someone I feel like sometimes that God just plopped into my lap. We started to talk after I asked for some people to read over two different version of a chapter 1 and to help me figure out which version would be the better one to start my book off with. From that little interaction has grown a dear friendship that I have been so blessed with. She has helped me countless time on my fiction novel. And now she is helping me edit my daughter’s memoir. She has helped me grow so much as a writer. Through the edits of my daughter’s book I’ve been able to see how to better improve things in my novel as well. The thing is that she is more than just a mentor but a friend as well. We don’t just talk about writing but we talk about our personal lives. She is one of the biggest sweethearts. I know I’m blessed to have her in my life.
I could go on but the list might go on for a while so I will list the names of so many that I think of as mentors as well: Ally Carter, Joanna Davidson, Lucy Morgan Jones, Michelle Welsh, Julie Lessman, Pammer James, Jeanne Leach, and so many others that I know I’m forgetting names. At the end of the day so many from ACFW and several from WFWA. It’s because of all of these mentors that I’ve become the writer I am today and I know it’s because of these same people that I will continue to grow as well.
Do you have a mentor? How much have they helped you in your writing and in your life?