What will it take to get you moving forward in your writing career? Do you need help with time management? Do you need encouragement each day?
Writing can be a lonely endeavor so it’s important to find people who can keep you encouraged and motivated, and hold you accountable.
The accountability can come from a significant other or a writer’s critique group.
The encouragement can come from the same people, but it helps if the words come from someone who has traveled farther along the path of publishing than you. That could be a writing coach or mentor.
A writing coach and mentor often provide the same things: advice, encouragement (can you see how important this is to a writer?), suggestions, and feedback. Being a writing coach and mentor, as well as having a mentor, I see two major differences between the two. The first, and, in my opinion, the most important, is the mentor will believe in you, both as a writer and person. A writing coach will believe in you, too, but their approach often is more businesslike. A mentor gets more personal. The second difference, and to some the most important, is the mentor does not charge for their service.
I think it’s important to have a mentor, whether you’re new to this writing thing or have been published multiple times. Sometimes we aren’t sure which direction to go. Sometimes we need to bounce an idea off someone. Sometimes we need to brainstorm an idea. A mentor can help with all of those things and more.
You may not have trouble finding a writing coach, or a critique partner, or a writer’s group while at the conference. But consider taking time to finding a mentor as well. Finding one just might be what you need to move forward in your writing career.
About the Author: For more than thirty years, Larry J. Leech II has written and edited in a number of capacities. He began his professional writing career in 1981 at age 18 and spent twenty-three years writing and editing at daily newspapers and magazines. With thousands of published articles under his belt, Larry moved into freelance book editing and writing in 2004. Since that time he has ghostwritten more than a dozen books and coached a number of aspiring writers through their projects. Larry teaches at numerous conferences nationwide each year and has become a much sought after writing coach. Upcoming releases in 2014 include two novels and two ghostwriting projects, one of which is the memoir of Dr. Raymond Damadian, the doctor who invented the MRI. You can see him discuss ghostwriting, dialogue, and more at the FWA Mid-Winter Conference West and Reading Festival