Mentorship – Benefit from Following a Writing Mentor
A writing mentor can be invaluable in your writing career. They can give you a lot of insight on writing for clients, the writing life, and finding jobs. They can also encourage you and give you that little extra something you need at the beginning. There are two basic types of mentors out there – informal mentors and formal mentors.
Informal mentorship grows out of a relationship that has built up over time. There are no specific rules of what the mentor will and won’t do for you and it may not be something that you even notice at once. It may start with your comments on their blog and lead to the mentor’s comments on your blog. It often grows to include emails, chat sessions, and sometimes even phone sessions. Over a period of time you may realize that you are getting a lot of helpful information from them even though mentorship was not the plan for approaching them.
To develop an informal mentorship you should read blogs of people that are established in the writing industry. Make comments and see how they respond to them. Do they simply say “thanks” or do they give you a thoughtful comment back? If they seem to be responding well to the comments look for a place on their blog or website that shows where they might chat online. I f they are open to talking to new writers they will often supply that on a contact page. Approach them and ask them questions on chat if that is available. Always remember though that they are busy people and likely won’t have time for an hour long chat session. Keep it to one or two questions and then let them get back to work.
Formal mentorship is an arrangement that is agreed upon. It may or may not involve a fee. This type of arrangement will have some definite guidelines such as how conversations will take place, how long they will last, and how many of them you will get. While they are more structured they can provide you with a great deal of information.
You can benefit by following a mentor, informal or formal, if you watch their actions online carefully.
- Do they use social media? And if so, how are they interacting with people?
- Do they use contracts – they might help you build one of their own.
- Do they have a resume posted online? Examine it thoroughly.
- How do they talk about clients?
- How often do they blog? What do they blog about?
- How do they set their prices? Per hour or per word?
Both formal and informal mentors can be very helpful in your writing career. You can choose one and stick with just that one or you can have several informal mentors. Those who have experience in the writing industry have often been mentored themselves and many are more than willing to pay it forward and help out new writers.
Leave a Reply