Have you connected with a mentor? A person a little farther down the publishing road who offers you knowledge, wisdom, support, or introductions to agents and/or editors?
One of the biggest surprises to me when I first jumped into the pub world was how willing established authors were to help. Many gave me an injection of hope, industry insight, and encouragement. A few turned into full fledged mentors who stayed in touch and offered any help they could.
And I continue to find authors who are ahead of me, reaching back to pull me on. And I love offering my hand to those a few steps behind.
Turns Out We’re Divinely Designed to Help Each Other
Uh, Jim, I've Been Trying to Get a Mentor For Years
My guess is some of you are saying exactly that right now. You’re wondering if the above is true, why you haven’t found that mentor. I wish I had a solution but I don’t. If I had to offer an answer I’d probably encourage you not to try so hard.
For me, being the mentor or mentoree has come naturally. I didn't try to get my mentors, and frankly, the people I’m mentoring didn't try to get me. It just happened. There was a connection and I wanted to help them. Or, they wanted to help me.
It’s Always, Always, Always About Relationship
I've had the what-are-you-going-to-do-for-me kind of aspiring author approach me and I can spot it light years away. And I can also spot the author that is humble, engaging, and grateful. I’ll take the latter every time.
In The End
They want to help you. They’re wired to help you. But a mentor/mentee relationship isn't all about you. It’s a mutual exchange of friendship, encouragement, and help.
Your turn. If you had or currently have a mentor, how did the relationship develop? What tips would you offer someone looking for a mentor? If you are a mentor, why that person? What drew you to them? Or what turns you off?
He lives with his amazing wife and two sons in the Pacific Northwest and loves to dirt bike, hike, golf, takes photos, and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a madman. More at www.jameslrubart.com