The life of a self-published author is often isolated.
After all, our work necessitates shutting the world out so we can create something special.
That’s not to diminish the importance of mentors and the influence they have. While we may sit down at the keyboard alone, the wisdom and skills others have imparted to us remain with us.
So how do we find the right mentor? And why is it important?
We don’t have a choice about being influenced by the people around us. It’s human nature.
Therefore, it’s vital to consciously seek out the most helpful influences rather than being passively and wantonly influenced by whoever happens to be in our life.
As people spend more and more of their lives online, offline connections become rarer, but carry more weight.
If you want to really form a deep connection with someone, nothing is better than spending time with them in person.
So how does this apply to finding a suitable writing mentor? Some of the ways to seek out offline assistance include –
- Looking for writer groups in your city or state. Meeting fellow authors offline increases the chance of finding someone suited to mentoring you.
- Consider taking a writing course. Community colleges and universities will often offer mature learning programs. These can be great places to connect with writing teachers.
- Try and meet up with your online author friends. If you enjoy someone’s vibe and personality on Facebook, why not suggest meeting up for coffee or wine?
By meeting our mentor face to face, we form a deeper connection, and benefit more accordingly.
Find A Suitable Online Course
While face to face mentors definitely bring something extra to the table, online learning is still an epic opportunity.
When you think about it, the breadth of knowledge available online is truly awe inspiring. Anyone in the world with an internet connection can eat freely from the menu of knowledge.
The sheer volume of online study options makes it difficult to choose wisely. Plus, slick online marketers often sell a lot more sizzle than steak.
So how do you find an online source of learning suitable for your next book? Some of your options include:
- Formal online courses. These are defined programs of learning, either taught by an online version of an offline institution, or through specialist platforms, such as Udemy.
- Informal peer mentoring. This can occur through author Facebook groups or private writing masterminds. A great way to benefit from multiple perspectives at once.
- One on one online writing coaches. Rather than learning through a course, you may wish to learn from a single individual. It’s important to find someone whose personality you gel with, and who has a proven track record of success. When it comes to finding the right person, sometimes you can simply ask an author you respect who they’ve worked with. For example, Jeff Goins, Joe Bunting, David Leite, and Michele Cushatt have all worked with memoir coach Marion Roach Smith. Good writers appreciate their coaches and want to help them find new authors to work with. So don’t be afraid to reach out and ask.
Online learning and mentorship is a great option for anyone who can’t find a suitable offline mentor for whatever reason. It can also fit in better with your hectic schedule after releasing a book and working on the next one. Also, it’s not either/or. Provided you have the time, combine online and offline mentorship for the best of both worlds.
Learn By Teaching
Perhaps the best way to deepen your knowledge of a subject is to teach it to others. You may feel you don’t know enough about writing or book publishing to pass it on, but this is often a limiting belief. Even if your level of experience is relatively know, you can still provide valuable support and information to someone newer than you.
Some avenues available to you for learning by teaching include –
- Ask if anyone is a newbie in need of help in your author group, either online or offline. Many people will be very grateful for a friendly face to bounce their ideas off.
- If you are a relatively experienced author, consider creating an online course. You can test the waters with a free course, and depending on the feedback, consider creating a full, paid course at a later date.
- Add value via social media. You don’t need to be a formal mentor. You can instead add value to discussions via Twitter and Facebook. This helps to deepen your own knowledge by applying it in different contexts and also strengthens your online presence and authority in the process.
Ultimately, there are few things better than passing on wisdom and experience. It’s a true win/win. Others benefit from you, and you deepen your own knowledge at the same time.
Author Mentor – Final Thoughts
Do you feel inspired to find the right mentor to take your writing to the next level? To pass on your wisdom to others?
If so, take action right away. Take the first step immediately. The rewards of mentoring and being mentored are too great to pass up.