Mentors come in all shapes and sizes. I happen to have one that is the shape of a book. Actually, I have a few that are books. When I started writing I didn’t really have anyone to guide me through the process of writing. I needed a mentor, to be more specific a writing mentor. Sure there were somethings that I knew, more was needed. I chose books. I am proud of my choices, they have been rather good to me. If you happen to have a mentor that is not a book, I am glad for you. But, if you are in the same situation I was in, there is hope for you.
A book to Inspire
Let me first say, writing is not as easy as it looks. When you first start out there are some barriers to get through. You have to throw some things out of your way like doubt, self-pity, and the person who told you it would never work, to name a few. My husband has always been my biggest supporter since deciding to write, for my birthday one year bought me a couple books. One, I will tell you about in the next section of this blog. The title of the first book is “If you want to Write.” This is a gift that keeps giving. I recommend this to anyone who wants to write. Brenda Ueland, the author talks about writing freely. This is the book I use to inspire me. I also use it to encourage me that I have a unique talent and a story to tell. This mentor has been very valuable in sharing the emotion of writing. Writing is not just empty words on paper. When writing from what you feel and see, the words are full of life. As a writer I desire to create an experience for my readers and Brenda Ueland helps that process.
Advice on Grammar
The second book I mentioned earlier is titled By Cunning &Craft. I have found this book to be very helpful. The author Peter Selgin does a great job of teaching about all aspects of your writing. He gets into viewpoints, dialogue, plots and more. It’s a great reference book and continues to serve well as my mentor. He too, offers me wise advice on how to write. Things like keep a journal and write every day. When I first started writing I thought in order to be a writer I had to go to a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program. I know some find it very helpful, but it didn’t fit for me. So for a moment I thought of that as a barrier, then I came up with a method that actually worked for me, just write. I will share one last piece from this mentor that I absolutely agree with, writing has no rules! Your writing is an expression of who you are, so express yourself.
The Three Helps
I know we are in the age of technology, but when I am writing at my desk I have help from three resources. The Dictionary, Vocabulary Builder, and Thesaurus are sitting right in front of me ready to be of service. This is another thoughtful gift from the hubby. It would appear he wants me to really do this writing thing. I have apps on my phone also but I like having a hard copy of these helpful resources around. They have come to my rescue when I just need to say something a different way. Who knew there was so many ways to express one word? These books are also small enough to carry with me in my bag when traveling.
I’ve said it before, writing is a must for me. In order to make it work I had to remove all the barriers. Having a mentor adds much needed support, wisdom, and inspiration that encourages me in my craft. Support from family is important too. They can read your work, edit and buy you wonderful gifts like my hubby does. My goal is to encourage you to do what you desire and not let anything become a barrier to reaching your goals. Happy writing!