Get a Mentor, Be a Mentor!

Mentoring...ah, yes, that wonderful relationship whereby someone gives you feedback about your work and it helps you to grow. Have you ever had someone special to call upon in a personal or professional context? That would be your mentor. Mentors are special because they are available. And while they provide feedback, they are not critical or judgmental. We might have a writing mentor who reads and edits our work, helping us to see the forest through the trees. Or we may be the mentor, doing this for someone else.

I've had teaching mentors and now have writing mentors. The mentoring relationship is special because it is built on trust. Although we look to the mentor for their experience and expertise, the mentoring relationship is not about one-upmanship. We've all been there, a novice at something and searching for a guiding light to become more adept, more skilled, and ultimately more polished. And the mentoring relationship also has the potential to develop into two-way mentoring as the protegee becomes accomplished, for we all have different skills to share.


It reminds me of the power of many versus the one. And this message was clearly delivered at the YES Montreal Conference yesterday entitled: Business Skills for Creative Souls. All people who attain a level of success, had help getting there. Indeed there will always be the naysayers or those who rain on your parade, thinking that you won't really make it as an artist (or in whatever profession you choose). But you need to seek and find other like-minded people who have made it and associate with them.

In Milton Olsen's story Lessons from Geese, we understand how geese who fly in formation and work together reach their destination. So must we humans fly together. In my teaching I came across the acronym for TEAM as Together Everyone Achieves More! Now how cool is that? Do you have a mentor? Do you mentor others? How do you see the mentoring relationship?

Comments

  1. Kelly,
    Thanks for this post. I am fortunate to have found TWO great mentors in my writing career. Also my writing group is an inspiration and support system. I hope one day I can mentor someone in need ;)

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  2. Claudia,
    Yes, writer's groups can be a wonderful source of inspiration and support when writing so long as they work well and there are no hidden agendas. Writing can be isolating and lonely so we need to get out there and find other writers who will help us.
    Thanks for your comment!

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