How I Found Amazing Mentors and You Can Too

In my previous post, I mentioned several mentors I’ve had. Each of my mentors has made significant contributions to strengthen my writing. But, someone asked, how do you find a mentor? It’s a good question. This is how I found amazing mentors and you can too. Know Yourself The first step in finding a mentor is assessing your own strengths and weaknesses. Are you solid with dialog but need help creating compelling characters? Do you have a weakness for long passages of description or backstory that slow your story’s pace? Are you great at beginnings but get bogged down in the middle? Be honest with yourself. Identify what you know and what you don’t know. If you don’t know how to even start, then you need to hit the books. Start learning the basics. That was where I started–with a correspondence course that taught me basic storytelling. How Much Do You Want It? It can be difficult to believe in yourself when you face the computer or the blank piece of paper. And your can-do attitude will take you a long way. Believe in yourself, in your ability to find the answers you need, and in your desire and ability […]

One Way to Learn to Write

When I decided to get serious about writing, I took a correspondence course. It was my first step in one way to learn to write. As I mentioned in my earlier post, “Writing is Easy…Until It’s Not,” this course was by mail. It doesn’t matter much which course it was, what matters is how I chose which course to take. This is one way to learn to write. It’s not the only way. I loved re-reading old childhood favorites and science fiction. So I figured I should learn one of those two genres. I thought writing for children would be the easier of the two genres. (Writing for children is not easy!) I looked for some one-on-one mentorship and studied each class syllabus. The structure of the class and what it covered had to make sense to me. I also weighed the course instructors. Criteria for instructors included: were they authors, what had they published when had they published, and did I like their work. Then I mailed in my sample writing and fees and waited for the first lesson. The lessons were not difficult for me, though by this time I was a new mom and had a hard […]

Writing Is Easy–Until It’s Hard

Writing looks easy. We all learn to write essays about what I did this summer at an early age. And writing is easy–until it’s hard. The hard work comes when you desire to create a compelling story. This is the story of one way to learn to create a compelling story. Many people instruct wanna-be-writers to read-read-read and write-write-write. That’s good advice, but it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. One must also study-study-study the craft. Every writer starts at a different place in their skill levels. So it’s counterproductive to dictate that all writers must start here or there. All the steps are necessary. Only you can decide how deeply you must dive into the learning and in what order you need to learn these skills. This is the story of how I went about learning to write and publish my book. I share my story in the hopes that someone might find some guidance and inspiration in my story. As with most writers, I loved to read from the get-go. I don’t know when I started reading. Books and stories were as necessary to me as the air that we breathe. I wrote stories in a journal. I […]