The Influence of a Writing Mentor

Mentor

One way a writer can become successful is by having a more established writer as a mentor. While writing groups can serve as a mentor, the right personal mentor will help improve your writing by giving you guidance each step of the way. Let me share an example of the influence a mentor.

In 1919 a young veteran returned from World War I. He moved to Chicago moving into a particular neighborhood for the purpose of being close to the author Sherwood Anderson.

Sherwood Anderson

The critical praise for Anderson and his book Winesburg, Ohio impressed a young, beginning writer. This hopeful writer had heard that Sherwood Anderson was willing to help aspiring writers. He worked to meet Anderson. The two men became close friends. They met almost every day to read newspapers, magazines, and novels. They dissected the writings they read.

Ernest Hemingway

The aspiring writer brought his own works for critique having Anderson help him improve his craft. Anderson went as far as introducing the want-to-be writer to his network of publishing contacts. The aspiring writer did okay with his first book The Sun Also Rises. The aspiring writer was Ernest Hemingway.

William Faulkner

Sherwood Anderson didn’t stop there. He moved to New Orléans where he met another aspiring writer. He took the young man through the same steps and paces of the craft. He became roommates with this young man. He even invested $300 in getting this writer’s first book Soldier’s Pay published. This young author was William Faulkner.

John Steinbeck

Anderson would later move to California and repeat the process with John Steinbeck. Thomas Wolfe and Erskine Caldwell were also mentored by Sherwood Anderson.

Ray Bradbury says Winesburg, Ohio was on his mind when he wrote The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury basically wrote Winesburg, Ohio placing it on the planet Mars.

Mark Twain

Arguably, only Mark Twain has had a greater influence in shaping modern American writing than Sherwood Anderson. Anderson didn’t do too badly, did he?

Nobel Prize for Literature and Pulitzer Prizes

William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck each won the Nobel Prize for Literature and there are multiple Pulitzer Prizes between them.

If you are serious about writing I urge you to find a mentor or join a writing group. The people in my writer’s and critique group keeps me encouraged and motivated.

Encourage your writer friends, keep reading and writing.
Jimmie Aaron Kepler


Photo Source: Public Domain

 

Ten Thoughts to Encourage Others

Ten Thoughts to Encourage Others:

Over the years I have noticed people who have the ability and skill to do a task or assignment often lack the confidence to tackle the job before them. If they are a writer, they may fear to put words on paper. If an analyst, they may hesitate or question themselves before solving a problem or recommending a solution.

I have found that a little encouragement helps them achieve their goals and do their job. Here are ten thoughts on how I encourage others.

1. Show a Sincere Interest in the Person.

  • Listen to what they are saying.
  • When they are talking, look at them not your smartphone.
  • Be interested in what is happening in their life, the challenge(s) they are facing.
  • Let them know you care.

2. Acknowledge What’s Important. 

  • When you acknowledge what’s important to others, you offer a form of verification and support about who they are and what they’re doing.
  • A proper technique I use is merely to restate their question or challenge and then allow them to talk it through.
  • Follow-up and ask how it’s going, are they making progress.
  • Do not share similar circumstances you have lived through or had a friend or family member survive. It’s about them, not you!

3. Say “Congratulations.”

  • These magical “Words of Encouragement” at the right time can make all the difference between a person “keeping going” and “giving up.”
  • Congratulate them on a job or task well done. This may be as simple as their meeting a deadline.
  • A “Post-It” note or email congratulatory word has fantastic results.
  • Give a person the credit they’ve earned. Do not claim it for yourself.

4. Be There. 

  • Sometimes the “ministry of your presence” is all they need.
  • Just being there for them is encouraging.
  • Many times all they need is a listening ear to talk through the issue or task.
  • Let them know “you have there back.” Many times these simple acts share hope.

5. Say “Thank You.”

  • Saying thank you is a common courtesy.
  • It is good manners.
  • People like a little reward for hard work.
  • A simple thank you will make others aware that you know what they have done worthwhile and find it meaningful to you.

6. Return the Favor.

  • If someone does something sweet for you, an excellent way to show your appreciation is merely to return the favor.
  • It will both shock and encourage them.
  • I can be as simple as bring them a coffee or offering to help them with their next project or routine tasks when they are overloaded. You might take their “on-call” where they can have a weekend break instead of swapping weekends with them.
  • Note: don’t ever do something expecting someone to return the favor for you.

7. Answer With Something Unexpected. 

  • I have a phrase I have used for years … love them from where they are to where they need to be!
  • Even when others let me down or they know I know they “dropped the ball” I don’t tell them so, I usually pick the ball up for them.
  • If something went wrong, help them focus on the solution instead of assigning blame.
  • It is incredible the long-term results this can have in encouraging someone.

8. Be a “Good Finder.”

  • A “good finder” is a person who looks for the good, not the bad in a person or a situation.
  • An example would be if a person is always late to meetings, but makes in on time to your meeting instead of saying “About time you attended a meeting on time” say “I really appreciate the extra effort you made to get here on time” without any reference to their usual tardiness.
  • A good finder affirms their coworkers or friends.
  • People will gravitate toward you where you’re a “good finder” as you’ll become someone who makes others feel good.

9. Smile.

  • Have you ever experienced the magic of a simple smile?
  • Have you ever noticed how when you smile at someone they smile back?
  • Share an encouraging smile.
  • Smiling will transform your own attitude as well.

10. Offer to Lend a Hand. 

  • You can offer to lend a hand.
  • Sometimes a person feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders and no one cares.
  • Show them you really care. You can be there.
  • If a person gives me an excessive workload, I usually ask them if there is anything else I can do for them when I finish the job. I do not complain about the amount of work.

What are some ways you encourage friends or coworkers? These techniques also work with your spouse or partner. Please share your suggestions in the comments.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Ten Thoughts on Encouraging Others

encourage-others

Here are ten thoughts I use to encourage others:

1. Show real interest in the person.

Listen to what they are saying. Be interested in what is happening in their life. Let them know you care.

2. Concede what’s important to them. 

When you acknowledge what’s important to others, you offer a form of verification and support about who they are and what they’re doing.

3. Say “congratulations.”

These magical Words of Encouragement at the right time can make all the difference between “keep going” and “give up”. Congratulate them on a job or task well done.

4. Be there for them. 

Sometimes the “ministry of your presence” is all they need.  Just being there for them is encouraging.

5. Say “Thank You.”

Saying than you is common courtesy.  It is good manners.  People like a little reward for hard work. I have done it for years. A simple thank you will make others aware that you know what they have done worthwhile and find it meaningful to you.

6. Return the favor.

If someone does something nice for you, an excellent way to show your appreciation is simply to return the favor. It will both shock and encourage them.  Note: don’t ever do something expecting someone to return the favor for you.

7. Answer with something unexpected. 

I have a phrase I have used for years … love them from where they are to where they need to be!  Even when others let me down or they know I know they “dropped the ball” I don’t tell them so, I usually pick the ball up for them.  It is amazing the long-term results this can have in encouraging someone.

8. Be a “good finder.”

A good finder is a person who looks for the good, not the bad in a person or a situation.  An example would be if a person is always late to meetings, but makes in on time to your meeting instead of saying “About time you attended a meeting on time” say “I really appreciate the extra effort you made to get here on time” without any reference to their normal tardiness.

9. Smile.

Have you ever experienced the magic of a simple smile?  Have you ever noticed how when you smile at someone they smile back?  Share an encouraging smile.

10. Offer to lend a hand. 

You can offer to lend a hand.  Sometimes a person feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders and no one cares.  Show them you really care. You can be there for them.

What are some ways you encourage others? Please share your suggestions in the comments.

Ten Thoughts To Encourage Others

Here are ten thoughts I use to encourage others:

1. Show real interest in the person. Listen to what they are saying. Be interested in what is happening in their life. Let them know you care.

2. Concede what’s important to them.  When you acknowledge what’s important to others, you offer a form of verification and support about who they are and what they’re doing.

3. Say “congratulations”.  These magical Words of Encouragement at the right time can make all the difference between “keep going” and “give up”. Congratulate them on a job or task well done.

4. Be there for them.  Sometimes your presence is all they need.  Just being there for them is encouraging.

5. Say “Thank You”.  This is common courtesy.  It is good manners.  People like a little reward after hard work. I have done it for years. A simple thank you lets others know what they have done is worthwhile and meaningful to you.

6. Return the favor. If someone does something nice for you, a great way to show your appreciation is simply to return the favor. It will both shock and encourage them.  Note: don’t ever do something expecting someone to return the favor for you.

7. Answer with something unexpected.  I have a phrase I have used for years … love them from where they are to where they need to be!  Even when others let me down or they know I know they “dropped the ball” I don’t tell them so, I usually pick the ball up for them.  It is amazing the long-term results this can have in encouraging someone.

8. Be a “good finder”.  A good finder is a person who looks for the good, not the bad in a person or a situation.  An example would be if a person is always late to meetings, but makes in on time to your meeting instead of saying “About time you attended a meeting on time” say “I really appreciate the extra effort you made to get here on time” without any reference to their normal tardiness.

9. Smile.  Have you ever experienced the magic of a simple smile?  Have you ever noticed how when you smile at someone they smile back?  Share an encouraging smile.

10. Offer to lend a hand.  You can offer to lend a hand.  Sometimes a person feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders and no one cares.  Show them you really care. You can be there for them.

Poem: The Muse

The Muse

There was not a promise
when brought together
for anything but encouragement
and their love of verse.

When brought together
their passion for poetry
rekindled the creative embers in their hearts.

For anything but encouragement
would complicate life
as the words would tell.

And their love of verse
was a powerful bond
as each shared with the world their soul.

Jimmie A. Kepler
© April 2011

Writing Podcasts I Listen To

Some pretty good writing podcasts that I listen to regularly are:

ISBW_logoI Should Be Writing.

It is found at http://murverse.com/. Mur Lafferty does the podcast. I have listened to her since 2005. She was a 2012 Nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

Mur Lafferty is an author, podcaster, and editor. She lives in Durham, NC, with her husband and 10-year-old daughter.

Podcasts: She has been podcasting since 2004 when she started her essay-focused show, Geek Fu Action Grip. Then she started the award-winning I Should Be Writing in 2005, which is still going today. In 2010 she took over as the editor of Escape Pod, and she also runs the Angry Robot Books podcast.

Books: Starting with podcast-only titles, Mur has written several books and novellas. Her first professionally published book, The Shambling Guide to New York City, will be out in May, 2013. She writes urban fantasy, superhero satire, afterlife mythology, and Christmas stories.

Nonfiction: Mur has written for several magazines including Knights of the Dinner Table, Anime Insider, and The Escapist.

Mur is studying for her MFA in Popular Fiction at the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine.

Source: http://murverse.com/sample-page/

scifi

Adventures in SciFi Publishing.

It is found at: http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/. I have listened to it since 2007.

Adventures in SciFi Publishing brings you podcast and text interviews with authors, editors, publishers, and agents of science fiction and fantasy as well as reviews, news, coverage of live events, videos, and other treats. Winner of the 2008 Best Writing-Related Parsec Award. 2011 Parsec Award Finalist.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adventures-in-Scifi-Publishing/144698272222074?id=144698272222074&sk=info

Ten Thoughts To Encourage Others

encourage-othersToday is Saturday March 23, 2013.

Here are ten thoughts I use to encourage others:

1. Show real interest in the person. Listen to what they are saying. Be interested in what is happening in their life. Let them know you care.

2. Concede what’s important to them.  When you acknowledge what’s important to others, you offer a form of verification and support about who they are and what they’re doing.

3. Say “congratulations”.  These magical Words of Encouragement at the right time can make all the difference between “keep going” and “give up”. Congratulate them on a job or task well done.

4. Be there for them.  Sometimes the “ministry of your presence” is all they need.  Just being there for them is encouraging.

5. Say “Thank You”.  This is common courtesy.  It is good manners.  People like a little reward after hard work. I have done it for years. A simple thank you lets others know what they have done is worthwhile and meaningful to you.

6. Return the favor. If someone does something nice for you, a great way to show your appreciation is simply to return the favor. It will both shock and encourage them.  Note: don’t ever do something expecting someone to return the favor for you.

7. Answer with something unexpected.  I have a phrase I have used for years … nice them to death!  Even when others let me down or they know I know they “dropped the ball” I don’t tell them so, I usually pick the ball up for them.  It is amazing the long-term results this can have in encouraging someone.

8. Be a “good finder”.  A good finder is a person who looks for the good, not the bad in a person or a situation.  An example would be if a person is always late to meetings, but makes in on time to your meeting instead of saying “About time you attended a meeting on time” say “I really appreciate the extra effort you made to get here on time” without any reference to their normal tardiness.

9. Smile.  Have you ever experienced the magic of a simple smile?  Have you ever noticed how when you smile at someone they smile back?  Share an encouraging smile.

10. Offer to lend a hand.  You can offer to lend a hand.  Sometimes a person feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders and no one cares.  Show them you really care. You can be there for them.