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Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m knee deep in editing and revising two manuscripts and I’ve got a third one sitting on ice, waiting for me to get back to it. Then I had another idea just pop into my head this week. I’m letting that one percolate while I revise and then I’ll plot it out.
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But enough about that. Today I’d like to talk about what it takes to get to the next level. Whether you’re a writer or an artist or a salesman, there’s that moment where you plateau. You can’t go any further without making some changes.
So the first step is realizing that you’ve reached that point. You’ll recognize it because you’ll feel like a hamster caught on a wheel. Churning out the same product and getting the same results. You know you’ve got to make a change, but you’re not sure what that change is.
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Once you reach this point, you have to find a mentor. I believe in any type of enterprise, mentors are essential to the success of the business, whether you’re a salesman, author, or artist. You need someone who’s going to tell you the truth. I know it feels good to have someone lavish your work with compliments and tell you you’re awesome, and they may actually feel that way, but you need someone who’s going to help you grow. You need someone who’s going to take you past the mediocre point so you can become great. That’s what mentors do.
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I’ve found in business and in the creative field that the chance for success is increased greatly if you have a mentor helping you with your weak spots. It’s not always comfortable working with someone who’s critiquing you. Sometimes that criticism is hard to take, but it’s necessary for you to grow.
You also must make sure that mentor is credible. There are many people in the world who believe they’re experts. Not all of them are, so you need to do some research. Find someone who has a great track record. Talk with people who’ve worked with them in the past. Look at their history. Are they a best-selling author? Are they a top salesman? If you can answer yes to these questions and they’re interested in being your mentor, I say go for it. Remember the old saying…
Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. What are your thoughts on taking it to the next level? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!
14 thoughts on “Taking It to the Next Level”
It must be very beneficial to have a mentor. How did you find yours? And how often do you have contact? You are right about needing the critique as well as the compliments.
I’ve found mentors through all stages. I’ve had critique partners that I found on twitter, I’ve joined writing groups. I’ve taken classes and worked with their instructors along with going to writing conferences. This year I entered a contest and won a mentorship in the Author/Mentor Match contest and I’m also taking some craft classes where I’ve hit it off with the instructor and she’s giving me detailed instruction. 🙂
If you’re a fiction writer, I’d recommend participating in the Author/Mentor Match. I’ve met some incredible people through that contest, not just my mentor, but other authors who’ve been instrumental in offering support and encouragement. 🙂
Great advise about getting a mentor. My problem with that, is being shy about approaching someone I don’t know and asking them for their support. thank you
Yeah. I hear you. It was hard for me to at first, but I started a dialogue with a few people before I asked and it really worked out well. And the author/mentor match contest was awesome. I’ve found a great group to hang out with. We’re usually chatting on twitter via PMs. 🙂
Some solid advice here. Good luck with all your manuscripts!!
Thanks, Rachel! I’m so excited because my writing has improved so much! It’s an awesome feeling! 🙂
I know what you mean about hitting the plateau, Lisa. This business can be both frustrating and rewarding, especially with all the tasks an author has to do nowadays. Great post, as always.
Thanks for stopping by, Sharon! I appreciate your support! You rock!!
You know, I feel a little mentor-less right now and it bugs me. I keep thinking someone will pop out of the woodwork and be like, “Hi! I think you’re great and I think I can help you be even better—let’s have lunch.” But that hasn’t happened so far.
I feel like I’ve done that to others, people who I just love and see so much potential in—but for some reason it’s not as easy when the shoe is on the other foot. Maybe I don’t seem open enough to it, or maybe I’m not seeing a wonderful mentor currently standing just to the side and waiting for me to ask?? I don’t know—but I do agree, a mentor is a gift.
I’ve found the writing community is an incredibly supportive community. I would start following other writers on Twitter and get to know them. There’s a couple of contests I’d recommend. One of them is Pitch Wars and I believe they start taking submissions in August. You can request up to four or six mentors (I believe), and the mentors read your query letter and a sample of your writing and they choose one or two to work with.
I entered the Author/Mentor match and I’d recommend this contest as well. I won and I love my mentor she has been so helpful. And the other mentees I’ve met are incredibly supportive as well.
You can also take classes. I’ve taken some of Kristen Lamb’s classes and I’ve got to say she’s awesome. She has been instrumental in helping me take my writing to the next level.
Wow, good job on all the work you are doing! Although I did pay for the help, I hired an author that I admire for a manuscript consultation. It was just what I needed and helped me head in a direction that helped me finish my book. Great post and helpful ideas!
I’m glad to hear you got the help you needed. Sometimes all it takes is another pair of eyes looking at your story to move you in the right direction! Kudos to you for finishing your book! Congrats!
Great advice. Agree with this so much! Thanks for the like and follow.
You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by!