Monday, February 24, 2014

RJ Blain's Thoughts on Why Mentors are Important @RJ_Blain #writetip #amwriting #amreading

Many amateur writers work alone, trying to navigate through the murky waters of traditional or self-publishing without any form of mentorship or help. Some turn to websites for knowledge, other turn to books. Some turn to critique partners or other writers they know.
Very few connect with a mentor who can help guide them through the more difficult elements of the publishing world.
Who is a Mentor?
Mentors are individuals with experience in the field you need to learn about. They’re teachers, coaches, advice givers, and people you trust to give you information. They’re often people who have been in the same situation you have been in, so they’re able to share their personal experiences with you as you work on finding your own way.
Why are Mentors Important?
Those who don’t learn the past are doomed to repeat it. This saying is a pretty good explanation about why having a mentor is so important. There are a lot of dos and don’ts in the publishing world. Sometimes, breaking the rules (both unspoken and spoken) result in nothing more than embarrassment. Sometimes, however, these rules can lead to closed doors on good opportunities. Learning from a mentor gives you a much better chance of not accidentally burning bridges with publishing professionals, cover artists, editors, and readers.
Some bridges can be mended with time. However, some mistakes can live on to haunt you months and years down the road.
In addition to preventing errors, mentors are able to point out ways you can increase your chances of breaking out as a successful author. What worked for one person may not work for another, however. It’s important that you remember there is a certain amount of luck involved with a writer becoming successful overnight.
Mentors can help you Strategize. 
For those of us who don’t become an overnight hit, a good long-term strategy is a requirement. Mentors can’t (and shouldn’t) do all of the work for you, but they can really help you learn about what makes for a good author strategy. Depending on your relationship with your mentor, they might even be able to help you execute that strategy by offering suggestions on improving your newsletters, your website, and all of the elements of your book.
Agents and Editors can be Mentors
Mentors may sound like something up the alley of a self-published author, but in the traditional publication world, your agent or editor may also be the one serving as your mentor. These people make their living helping authors become successful in the mainstream markets.
Other Authors as Mentors
More often than not, your mentor will be another author who has been there and done that. This has the potential to cause friction, however.
Making the Most of your Mentor
If you’re asking an author, editor, or agent for advice, it is important that you consider what they have told you before reacting or making a decision. Having a mentor is pointless if you don’t listen to what they say. You may not use the advice that they give, but consider their advice seriously. This way, you make informed decisions about your growing career while still forging your own path.
Good luck!
Kalen’s throne is his saddle, his crown is the dirt on his brow, and his right to rule is sealed in the blood that stains his hand. Few know the truth about the one-armed Rift King, and he prefers it that way. When people get too close to him, they either betray him or die. The Rift he rules cares nothing for the weak. More often than not, even the strong fail to survive.
When he’s abducted, his disappearance threatens to destroy his home, his people, and start a hopeless and bloody war. There are many who desire his death, and few who hope for his survival. With peace in the Six Kingdoms quickly crumbling, it falls on him to try to stop the conflict swiftly taking the entire continent by storm.
But something even more terrifying than the machinations of men has returned to the lands: The skreed. They haven’t been seen for a thousand years, and even the true power of the Rift King might not be enough to save his people — and the world — from destruction.
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Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG - 13
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