Thursday, December 29, 2011

Two New Year's Resolutions To Add To Your List: Get a Mentor. Be a Mentor.

Carrie A. Pearson is a writer who has a wonderful series on her blog, Mentorship Monday.

Carrie shares the impact of her own mentorship, that moment when Newbery Award winner, Lynne Rae Perkins,

"validated that I had a story worth telling and that she, a gifted author who won the highest honor in the industry, enjoyed reading it. She helped me recognize the value of my words on paper. Could there be a better gift?"

And I think Carrie is right.  From my own experience being formally mentored by Emma Dryden in the SCBWI Nevada Mentor Program, to the many, many wonderful professionals in our industry who guide and cheer me on me today, being mentored is a turning point.

And equally powerful is that moment where you mentor someone else.  Someone at an earlier stage in the journey.  It's amazing how much you can learn when you try to teach... And I've been very fortunate, especially in my Speaker Visits to schools and libraries over the past year and a half, to do that as well.

So perhaps, as we all contemplate the New Year 2012 ahead of us, we can reflect on the power of mentorship in our own lives, and set out to both:

find a mentor to take us to the next level professionally,


be a mentor to someone else.

Being both a mentee and a mentor will strengthen our own art.  And those bonds will strengthen our community.

And that is a beautiful thing.

Here's to an amazing (and mentorship-filled) 2012!

Illustrate and Write On,


Kristen Schwartz said...

What a great New Year's Resolution! I was mentored by Yuyi Morales in the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program and it was a pivotal experience. One of the great things for me was learning that my verbose inner critic is pretty accurate. The program gave me confidence to forge ahead and not give up. Sharing these experiences with others has been a truly rewarding experience. Here's to strengthening the community even further in 2012!

Nikki Shannon Smith said...

What a wonderful and timely post! I just applied to the NV Mentorship Program, and made a decision to try to help at least one other person along their writing path. I had the chance to help a few writers recently, and it was the best feeling in the world.

I agree that being both a mentor and a mentee can be rewarding on multiple levels.

Here's to a Happy New Year and more steps for each of us on the writing journey.

Mindy Hardwick said...

A great goal for the New Year! I just blogged about my writing mentor, Norma Fox Mazer, on my blog here:

Sharron said...

Great idea. Though I do consider the bloggers I follow as my mentors. I'm hoping my own blog might help others, too.

Carrie Pearson said...

Thanks, Lee. I heard about this post from a person new to the writing community who needs a mentor. It's a full circle moment! Everyone has something to give -- a little talent or tidbit of experience -- doesn't have to be much to positively impact another.