Friday, December 18, 2009

Part Four: Staying Grounded While Your Career Soars by Cheryl Wyatt

It's Fortifying Friday, and Cheryl Wyatt has returned with her inspirational series on staying grounded as a writer. Please welcome her back as she shares more wisdom with us.

Staying Grounded as Your Career Soars
by Cheryl Wyatt

Day 4 -- Growing/Mentoring

At first I was going to do two separate posts on growing and mentoring. But then it occurred to me that they should go hand in hand.

I will never forget the day that bestselling author Margaret Daley turned to me at a conference and said, “You need to be mentoring.”

I don’t think I closed my mouth for five solid minutes. After all, I’d only been writing for a few years. I certainly didn’t feel qualified, and I wasn’t even published. But in that moment, it was like God was directing me through her. I had actually been longing to get to a place in my writing craft that I could help others. I love mentoring. Love helping others go forward.

I had an image in my mind then of a long line of people, all holding hands. For each person in the middle, there was someone a step ahead of them and someone else a step behind them.

The person in front of the person in the middle tugged the middle person forward and the middle person in turn reached back and tugged the person a few steps behind them forward.

And suddenly I got it.

We don’t have to be perfect in order to help.

You probably aren’t the most experienced writer out there. But you probably also aren’t the least experienced either. Publication has nothing to do with it. I know writers who are farther advanced than me in their craft yet they’re not yet published.

You’re the person in the middle but that’s good news. Reach back and take the hand of the person who is one or two or a few steps behind you in this road. Teach them what you’ve learned along the way.

The more you grow the more you will be able to mentor others.

Yes, it’s true that when novelists help less-experienced novelists that they’re actually training their future competition.

But they delight in it anyway because they remember those who mentored them.

You can mentor people many different ways. Even if it’s once a year doing paid critiques at the ACFW conference, then donating the money you make back into the conference scholarship fund so someone else has a chance to come deepen their craft and grow to be a mentor to others.

Thank you to all authors who encouraged and mentored me along my journey. All the authors who still do.

If you are in need of mentorship, ask God to send someone. Respect their time and remember to thank them because mentorship is very time-consuming.

But I’m convinced that when we help others, God also helps us. Don’t forget to give back to the writing community as you’ve been helped. No one gets there alone. We're not meant to. :-)

Blessings on your endeavors!

~Cheryl Wyatt

Born Valentine’s Day on a naval base, Cheryl Wyatt writes military romance. Her Steeple Hill debuts earned RT Top Picks plus #1 and #4 on eHarlequin's Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books, lists including NYT Bestsellers. Check out her Web site.

Her latest book, Soldier Daddy, a Steeple Hill Love Inspired title, released in October, 2009.

U.S. Air Force commander Aaron Petrowski leads pararescue teams, yet can't find one nanny for his three-year-old twins? The widowed father is returning to duty, but not without the best care for his beloved boys.

So when Sarah Graham applies, the young woman surprises everyone by passing inspection. Until Aaron discovers Sarah has a secret tied to a tragedy in his past.

He can't keep her in his employ—or in his heart. Until his brave little soldier boys teach him a thing or two about love.

1 comment:

  1. Cheryl, I've been catching up on your Friday post series. Excellent!! Thank you so much for sharing from your heart.


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