Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Giving Back Series, Part Three: Mentoring

Giving Back Series
Net's Notations Tuesdays

Over the years, I’ve witnessed a lot of selfless giving within the Christian writing community. Authors like Dee Henderson, Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, Brandilyn Collins, Colleen Reece and so many others who mentor writers with sincere hopes of their pupil’s success. Then, when one of these “students” signs a contract or publishes an article, the mentor cheers from the sidelines, genuinely pleased with the breakthrough.

It takes a servant’s heart to mentor someone and a lot of grace to wish someone well in their writing, as you strive for success as well. Hmm… a servant’s heart, and grace. Reminds me of God and His character.

Mentoring was His idea. In the Bible, He directs people who are farther along in their journey as Christians or life to mentor those who are less far along.

It’s natural (and wise) for writers to be recipients for a long time—years, in fact. We sit as students, learning, growing, receiving, taking lessons in.

But then the time comes when we recognize we have something to give. There are writers coming up behind us who haven’t learned about deep POV, in-depth character sketches, subtexts, marketing, or platform. We have something to offer, and not just in teaching. Encouragement too. You can reassure someone else as they learn to wait for responses from editors or agents. You can nudge them to begin new projects, help them brainstorm plots, critique their work. I've been very grateful for the mentors God has brought into my life.

Mentoring relationships often just happen. Circumstance and timing align and viola! You have yourself a mentor or a mentee. You don’t have to force it. Just be willing, should God nudge you in that direction.

I saw a great quote on Facebook recently from worshiper Darrell Evans, who graciously permitted me to share it with you: “Ministry is always about serving someone else’s destiny.” Mentoring is a form of ministry, another great way to give back.

Do you have a mentor? How has he/she blessed your writing life?

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