I recently found myself in need of professional guidance in the form of a mentor while cautiously wading into the unfamiliar and murky waters of publishing. A mentor, by definition, serves as a trusted advisor based on expertise in a specific area of interest. The most successful mentoring relationships generally develop organically, building upon a previously established relationship.
Unfortunately, I was familiar with only one published author and had only a casual acquaintance with this person through a work colleague. For that reason, I was hesitant to request help for fear of outright rejection, but out of necessity approached Mary Byers. To my great surprise, she responded enthusiastically and graciously. She first recommended an informative book to expand my knowledge base on the subject at hand, and then took time out of her busy schedule to meet face-to-face and answer any further questions.
Next, Mary reviewed my extensive written materials and offered helpful suggestions based on her experience in the industry, building my confidence to move forward with my project based on her enthusiasm tempered with just the right dose of publishing reality. Furthermore, she continues to freely offer advice and support by checking back on my progress.
By example, without regard for compensation or fanfare, Mary has demonstrated an important lesson echoed in the wise and witty words of Mark Twain: “It’s better to give than to receive. Especially advice.” In the future, I will attempt to respond as generously for the benefit of others if the opportunity arises. And in gratitude for her efforts as an exceptional mentor, I would like to thank Mary Byers.
What about you? Are you grateful to a special mentor for their extraordinary efforts of encouragement in regards to your dreams and aspirations?
Note: A portion of this “thank you” was published in an article of the State Journal-Register on October 3, 2010 and is shown here courtesy of the SJR. Click on thumbnail to enlarge and read.
Photo courtesy karindaziel
Tags: writing, mentor, thank you, publishing