Do you ever feel alone in the writing journey? Or perhaps you are not sure what to do next. One thing every hero needs on the hero’s journey is a mentor. The journey of writing is no different. In this episode I am going to talk about 10 different places to find mentorship.

Why Mentorship is Important

  • Most authors feel like they are the exception, the chosen one, the one for whom writing will be easy and successful. 
  • A mentor is the person who sets you straight and teaches you that you still have a lot to learn.
  • It’s hard to read the label when you are standing inside the bottle.
  • Easy to make the same mistakes over and over.
  • Helps with blind spots.
  • There is a lot to learn to succeed. 

How to Tell If You’re Ready for Mentorship

  • Are you willing to suffer criticism to get better?
  • Ready to commit to implement the advice you get?
  • Every hero in every story thinks he is farther along than he really is. The mentor shows him that he still has a lot to learn.  

There is No Right or Wrong Answer

Most successful authors avail themselves of most of these mentorship avenues at one point or another. Depending on where you are in your journey, one of these avenues may be more helpful to you than others. 

Stop thinking about strategies in terms of right and wrong. It is better to think about it in terms of pros and cons. Advantages and disadvantages. 

#1: Books

Pros:

Cons:

  • Dated
  • Impersonal
  • No Accountability
  • No Encouragement 

Bottom Line: Access the minds of experts for only $10 per expert. Impersonal and requires a lot of self discipline. 

#2: Podcasts & Blogs

Pros:

  • Free
  • Can learn just about anything
  • Expert advice
  • Cutting edge

Cons:

  • Interaction Limited
  • Unfocused
  • No Accountability
  • No Encouragement 

Bottom Line: 

  • A free, timely and impersonal way up the learning curve.

#3: Writers Conferences 

Pros: 

  • In Person
  • Expert
  • Focused
  • Excellent Networking
  • One of the best ways to find an agent

Cons:

  • Limited in time and scope
  • Drinking from a Firehose 
  • No Accountability
  • Expensive, Especially if you go to a lot.

Bottom Line: 

  • The default for most authors. An easy way to spend a lot of money without much to show for it education wise. But for networking, nothing beats a conference. 

#4 Online Courses

Online courses blend of pros and cons of podcasts, conferences, and books. 

Pros: 

  • Expert
  • Focused
  • The more you pay the more personal they tend to be
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Great value compared to conference.

Cons:

  • Static
  • Impersonal (you are one of many)
  • Limited Accountability
  • Limited Encouragement 
  • Limited Focus

Bottom Line: 

  • One of the best ways to fill in knowledge gaps. If you take the cost of just one conference and spend it on courses you will advance up the learning curve much faster. 

#5 University Degree

Pros:

  • A high credibility path if you want to pursue traditional literary fiction. 
  • Degreed instructors 
  • Useful if you want to teach in university yourself

Cons:

  • Slow
  • Very Expensive. (Liberal Arts colleges now cost $25,000 to $50,000 a year not counting books, room and board). The days of being able to work your way through college on a minimum wage job are over. For grins check what your alma matter is now charging students to attend. I checked mine and it now costs over $40,000 a year. That is over $160,000 for a four year degree! 
  • Focus tends to be on non commercial writing
  • No one in the publishing world cares if you have a degree, they just care if you can write. 

Bottom Line: 

  • Rarely worth the investment anymore. University is not the bargain it once was. 
  • Don’t get school loans for a liberal arts degree! You may never pay it off. 

#6 VA Apprenticeships

Pros:

  • Can make money!
  • Learn things authors don’t know to teach.
  • Learn advanced techniques
  • I am looking to hire a VA to help me with my podcasts! If you are interested, email me your resume. 

Cons:

  • Hard to find.
  • Time consuming.
  • No accountability
  • Requires a big time commitment.
  • It’s a job. A lot of what you are doing is actual work. 

Bottom line: 

  • An unconventional way to learn for authors who are time rich and cash poor.

#7 1on1 Coaching

Pros: 

  • Personal
  • Ongoing
  • Focused
  • Accountability

Cons:

  • Very Expensive (unless you compare it to University)
  • Good coaches are hard to find

Bottom Line: 

  • If you can afford it, this is one of the fastest ways up the learning curve. 

#8 Facebook Groups

Pros

Cons

  • Facebook is a time vortex.
  • Quality of advice is a mixed bag. I see a lot of bad advice shared in Facebook groups. Most of the marketing superstitions spread in Facebook groups.

Bottom Line: 

  • Better than nothing. The benefit really depends on the group. 
  • Be picky and look for smaller groups with credible oversight. 

#9 Critique Groups

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Personal
  • In person
  • Accountability

Cons

  • Inexpert Advice
  • Hard to find. You will most likely need to start one.
  • Tend to be craft focused

Bottom Line: 

  • A great way to improve your craft. Only as good as the other authors.
  • Beware of bozos!

#10 Mastermind Groups

Two kinds of Mastermind groups. Peer based and Expert based.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Expert advice
  • Accountability
  • Community
  • Networking
  • Advanced (Eventually this is all you do.)

Cons:

  • Hard to find
  • It is about give and take
  • Can be expensive. (Not uncommon for Mastermind Groups to cost $250/mo and up)

Bottom Line:

  • One of the best forms of mentorship, especially in the long run. 

Sponsor:

I am starting two mastermind groups! One for unpublished authors and one for published authors. I am hosting the groups through patreon and each is limited to 10 writers, so I won’t be surprised if these sell out quickly.

We will meet monthly with online video. Each author will get a chance to pick my brain and learn from the other authors as well. We will also set realistic goals and then hold you accountable to accomplish them.

I am running these mastermind groups through Patreon as reward tiers. So go to our patreon page to sign up. We will have a link in the show notes.

The group for Published authors is $100/mo and the group for unpublished authors is $50/mo. 

If you are already a patron, all you have to do is change your patron level to get access to one of the mastermind groups.

I am anticipating that some of the patrons of the sold-out $5 will upgrade, so for those of you who have been waiting for a $5 spot to open up, this is your chance!

Learn more

Speaking of patrons…

Featured Patron

Eloise Whyte author of Soul Inspirationz

You’ll gain a new relationship with Jesus as you trust him to be your confidant, healer, and life-giving friend.                   

You can become a Novel Marketing Patron here.

Encouragement

Mercy’s superpower

Mercy’s First birthday

Consider having one of your characters do something out of character on purpose. Sometimes a little unpredictability can make for a better story. Just have a good reason for the change.

Transcript

Transcript generated algorithmically by Sonix(Affiliate Link). 

Questions:

Do you have a question you would like us to answer on the show? Call our listener help line! 512-827-8377‬. You can also send us a high quality recording on AuthorMedia.com/contact.

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