Tonight I'm having another meeting with the current Writer in Residence at the public library. So far, it's been going really well. His help has been invaluable. Which got me to thinking a lot about guidance.
When you're an emerging writer, there's a lot to be desired. You don't have a lot of publishing credits, your writing/editing skills aren't quite where they should be and, if you're like me, you suffer from a crippling lack of confidence. You need help that you can trust, a hand to help guide you through the daunting process of building a successful career in writing. Which is why I think mentoring is so important.
Meeting with my first Writer in Residence, Alice Kuipers, was crucial for me. I know I wouldn't be where I am now without her. I would have given up long ago, curled in a little ball under the covers. She prepared me for the disappointments, the extreme amount of work and effort required and gave me gentle encouragement. But I'm not done needing guidance. In fact, I still have a long way to go. So, I'm meeting with the current Writer in Residence. And I'll probably meet with the next one.
Don't be afraid to seek out help. Apply for mentorship programs, visit your own local Writer in Residence if you have one. Classes and workshops are great, but nothing can make up for the one on one attention you receive from someone who's been there.