|Photo by Tim Luk|
With Easter on the near horizon, many a youngster will take to the grass searching high and low for that elusive egg. Often, overlooking what is in plain sight in order to exclaim, “I found it!” with a beaming smile illuminating their faces as they grasp their treasure.
In order to be successful, I discovered I needed someone to lean on and show me the ways of a freelance writer. For the longest time, I was looking for someone close to me in proximity, believing that a face-to-face conversation and occasional drop-in was necessary. I was wrong. Much like those eager Easter egg hunters, I failed to see what was sitting in plain sight. I had already found two outstanding people to emulate. Two people that would give me all I need. And all that time, I did not need to lift one branch or crawl through one bush; my treasure came via the Internet.
Even though I have never sat down and had a cup of coffee with them, or visited their homes, I feel like I have known them for years. I consider them friends and take their words to heart. I know they will be honest, caring, and have my best interest in mind. They are mentors in the true sense of the word. The give guidance and provide leadership. They answer questions and provide support and never ask for anything in return. My mentors are Lori Widmer and Sean Platt.
Lori was one of the first writers I contacted when I began this endeavor last year. Her response was immediate, and she was so forthcoming with information I became a bit skeptical. Obviously, she was sincere and even agreed to let me interview her for one of my first blog posts. That willingness to help other writers is truly inspirational and why I consider her a mentor. Lori shares her insight and wisdom on her blog Words on the Page. Along with partner Anne Wayman, she also founded a writer forum titled: About Writing Squared. Both sites are information packed for the beginner and seasoned writer.
Sean Platt is quick with a thank you and encouragement. His trademark, “I did it. So can you,” illustrates where Sean is coming from. His sincerity in wanting other writers to be successful is remarkable. Sean has seen tremendous growth in his brand and his fiction endeavors. Often, when writers see that kind of growth their ego expands two-fold. This is not the case with Sean. He answers questions and gives advice freely, and always makes you feel like an equal colleague. He recently launched a new blog called The Digital Writer. And I know he will continue to help me and others be successful.
Both Lori and Sean have inspired me to pursue my writer dreams. Neither did it with selling a book or class. They just wanted to help, and help me they have. It has been said, “the world is getting smaller.” And the Internet is contributing to that shrinkage. For all of its negatives, it provided me the avenue to find great mentors. Mentors are where you find them and I found mind via the Internet.
Where did you find your mentors? Share your experiences and who has inspired you.