The Importance of Mentors

Mentor. noun

  1. a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
  2. an influential senior sponsor or supporter.

Every successful author I come in contact with mentions hYoda memeow they wouldn’t be where they are without the aid of someone special. Someone who took the time to bear them up, give them encouragement and advice, and most of all, be an example. I want to talk today about mentors.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” As writers we have many authors that tell us where to go to find the answers. They say things like, “Check out this book, or visit this website.” Sometimes we are fortunate enough to sit in a class with them as they instruct us on the things we should do to better our craft. The best authors—the mentors, take time to not only instruct us but involve us. They are the ones that show they really care. They are the ones we remember years later when we finally make it.

91QXf1iLg8LA month or so ago I was very discouraged in my writing goals. I had books out and I had great reviews and feedback from kids that had read my books, but my publishing goals were not being met. I was struggling and, after years and years of trying, I was ready to call it quits. That is when my mentor, J. Scott Savage, stepped in. Noticing I was lacking my normal oomph he took me out to lunch to “talk shop.” During that luncheon he did what every great mentor does: he encouraged me, taught me from his own bumpy road of success, and showed me I’d be a fool to give up. I left that luncheon feeling more than supported—I felt guided.

Fast forward to just last weekend and I was at a writing conference in Utah called Storymakers. Here my mentor was again trying to help all he could. Not only me but as many writers that would answer his invite. The morning before the Saturday session he set up a donut breakfast in which he provided a hundred delicious donuts, milk and juice, and invited anyone to come and “talk shop” about anything to help them on their writing journey. It was by far one of the best moments I had that weekend.

jack6.000x9.000.inddWith his “Pay it Forward” mentality J. Scott Savage teaches me the type of author I want to be. He is my mentor and I am proud to call him such. I hope that one day when I make my goals as an author I can be this type of mentor to others that are like me now. I encourage aspiring writers to find mentors to help them on their journey. I invite all authors who feel they have something to offer others to help and be a mentor. So many would not be where they are today if someone didn’t take the time to show they cared.

J. Scott Savage is a middle-grade author of several books including the totally-awesome Farworld series, Case Files 13 series, and the newly anticipated series Mysteries of the Cove available this fall. You can find more information on him at http://jscottsavage.com/.

About Mikey Brooks

When he's not saving the world from evil villains, drawing, or changing diapers, Mikey Brooks is writing, or napping. He’s published six middle-grade books, including the best-selling series "The Dream Keeper Chronicles" and several picture books. He lives in Utah with his smokin’-hot- wife, their four kiddos, and the world’s ugliest dog. You can find out more about him, his art and books at: www.insidemikeysworld.com.

8 thoughts on “The Importance of Mentors

  1. Sooooo true! We can’t hide away and do it all by ourselves. Mentors make all the difference. A true mentor (not just some bossy know-it-all) will help you rise to your potential step by step.

  2. Having been privileged to attend the same early morning chat session with J. Scott Savage, I can definitely second everything Mikey said…. About mentors, and about J. Scott Savage.

    A couple years ago I had dinner with Jeff and learned so much. He asked me about my books and I totally blew the ‘elevator’ pitch we are all encouraged to have. Instead of dismissing me, Jeff helped me with it.

    I love meeting established authors who love to teach and encourage less experienced authors… Though I think this should apply to humanity in general, not just authors.

    Welcoming people instead of dismissing them is a great way to meet interact with people. You never know when you or they will say or do something meaningful and have a positive impact that makes you (or them) stronger or better for the interaction.

    Thanks for sharing one of your heroes, Mikey. He’s one of mine as well. 🙂

  3. Thanks for this great post. We all can use mentors in our lives and in our writing. We all need encouragement from time to time. And when we make it, it is really important to be a mentor to others and give back. Mentors are also important to our book’s protagonists. Everyone needs a Yoda!

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