Every Writer Is a Mentor (Or Can Be)

From Jeff: This is a guest post by Becky Kopitzke. Becky is a writer and contributor to mentorsaurus.com. You can join her in making a difference through this community of words.

My writing mentor always whips me into shape. She slings her red pen like a training whistle and sends me sprinting. And I love it.

Sure, the critiquing exercises hurt, at first. But my work always grows stronger as a result.

Writing Mentor Photo
Photo credit: Tulane Public Relations (Creative Commons)

We all need someone like that, don’t we? Someone who believes in us. A mentor who recognizes our potential, helps us reach it, and pushes us beyond it.

Who looks up to you?

If you’re a writer, you’re a mentor. I’m serious.

Think about it. Many of us writers have blogs. We make a habit of cracking open our souls so other people can peek inside — and comment.

I do this. Maybe you do, too. Sometimes, I catch responses to my writing that push the air right out of my chest:

  • “This is exactly what I needed to hear today.”
  • “Your insight makes me want to be a better parent.”
  • “I am so glad somebody else understands.”

And that’s when I realize I’m more than a writer. I’m somebody’s coach. I’m a mentor. And I need to start acting like it.

Your story is bigger than you

As a freelance writer and work-from-home mom, it’s easy to focus inward on my laptop, my deadlines, and the peanut butter smudges on my chair.

But comments like those remind me I’m not writing just for myself.

An audience lives and breathes beyond my desk — people who clip coupons and pack lunches just like I do. And they reserve a few minutes of their precious nap hour to meet me online, because we “get” each other.

I write to encourage them.

Why do you write?

Do you write because you love the craft? To capture memories? Fuel a movement? Those are all valid reasons to write, but I think the universal answer is simpler than all that:

We write because we have something to say. (Click here to tweet that.)

Our stories and words help people, encourage them. Whether you realize it or not, writers carry tremendous influence influence. Time to start handling it wisely.

But how do we do that?

When we see ourselves as mentors, our ambitions take on a greater purpose.

Expanding our reach is no longer about numbers or platforms or even us. It’s about making a difference. Giving back. Shining a light on the path we travel so others won’t stumble along the way.

Mentors share their stories and experiences in order to help others, regardless of the topic: parenting (my favorite), relationships, careers, lifestyle, etc.

I believe in mentoring and the people that are a part of it. I’m learning my words have tremendous power — to inspire, encourage, and challenge. All through my writing.

I can’t think of a more meaningful and fulfilling way to add value to other people’s lives. Can you?

So… what’s your story?

You’ve got a story to share. I’m sure of it.

  • What are you good at?
  • What shaped you?
  • What drives you?
  • What would you do differently — if you could do it all again?

You have a tale to tell, and someone needs to hear it. The answers to those questions are the beginning to a whole new world in which your words are about much more than you.

How can you start using your words to mentor others? Share in the comments.

You can join Becky and other mentors on Mentorsaurus to learn more about how a whole community of people are living, learning, and sharing together. You can also connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.