3/16/12 UPDATE: Linda F. is the winner of the Starbucks gift card!
Before I introduce my guest today, I'd like to mention my post over at the Diamond State Romance Authors' blog. My post is about "The Random Muse" and I have a picture of a structure that helped to inspire the story of The Waiting Booth. Click here to read. I'm also a guest at Jennifer Eaton's blog with an interview. Jennifer said something about taking on the little blue woman from Mars, but I'm not scared. Click here to read.
Now, I'd like to introduce Lori Freeland. Lori is one of those giving writers. She has regular posts on her blog on how to improve your writing. She explains it simply and with great examples. Sometimes, she makes it sound so simple that I wonder why I'm making it difficult. She has a very cool website with lots of tips for writers and the everyday fun stuff, too. Her website is HERE if you want to visit it later.
Those Who Teach, Do Better ~ Lori Freeland
Remember the old adage—those who can’t do, teach?
Unless we’re talking about my seventh-grade gym teacher who wore his red velour tracksuit loose to hide his flab and loved to yell, “Run faster,” as our awkward gangly bodies struggled around the track to complete our required Presidential Fitness Test.
I believe those who want to do better teach.
When you teach, you learn. When you teach, you strengthen your critique skills. When you teach, you live with an open-hand philosophy.
Let me explain.
My mission statement as a writer is this. Find a Mentor. Be a Mentor. Broken down, that means find someone who will cheer you on, then turn around and lift up someone else. Walk the writing journey with others. Find people that push you forward and become the person that pushes others forward.
Envision yourself as an old-fashioned gold scale.
Hold both hands out, palms up, even with each other. Look at your left hand and imagine a mentor pouring knowledge into your palm. Your hand sags under the welcome weight of new skills and encouragement.
Now picture your right palm. Tip your hand and let your knowledge pour out into someone else. Watch in amazement as your left hand sags deeper under the weight of new blessings.
You don’t have to carry a plethora of skills in your life backpack to mentor others. If you possess one skill, share it. If you discover one new nugget of information, present it. If you have an hour, give it. You’ll be amazed at what you reap in return for your generosity of time and skill.
And if you need a selfish reason to share your time—try this one. It’s easier to see mistakes when other people make them. What if you made a list of all their mistakes and used that list to check your own work?
So find a mentor. Be a mentor. Offer to help someone who’s climbing the rungs of the writing ladder just behind you. When her fingers touch your heels, turn around, and offer your hand.
I challenge you to encourage someone today. Send an email. A tweet. A text. Push another writer forward to the next level then sit back and enjoy the Domino Effect.
It’s an amazing sight to watch!
NOTE FROM BRINDA: I'd like to buy you a cup of coffee. Leave a comment for a $5 Starbucks gift card. Tell us about someone who has helped you along the way. Or tell us about ways you are helping other writers. I'll draw one winner with random.org by Thursday at midnight CST.
I Am Obsessed with Imaginary People. Avid Reader of All Things YA. Critique Facilitator at SCBWI. Writing Group Leader. Contributor and Blogger for Crosswalk.com. Faith Team Editor at The Christian Pulse. Writing Coach for North Texas Christian Writers.