You are currently viewing Is finding a writing mentor really that important?

Is finding a writing mentor really that important?

Many people look to become a freelance writer. They see so many others doing it that they think it must be easy. They read blog posts, check out books, and jump into writing. One thing they don’t do is hire a writing mentor.

I get it! You want to save money. And you may never have even heard of a writing mentor.

You’re not alone. As I said, so many jump into writing without seeking out a mentor. I did it too!

I wish I’d got a writing mentor earlier than I did. I think I would have succeeded much sooner than I did.

Not hiring a writing mentor was a huge mistake

When I first started writing online, I jumped in with both feet. I did all the mistakes. While I learned from them, I wasted so much time!

At one point, I wondered if this was even a viable option. I could make more flipping burgers at a fast food joint. I needed a way to gain more money, and that meant I needed help.

It was only when I found the Freelance Writer’s Den that I realized a writing mentor was exactly what I needed. I spent some time there, but eventually, I turned to hiring a one-on-one coach to help me improve my skills, look over my pitches, and help me build my writing portfolio.

When I hired a mentor, my writing improved. I gained clients I’d only dreamed of gaining in the past.

I wasted so much time in the past. Here’s why you need a mentor.

CREATE Blog and Editorial Planner: Create Exceptional Content, Get More Done and Smash Through Your Blogging Goals

You learn from mistakes a writing mentor made

All new writers make mistakes. Hell, all veteran writers make the odd mistake here and there. Mistakes are a part of the learning process, but you don’t need to make them yourself to gain knowledge.

You can learn from others’ mistakes; learn what not to do before you even do it.

I can’t tell you the number of people I see in groups online asking for tips on how to handle a situation after it’s happened. They’re situations that I got into in the past or situations my business coaches and writing mentors got into. These are situations that could have been avoided has the person hired a writing mentor or coach before jumping in.

Mistakes such as finding non-paying or PITA clients, suffering with lack of responses from pitches, and even failing to deliver according to deadlines. They’re all mistakes that could break your career if you let them continue. But they’re also mistakes that you could avoid.

With a mentor, you have the chance to learn from them. You get to hear about the mistakes they made and what you can do instead. There’s an opportunity to learn and grow without even getting your first client.

Let me tell you something: I made so many mistakes to start with. I could have hired a mentor or coach to help avoid them and built my business a lot quicker than I did!

There’s the potential of gaining clients

When I hired my first mentor, I gained new clients. How did this work? Well, it wasn’t through rigorous pitches or updated methods of communication.

I managed to develop a network and I gained new networking skills to use elsewhere. Finding writing clients can be a case of “it’s who you know.”

My business coach knew people looking for writers. She was able to recommend me to her friends or her network, and I gained at least one client from that connection.

This isn’t going to happen every time, but it is a valuable outcome. I quickly gained the cost of the writing mentor back through the clients I gained.

There are times I get potential clients looking for work but they’re not a good fit for me. If I know of a student who could work with this client, I send a referral.

Do you need a writing mentor to succeed as a writer?

You can get feedback on your writing

Writing coaches can look over your writing, your pitches, and more. This is a way to gain feedback without hiring an editor. I still recommend hiring an editor, but the writing mentor will know things from a business point of view. They’ll know whether something is actually going to gain the attention you want it to.

Sometimes the feedback is going to be negative. Good mentors will give constructive criticism, though. While it’s initially negative, there’s a look at how to make your writing and your pitches better.

Your writing mentor wants you to succeed. This means they want you to improve your writing and pitches. After all, why would you stick with a mentor who doesn’t help your business progress?

Hiring a writing mentor is an investment of your money and your time. There is far more than learning how to be a writer involved. You build on business sense, learn from mistakes without making them, and improving your network.

MORE: Don’t let fear of failure stop you from writing

You need a writing mentor. It doesn’t have to be forever. I no longer have a coach to help, but I haven’t forgotten all the skills I learned with my mentor.

If you need a writing mentor, get in touch with me to discuss my rates. I’d love to help you build your writing business.