Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lucky me, I'm a mentor...

I'm a firm believer in giving back. That's why I judge writers' contests and spend hours giving the writer tips rather than criticisms. We all need help from time to time, gentle nudges, words of encouragement and heaps of praise for small accomplishments...and of course hugs for the big achievements.

That's why I also mentor other writers.

We start out with an agreement to try it for a month. After all, they might find me too picky or not helpful in any way. They email me a chapter and I use tract changes to mark things up and leave comments. I look for pov issues, passive verb usage, holes in plot or weakness with character development. I make comments and send the chapter back. What do I expect in return? Improvement.

Why, when time is so crucial to a writer, do I mentor? Because everyone needs help to reach their climb toward achieving their dreams. I have a mentor, too: my husband, Calvin. He is my cheerleader, my go-to-guy for answers, my support system, my hero. I would not be writing fulltime--a dream I held in my heart for 50 years--without his gentle nudging. In less than a month, I'll be holding my first book because of him. So, I'm passing it on, paying it forward, if you will.

I mentor two writers--a lovely lady in Boston and a sweetheart in Arizona. Both are growing as writers. Getting stronger. Their writing is becoming more vivid. Not because I'm such a great teacher, but because I can point out things and offer suggestions. I nudge them.
Their writing talent is already there--blooming in their souls. All I do is water the bloom and nudge it with the sunshine of encouragement.

Our mentoring relationship is a two-way street. I'm learning from them, too. In addition, I've made two wonderful friends. Somehow they always seem to know when I'm down or not feeling well and they email, and I smile. Lucky me, I'm a mentor.  


Melinda Elmore said...


You are such a sweet lady. You help writers grow by leaps and bounds. You have made my writing stronger. Thank you for being my friend and know you are one special lady to me and a great writer

Love you bunches
Walk in harmony,

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Vonnie, so true about helping others helps your own writing!! I teach online writing workshops and invariably I'll read over my lessons and think, I need to do that! :)

We can never stop learning from others! And helping others to learn the craft definitely can help us!

Caroline Clemmons said...

Vonnie, this is such a beautiful post. When I set up the pubbed author loop on Hearts Through History, may I refer the authors on the loop to this post? We are hoping the pubbed authors will mentor the unpubbed. You're a nice person, and I'm pleased to "know" you even if it is just online.

Vonnie Davis said...

Thank you, my sweet Melinda and Terry for your kinds words.

Thank you also, Caroline. Yes, by all means refer the pubbed authors on Hearts Through History to my site. I am a member of HTHRW. I read others' posts on the blog and would love to be a contributor, but since I'm not yet pubbed in historical romance I don't feel I should voice my opinions (my debut book is a contemporary romance). Once I finish my Western (am at 68,000 words now), perhaps I'll feel more qualifued.