Larry Brody’s first mentors were Emmy winner Bill Blinn, s-f great Harlan Ellison, and some crazy old bird named Gene Roddenberry. He got lucky and would be the first to tell you that.
But what if you don’t get so lucky? Who can a new writer turn to when their RL lets them down? Here’s one answer that’s pretty darn good.
by Elizabeth Yuko
Mentors are great in theory, but don’t always play out the way you want them to in real life. Perhaps your chosen mentor isn’t as helpful as you had hoped, or you can’t find a mentor to begin with. If that’s the case, journalist-turned-blogger Joanna Goddard has a suggestion: Make a list of your dream mentors and ask yourself what they’d do in or think of a given situation. Here’s how to do that.
Harness the power of your dream mentor
When she first started her blog, A Cup of Jo, in 2007, Goddard says that there really wasn’t much out there in the way of advice for creating or sustaining that type of platform. So without any mentors she could work with in real life, she made a list of people she considered mentors from afar—people she had never met, but whose opinion she trusted. For Goddard, this list included “magazine editor Pilar Guzmán, author Anne Lamott, force of nature Michelle Obama, and neck-hater and all-around genius Nora Ephron.” Whenever Goddard wasn’t sure what to do or how to handle a situation, she’d ask herself “What would Michelle Obama think about this?” and then tried to do that (or at least her version of it)….