Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mentoring newbie freelance writers

My post-NaNoWriMo group meetings have turned into an opportunity to mentor a couple of "newbie" freelance writers.

In both 2006 and 2008, the two years I've done NaNoWriMo, I was the only full-time freelance writer in the group. This year, as we've continued the meetings it has ended up being only me and two others meeting every week. Both of them recently asked me for some advice on getting started as freelance writers, which has subsequently turned into a full-fledged mentorship.

Two meetings ago, I showed them all of the sites where I usually look for contract work, and walked them through the process of responding to a job ad versus writing a query in response to a market listing.

Our last meeting, Wednesday night, I started working with them on developing resumes and coming up with ideas on how to get started. Neither of them have any professional writing experience, but one of them has enough other experience to get started in a niche topic, and the other is going to school for business and has some business communications and marketing classes that I think will help her get started.

Mentoring — as opposed to just giving some advice and being done with it — is a new thing for me, and so far I rather like it! It's fun coming up with ideas to help them get started, and I'm enjoying working with them on their resumes, too. It's an amazing feeling to be able to share some of the wisdom I figured out the hard way when I started out, through trial and error.

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