This month, I turned my blog into more of a teaching platform. We all know what teachers do, but what is thing called mentoring?
A mentor is someone who advises or trains someone (especially a younger colleague) says the dictionary.
I’m not a huge fan of this definition because that makes it sound like mentors are only for the work place. What about the home place? Or the church place? Shouldn’t there be mentors there as well?
I believe there should be. And I think the Bible supports that idea.
Mentorship on Wiki
According to Wikipedia:
Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but he or she must have a certain area of expertise.
If this is true, then any setting is appropriate for a mentorship relationship.
As a young mother who didn’t do the “babysitting” thing as a teenager, I relied heavily on my sister as my mentor. It helped that she was a wonderful mother and loved babies (even if they cried and puked all the time). Since she had a baby that was seven months older than mine, she was current with all the “shoulds” and “should nots” pediatricians were spouting.
Remember, this was long before I could Google anything, and there wasn’t a library of YouTube videos to show me how to get my kid to sleep longer than four hours at night.
Mentorship at the Bookstore
Take a minute and go to Amazon or your favorite online book retailer. Type “mentoring” into the search bar. When I did it at Amazon, there were twenty pages of results.
Titles like THE ELEMENTS OF MENTORING, MODERN MENTORING, and MENTOR 101 popped off the page. There were guides and programs and they were available in print, hardback, audio and ebook formats.
I think this mentoring is a “thing” in our society. And it should be something we consider as we’re living our lives.
Mentorship for Writers
As a hybrid author, I’ve relied on a number of published authors to guide me in my writing journey. Most of this came in the form of books on writing, but I’ve also attended classes (online and at conferences) where I could ask the teacher pointed questions.
Writers need feedback. This is something that frustrated me early in my career because it seemed impossible to get it (without paying through the nose and then not necessarily getting helpful input).
That’s why I have a page with links to my own blogs on this journey. And why I share all the great resources I’ve found on the Internet on that page.
It’s also why I’m active in groups on Facebook. I’ve always got my eyes open for someone I can help. And I’m still looking for people further along the journey who might be able to offer insights I need, too.
Mentorship for Anything
That’s the bottom line. We all need to be mentored. And we all have skills and knowledge that would benefit someone looking for a guide.
But I’m shy. I have stepped out of my box a couple times and offered to be a mentor, and I’ve been shot down. One hundred percent of the time, the person I reached out to didn’t want help.
Does that mean the older person is supposed to wait to be asked? Is it presumptuous to “offer” to mentor someone?
I mean, I’m not perfect. I don’t know everything. But I’ve learned a few things in my half-century of life (most of them the hard way), and I’d like to think that would be valuable to someone younger.
Is mentorship only for the workplace? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
And if you’re interested in going deeper, I’ll be tackling the subject in depth on September 7, 2019 in my Facebook Group.