Dictionary.com defines a "Mentor" as a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. I've had some wonderful mentors in my professional life, but not in my writing life. In my early years--when I was learning the craft and just getting started--I didn't seek out a mentor.
I do, however, have wonderful friends who I have learned "the ropes" with and those are the nurturing relationships I'd like to talk about today.
Writing is often a solitary endeavor. Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard. By yourself. But if you're like me, you need to talk about that process, vent about the challenging, complain about the rejections, rejoice in the successes. The failure doesn't seem as bad, and the success seems that much better if you share it with others. It takes the sting out of the rejection if you can share it with someone who understands.
So this post for Armchair BEA is dedicated to the three women in my critique group: Ansha Kotyk, Laura Pauling, and Jennifer Carson. All talented. All supportive. All incredible creators of children's literature. We've all been up and we've all been down. And we share each step along the way.
I've also met some great people through the New England Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators--professional organizations are a great way to find your own nurturing relationships. In fact, it's how I found my crit group to begin with.
And the cool thing is to be able to nurture others. Support, Empathy, Understanding--sometimes it's enough to just say you understand how someone else is feeling.
What are your nurturing relationships like?