Becoming a successful writer often requires the help of others. That help can come in the form of presentations at writer’s conferences, support and advice from fellow writing critique group members, other writers’ blogs, and sometimes just a good friend or mentor. As I’ve developed my writing over the past 23 years, I’ve received help from all those sources. However, the greatest impact to my writing development came from two individuals who to a significant degree became my writing mentors in my early years.
The first of these is my good friend Dave Wolverton (aka David Farland of Runelords fame). I met Dave when I first starting writing seriously and just as his career was beginning to take off. He was always willing to share helpful advice, provide kind criticism, and give encouragement. He helped spark inside me the confidence I needed to keep at it and to give me valuable insights on how to improve my writing and career. Dave continues to provide advice and encouragement to thousands of other writers through his “Daily Kick” e-newsletter that anybody can sign up for at www.davidfarland.net.
My second writing mentor is another good friend, picture book author, Rick Walton. When I first started writing picture books, Rick invited me to participate in a critique group that gave me my first glimpse at the essentials of picture book writing. Over the years Rick has continued to be a good friend, selflessly doing what he could to help me and other fellow children’s authors. While Rick is a prolific writer with over 50 books published (more info at www.rickwalton.com) that’s not what makes him unique. Rick has nurtured or contributed in some way to the writing efforts of probably every published and aspiring children’s author with ties to the state of Utah. To some degree the same might be said for many of my fellow Utah children’s authors, but I’m fairly certain that most of them would agree that Rick stands out on top as one who has selflessly given his time and energy to help all the aspiring or published children’s authors he meets.
With this being the month of Thanksgiving, I thought it appropriate to give a shout out of thanks to these two individuals that, whether they realize it or not, have had a significant influence and positive impact on my writing career. So, a gigantic thanks to Dave and Rick for all you’ve done for me and the many others you’ve helped.
Okay, time to name names and give thanks. What individuals have had the most positive impact on your writing efforts or career?