Use Mentor Poems to Grow as a Poet by Violet Nesdoly

If you’re a crafter you may have gone to a craft fair, admired items on display, picked up one or two that especially appealed to you, and examined them closely. Why? Chances are you were trying to figure out how they were made and whether you could make something similar.

Growth in any skill is often rooted in admiration and the desire to copy what we admire. Writing is no different.

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11 Ways Writing Has Helped Me Grow by Pamela Mytroen

1. I learned that sometimes you don’t go anywhere as a writer until you take a risk. I got hired as a correspondent because I took a risk and pitched an editorial the day after 9/11.

2. I learned that 100-year-old women do not handle long interviews well. They tend to fall asleep.

3. In my contract writing, I learned way more than I ever wanted to about tires, crop lifters, and insurance portfolios, but on the flip side, I can now carry on a somewhat intelligent conversation with the people behind these businesses.

4. I learned that collaborating with other writers and praying with them opens doors. I got the pastors of our community together to suggest an inspirational/biblical type column and pitched it to the editor. I thought she would flick me out of her office like a pesky mosquito. Instead, she welcomed the idea and the column “Pass the Salt” has been running for 15 years.

5. I learned that many people do not read the newspaper in my town and that most people still do not realize that I write for the paper, but the ones who do are very encouraging. And sometimes all you need to keep going is one person stopping you on the street and saying, “Thank you.”

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Seven Ways to Grow Your Writing by Janice L. Dick

Writing involves not only good technique but also personal investment. It involves practice and learning.

An acquaintance said recently that practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. In other words, if we continue to repeat our mistakes, we are not getting any closer to perfection.

Michael J. Fox said he doesn’t aim for perfection but for excellence.

Sometimes it’s a matter of semantics. The key is to do our best at whatever we are doing, and that will always require effort, practice, and time.

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The Importance of Downtime by Steph Beth Nickel

This post first appeared on Janet Sketchley’s blog, Tenacityand subsequently, on This & That for Writers.

I’m filling in for our church administrator while she’s on maternity leave. For 30 hours each week, I can’t work uninterrupted on writing or editing. I can’t tend to my volunteer responsibilities. I can’t work around the house—Wait! Scratch that. That wouldn’t be how I spent the majority of those 30 hours anyway.

Since coming to work at the church mid-February—which, for the most part, I really enjoy, by the way—I’ve been somewhat overwhelmed by my To Do list. Granted, the Lord had previously been teaching me how to focus on the Now (this very moment), but until recently, it hadn’t been an undeniably necessity for my mental wellbeing.

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