Author Mentorship: Adults and Children Alike
Where I've come from. Where I want to go. What I've achieved. How I want to change the world. All that has happened in between. And all that has changed in the process. Each and every moment that has shaped and defined how I carry myself in the world, how I chose to show up in the present moment, and how I want to create the future I dream of and work toward every day. The lessons I have learned, the stories I have told, the connections I have made. My journey would be less rich without the support and guidance of mentors who have come in and out of my life in many different ways; those who have stayed a season, and those who I know will be lifelong.
I began writing as a Kindergarten teacher in 2019, realizing that so many of my students, students who we are meant to nurture, guide and support in the most fundamental years of their lives, were not being reflected in the books in our classrooms and school. When I write, I believe that my Ancestors – who didn’t have the opportunities I do – channel through me to share their stories and enrich my writing. While book ideas are forever flowing and I have a plethora of manuscripts looking for their publishing home, I would like to continue giving back to society in a different capacity, welcoming the next generations of creatives. I am doing this by offering mentorship aimed specifically at growth in writing skills, providing editorial feedback beyond family and friends, and sharing inspiration from my own stories and experiences. As we know, input and collaboration from someone outside of our individual writing process can breathe fresh air into our work and spark new creative flow.
From the very beginning of time, stories have been told; orally passed down through generations, not often written down. Written languages and words are more recent; and predominantly white controlled - dictating whose stories matter and what gets or has been recorded. As a result, indigenous (globally) voices have been lost, forgotten or undermined; stories hidden, whitewashed or corrupted because of fear, uncertainty and insecurity of what might happen if BIPOC’s continued to stay rooted in their Ancestry in this way. Power dynamics would crumble.
Author mentorship with me brings strength and a level of importance to the stories you have to tell. Do not doubt the power of a story. Do not doubt the power of your stories. I am here to support you in taking this creative leap of faith and leaning into sharing your voice with the world. What we don’t know is often what we need to be the most brave about. We need to tell stories that others need to hear, need reminding of, and allow people to know - that they are not alone. I write to share with all, that in this space, not only do you belong, you have a leading role and can affect change. What a better way to do this by shaping our literature and media towards the world we believe in.
I work to dream, create, and build any and all that is missing from our world. I remember all the literature and media that brought me joy and that I found magical growing up, but what I know now was missing was seeing myself reflected in the book and TV characters. I believe in everyone being able to see positive versions of themselves in literature, on the TV, in movies and throughout the general media. It's hard to imagine what you can become if you have never seen it, felt it, or experienced it for yourself.
I work actively to support and build community with other authors who are either established or aspiring. I have walked numerous authors in my journey into the publishing world as well as connected numerous aspiring authors with my literary agents to see if the relationship is a good fit. I am a firm believer that there is more than enough to go around and sharing the wealth doesn’t take out of my pocket. So many narratives have been left untold, corrupted or misplaced entirely. I encourage all BIPOC creatives to create, decolonize their dreams and share their narratives with the world. I work with families dedicated to being allies and co-conspirators and raising allies and co-conspirators towards decolonizing. In particular this begins with their bookshelves and visual media. A crucial part of being a creative in 2022 is fighting the trap of thinking that only non-white children care about non-white experiences. If we believe this, we are setting a dangerous precedent about the relevance of BIPOC experiences to other races. Token books and token authors are not enough. We need to create an industry of full diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging through decolonizing, indigenizing and liberating within and alongside the current publishing industry.
Each year there are more books published about animals and other non-human characters than BIPOC characters. Some communities are at an even greater disadvantage with only 1% of books featuring Indigenous characters, 5% LatinX characters, and 7% Asian-Pacific Islanders. During 2020 I experienced a significant career transition, hearing and answering the call to fully step into creating for the world I believe in: working toward an antiracist world and decolonizing, liberating and indigenizing. I want to create a world that will make our Ancestors and great-grandchildren proud.
Author mentorship is a critical piece of the puzzle toward building confidence, creative thought processes and timeline plans for writing projects. It is a critical asset to support how we dream and work toward changing the world. Mentorship can look different for different people, and feels different depending on the age, stage and phase of life you are in right now. Which may be and feel completely different tomorrow. Why? Because we grow and shift every single day; something that we practiced yesterday and felt completely awkward about may all of a sudden click into place today. Creative flow is influenced by many different factors and is more of a spiritual process than many realize.
Being a creative is a daily reminder to always be ready and open to being a student. There are many different places to learn, explore and engage in writing conferences, webinars, online courses and perhaps even with professional writing organizations. For myself, one-on-one mentorship has allowed for more intimate connections, discussions and evolution as I evolve as an author, writer and creative. Our mentorship conversations will provide space to dig in, deepen and enhance your words, bringing about enriching pieces. The packages I offer include options for one-off conversations, and ongoing meetings, because what is writing if not an ongoing, ever evolving process. Evolution requires work, consistency and often radical openness to put ourselves out there for the world to see. Mentorship is an investment in yourself, an investment in your life, an investment in your creative career. Mentorship is possibly the most important investment you will make in sharing your narrative with the world. You are worth every minute spent working toward your dreams.
The services I provide create a supportive space to open, share and hold your story, no matter what phase or stage you are in. I am here to support, guide, enhance and nurture the creative spirit in you, so you not only see yourself in the spaces traditionally held by the white voices, but we will work together to build our own creative realms as much of our work is in a category of its own.
The mentoring I offer reaches across all ages and all dialogues. If you are a family member who sees a child in school just starting out, exploring what it feels like to creatively express their stories, their adventures or the adversity they have experienced in their way that feels important to them, this is a place and space for you to support them in their journey. If you are a working adult who seeks a new, different or alternative path, or an add-on to what you are currently working on, I am here to support the next step in your powerful story. I accommodate meetings where you can pick my brain, for feedback on an idea or to spark new ideas, as well as ongoing mentorship offerings where I can support you through your whole journey. Whether you are simply interested in writing, building on ideas, elaborating on current works or bringing a full book into existence, this is a place of dreaming. Writing is a tailor made process; different for different people. We bring our individual stories and experiences to our writing; we bring our heart and soul to how and what we express on paper. Mentoring is a tailor made process for your writing style; I am here to support each and every person in a way that works for you, to support your growth, stories, and ultimately, your ongoing abundance.
As part of the mentorship process, we will discuss and set targets and goals, work through current issues and stumbling blocks, and how we might process through these as we work toward your writing goals. I will provide feedback, and always support and encouragement to keep going, and perhaps think a little differently. What inspires you? Why do you want to tell your stories? Why do you want to tell your stories? Let’s work together to shape your Ancestral masterpiece(s).