Being a mentor

Subject: Being a mentor
From: kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 08:51:36 -0700

I don't know how many of you are aware of the Techwr-L's mentoring
program. I know I wasn't, until I was contacted offlist by somebody
seeking my guidance (a scary thought, I know - ME guiding somebody? Will
this mean even MORE weird sig lines? Only time will tell...). But I

Eric and Deb have encouraged fledgling tech writers to seek mentors to
help them with various aspects of their career growth. The response has
been big - last time I checked there were several pages of people who had
signed up, all seeking mentoring assistance.

I encourage you all to check out these pages, which begin here:

Even if you don't have time to enter into a mentoring situation, if you
see somebody looking for guidance in an area where you have some
expertise, I'm sure a quick e-mail would be much appreciated.

One common thread I've seen in many of the mentoring applicants' messages
is the desire for information on how to get started. Yes, we've discussed
that a lot, and the archives are rich with information. So rich that it
might be difficult for newbies to mine for the information they seek. So
maybe a little hand-holding is in order.

A couple days ago Andrew Plato wrote a brief but informative list of the
steps involved in starting your own business, along with estimates of the
associated costs. I thought it was terrific, and tremendously practical.

I think if a few of us wrote similar procedurals outlining our suggestions
for getting started, it might be of great value to these mentor-seekers. I
know that many of us live by schedules that preclude us from committing to
an actual mentoring relationship. But by taking a few moments to write a
one-pager on How To Get Rich And Famous In Tech Writing (okay, so the
title needs work), or some other topic you see mentioned in the
applicants' messages, you could really "give something back" to a craft
and profession that (much of the time at least) has been good to many of

Okay, I'm starting to sound like Sally Struthers (just 8 cents a day could
feed 2 starving tech writers...), so I'll stop.

But it's something to consider.....

-Keith Cronin

If you don't use styles, the terrorists win.

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