Without exaggerating, she changed my life that day. I'd never met authors before. I'd only read their books and sent them emails and sometimes I heard back from them. Sophie Oak was one of the people who inspired me to want more from life.
She took time with me even while her own career was exploding.
Unfortunately, my situation has changed and I'm unable to attend the events I once did, so we haven't crossed paths in a few years now.
And this is not me complaining. I have a large family, and my schedule has been nuts. Aside from a few events every couple of months, my year is usually spent trying to connect with people on a schedule I don't have much pull over. And I hate small talk. HATE IT. So if my writing life doesn't have anything going on, or I know we're not in the same half of the country, I don't bug people.
But here's the thing...I'm thinking I need to make more connections like I made that day I hung at that hotel bar in Chicago. I need to start putting relationships as a priority again, because I've been hanging in personal survival for far too long. My muse has been locked away in chains, and although she doesn't mind a little bondage from time to time, she's missing the connections I used to give her.
I need a mentor. I would say I need a life coach, but frankly the piggy bank is squealing with hunger right now, and my schedule is in flux.
I have always used the analogy of online dating to describe making connections in this business. Whether it's looking for beta readers, or critique partners, or mentors, you have to reach out into the void and hope you don't get dick pics sent back. It's daunting. And hard, which makes the dick pic analogy all the more perfect.
Putting yourself out there is difficult, but I'm going to start rebuilding my base. I miss my conference buddies. I miss the women and men I would see down the hall and rush to give a hug because we both knew we wouldn't see each other outside of our Facebook messenger again for far too long. And I miss the smile I have in this picture, because I truly would not have the confidence and strength I have as a woman today were it not for the lunch and glass of wine I had with her.
Since you all know by now, if you've been following along, I'm deep in self-help book and class mode, I think it's time I put it out there. I'm ready to move forward again. And I'm ready to tune out the horrid news for a few hours a day and get back to work. I've got my coffee, and I've got my favorite keyboard and wireless headphones fired up. Time to hop back on my neglected Facebook page.
I have no idea what I'm doing, but hey, that's never stopped me before.
Do you have a mentor that has impacted your life? Have you used a life coach? I'd love to hear about your experiences and how you found your inspirational match.