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Will you mentor me?

Can I be your apprentice/assistant/be tutored by you etc?

I get requests like this one every so often, and I'm never sure how to reply to them. I appreciate your enthusiasm, and applaud your initiative.

The thing is, I barely have time to teach the single class that I do teach. I do it to offer at least some chance for people to get some feedback on their writing. But there's simply no way on earth I can take on an apprentice, no matter how talented. I wouldn't even know how to go about doing it.

Here's some advice. My BYU class lectures from several years have been posted online (See the College Class section of the FAQ for links). Watch those, and see if they help improve your writing. Then, you can listen to my podcast Writing Excuses. From there, watch for workshops and conferences I'm participating in. The Writing Excuses crew has a retreat or cruise most years, and I give small group classes and give personal feedback. The cruises and retreats also feature other talented authors, so you can get great advice from several of us at once. 

The secret to writing is practice. Having me give you some pointers might help you, and I'd like to be able to do so--perhaps we'll find a way for that to happen. But that's far less effective than simply writing.

If you want to do this for a living, do what I did. When I sold Elantris (my sixth novel, and the first I made any money from) I had written thirteen novels. Number 13 was the first draft of The Way of Kings.

Write.  Finish what you write.  Write some more.  That's the secret.

Best of luck to you!