I have a sand bottle on my bookshelf. There's even a few shells in it. Every morning I see this bottle, and it focuses and inspires me. Occasionally when I get frustrated with my writing, my husband looks at me and says "You have a bottle of sand." Instantly, my determination is back.
Where is this awesome, magical sand from?
Originally, it's from the fictional Unpubbed Island of Seekerville fame. If you don't know, Seekerville is an awesome blog for writers, particularly those who are not yet published. The idea is that aspiring writers reside on Unpubbed Island, trying to sail off into the sea of published novels. If you're a writer you should check it out.
More importantly though, the sand came from a friend of mine. She's been a friend of the Seekerville crew for a long time. They blessed her with a bottle of sand while she was struggling to get published. It wasn't long before she sold her first book.
A few months ago, my friend gave me her Unpubbed Island sand. She told me she believed in me and my writing, asked to be my mentor, and prayed for me.
That tangible reminder that someone who is in the business and knows what they're doing believes in me and what I'm trying to do is a powerful motivator when things get tough.
Never underestimate the power of a mentor. Don't be afraid to look to those ahead of you on your journey - they've been there, done that, and learned a few things along the way. And don't be too busy to look behind, either. There's a lot of benefit in offering a helping hand.