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How to Develop Your Inner Mentor

February 14, 2023




Note From Rochelle


Dear Writers,


Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope that you will do something loving for yourself today. And today’s tip will help you with that. You’re going to work on developing that inner loving part of yourself, your inner mentor.


Happy writing,

Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach


How to Develop Your Inner Mentor

By Rochelle Melander


Many writers talk to me about their inner critics. Some of our inner critics shout and snarl at us all day, making so much noise, it’s hard to think let alone write. Others whisper digs just after inspiration strikes. “What makes you think you can write?” it says. “So many people have written amazing novels. Are you sure you’re up to it?” “Who do you think you are?” Sometimes we can shush those critics and write. But sometimes those critics stop us in our tracks.


Now of course, the inner critic is just the name we give to the voice in our head. We can train our inner voice to speak kindly to us. As Beverly Engel wrote,


Turn down the volume of your negative inner voice and create a nurturing inner voice to take its place. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on instead of obsessing about it. Equally important, don’t allow anyone else to dwell on your mistakes or shortcomings or to expect perfection from you.




I love the idea of creating a nurturing inner voice to support us throughout the day. Last week, I asked the members of my writing accountability group to record their memories of the champions, cheerleaders, and mentors in their life. I believe these are the necessary building blocks for creating an inner mentor.


Take your journal or computer to the coffee shop and try the following exercises.



+When has someone acknowledged, encouraged, or supported you? What happened? Jot down what you can remember about each experience.


+How have you seen mentors support others? Write down 2-3 stories.



+Have you watched mentors or coaches in movies, books, and songs and thought, “I wish they were talking to me?” Why can’t they be? List examples and borrow their words for your own inner voice.


(Check out my list of favorite inspiring songs:



Look at these stories and choose three to five encouraging phrases to repeat to yourself every day. Record them on sticky notes and post them near your writing area. Recall them in the morning when you journal. Repeat them like mantras. Use them to talk back to the inner critic. See if it helps you experience your writing in a new way.



My friend Kelly James suggests keeping a “You Rock!” file. Collect the kind words clients and readers have said to you over the years. Save their thank you notes and emails. When you are feeling defeated, look through it and soak up all that love. (



Share your favorite “you rock” songs and scenes from movies and books in the comments below.

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