When I initially, made the decision to branch out into freelance writing after a couple of paid gigs, I had no idea how it would affect my writing style. Obviously, it was interesting, but also gave it me another avenue to learn my writing skill.
When I write creatively, I am in control of what happens, where the story leads when I write and ultimately when I finish. However, with freelance projects I quickly learned to accommodate another person’s viewpoint, requirements and adhere to a deadline. Fulfilling another person’s vision for their project is about asking questions – lots of questions and then reiterating them to ensure you are both on the same wavelength. Among my past projects, I have written new bio’s, edited manuscripts, created blog and social media posts, written articles and information leaflets, mentoring and ghost written a hybrid marketing book to name a few.
Through this business I have gain experience and knowledge from each project, which allows me to hone my skill. I have also gained valuable insights into other styles of writing, which in turn have assisted me in my creative writing. You may think that cannot be the case, but all writing teaches us something. It can be as simple as writing to a deadline or writing to a specific style or tone to align with current literature or media. It also gives me great backstories for future characters, who work in environments I am writing and learning about so a win-win situation.
Have you broaden your writing into freelance? What has your experience been like?
You can find my freelance website, testimonials etc. here:
“The Gift of Mentoring” came to fruition largely due to a number of my supporters encouraging me to write a book on Mentoring. They felt as did I that there were books written on the academic perspective of mentoring but not a lot that had been written on the practical application of mentoring concepts. It was they who created the inspiration.
How did you come up with the title?
I have always felt that to give and receive mentoring is truly a gift. It is a gift that can create a life changing experience and an impact on families, communities and organizations and their people. I am a believer in “The Gift of Mentoring”.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I have always said that even if only person attended a presentation that I was doing or one person read my book that there would be something that they would take away. It would be one more person that heard the story and become a believer in the “Gift of Mentoring”. I want to share this message globally and I want people to understand the true power that mentoring can provide.
How much of the book is realistic?
All of it. The book is based on my person experiences as a mentor and is a true reflection of mentoring from a practical application.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The case studies that I have included in the book are actual mentoring situations. They are not fictitious.
Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?
Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
I have created an outline of what the next book will look like. It will be a sequel to “The Gift of Mentoring”. I have grown as a mentor over the last 5 years and I want to be able to share my experiences in order to provide mentoring thought leadership to others.
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I want to focus my writings on mentoring. There is a need for books that speak to the practical application of mentoring and that is where I see myself as an author.
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
My stories are based on actual mentoring sessions so I would say that I am a seat of the pants style writer. The direction the book goes is driven primarily by my experiences.
What is your best marketing tip?
I try to make reference to the book title in a lot of what I write and do. I leverage social media to increase my exposure. I never did a formal launch of my book and didn’t do any books signing events. I have given the book away as a gift for the most part and have found that by giving it has always come full circle for the most part.
Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?
I would say that it is 80% a great tool and 20% a hindrance. To use social media effectively requires more work and the rewards don’t always occur as quickly as perhaps I would like.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The impact that it can have on others. I also find that it provides me with a sense of peace. There are times that I feel pressured to get something out but for the most part taking an idea and shaping it into an article or a book is an exhilarating experience.
What genre are you currently reading?
I tend to favour leadership books. There are not many books on the practical application of mentoring so I see that as a gap. I am currently reading a book on marketing and will then move to a book on High Performance Habits which I can link back to the mentoring process. One of my favourite books is “Gung Ho” by Ken Blanchard.
Do you read for pleasure or research or both?
I use to read for pleasure only but find that I am now striking a balance between the two. I research a lot of material on mentoring and then use that to write blog articles, etc.
Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
I have been truly blessed throughout my career with supporters/mentors/encouragers. My Wife, Debra is by far my biggest supporter and a mentor to some extent. I have two or three others that I would call my mentor and encouragers. Some of them are half my age which raises eyebrows when I introduce them to colleagues. Everyone thinks your mentor should be older than you and that is the furthest from the truth.
Where is your favorite writing space?
Typically I have everything spread out on the dining room table until we have people over for dinner. I quickly gather all my material up and place it safely away only to return it to the table the next day.
Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
Yes. Canadian Authors Association Community
If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
Interesting question as we have been talking about that recently. I think I would like to live in Portugal.
Do you see writing as a career?
Not at this time. I want to continue to grow my mentoring practice and continue to grow as a thought leader. Perhaps after all of that or in conjunction with that growth add writing to the mix.
What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?
I take time to reflect and be thankful for what I have done and give thanks for what I am about to receive.
Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC®.
Doug shows organizations how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding improving the bottom line (organizations).
Doug is an International Certified Mentor Practitioner (ICMP), an International Certified Mentor Facilitator (ICMF), and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC).
Doug is an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published “The Gift of Mentoring” in 2014 with his second book set to publish in 2019.
Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.