My First Experience as a Writing Mentor

My First Experience as a Writing Mentor

My colleague asked me to be a trainer for my company’s writing workshop.

He asked me two weeks before the event. Hearing his request, I was afraid and anxious, my mind went blank, but I didn’t say no.

Because I knew that even that I’m afraid of the results, this is one thing that I’ve been wanting for so long: to share my writing experiences with others.

A Short Trip to The Past

Throwback to the year 2012-2014, I was busy attending writing workshops. I was just proclaiming myself as an aspiring fiction writer, trying my luck with several book publishers, hoping that I could be like my favorite authors. During those writing events that I attended, I often picture myself sitting on stage, sharing my writing tips, answering questions.

I wonder what it’s like, to feel like you can handle every question thrown at you because you have experienced so much? To have that kind of confidence, knowing that you know something someone else didn’t?

I wonder what it’s like to feel like you can handle every question thrown at you because you have experienced so much?

Fast forward to 2016, my freelance job was a no-go. The kid magazine company that’s been my client for almost 5 years was closing due to an increase in paper price. I desperately need money, so I was finally forcing myself to search for a normal job, a daily job like everyone else: 9 to 5 work hours so I could get a more steady income.

Out of the blue, a friend of mine, Tobu, referred me to one of his clients that’s looking for someone who would like to work as a content writer/ digital marketing specialist – in short, a jane of all trades for a pilot startup.

Though I’m not sure that I was fit for the job, I said yes to every request that the employer asked me. She’s so kind and modern, and she gave me her trust. I was ready to learn about anything that she asked me to. All I wanted was that month’s paycheck. I was planning to find another job if I lost that one. I have nothing to lose.

I’m glad I made the choice. Fast forward again 5 years after that and someone thought that I am good enough to teach others about writing?

I said yes.

Finally Found My Ultimate Public Speaking Tips

I was nervous for 2 weeks before the event. I spent my weekends thinking what kind of thing I would talk about? How to make everyone happy? I don’t want to be seen like a clueless person, what should I do?

My colleagues, Netta and Zul, asked me to do a rehearsal a day before, and I knew that I was too nervous. I felt a bit unsure, felt a bit uncomfortable to share my personal experiences: I mean, who the hell would want to know what I think about? Why would they want to know that?

Finally, before the D-day, I told myself that the best thing I could give is to stop trying to be seen as a cool person, and just focus on giving the best writing tips I could give them: the one that I actually used in my daily job.

This was a professional task, and I cannot let my (negative) personal feelings get in a way. If shame is the risk that I will need to face after the show, so be it.

So I did exactly that: stop trying to be perfect, and it went really great. I didn’t stutter, I said some jokes, I answered questions, and they stayed until the end.

I visited my friend’s house after the event for my division’s iftar gathering. I laughed so much until my face hurt, surrounded with people that I care about. It was a perfect after party.

It was one of the best days of my life.

I’m glad the me on 2012 made the choice to take writing as her life passion and actually did something about it.

One step at a time.