WWTS Mentee Update: Jolene Gutiérrez

Jolene Gutiérrez won a Writing with the Stars mentorship with author Stacy McAnulty. Here are a few words from Jolene about her experience.

My time with Stacy McAnulty has been such a gift. This mentorship has been like winning the lottery—when I saw the tweet saying Stacy had selected me as her mentee, it was one of those out-of-body moments. I felt like the entire world was vibrating, moving in and out of focus.

My husband isn’t a writer or a picture book reader, so when I told him I’d been chosen as Stacy’s mentee, he didn’t understand the magnitude of this event. I said, “This is a really big deal!” He just nodded, and I knew he wasn’t getting it. If I could explain it in terms of money, I knew he’d understand that, but as I tried to estimate a value for this mentorship, I struggled. The truth is, a WWTS mentorship is priceless. Stacy has given so much of her time, expertise, and support. She’s been incredibly patient as I’ve taken my characters on adventures that don’t work and played around with scenes that aren’t serving the story. She’s reminded me that characters need to solve their own problems and of the power of three attempts before success—make that character work for it! Sometimes, I feel like I’m stumbling along in the darkness, but Stacy has taken me by the hand and guided me. She has given me a key that is unlocking my talent and opening doors. So slapping a monetary value on this mentorship doesn’t work. I finally told my husband, “Look, Stacy is a really successful and busy author. She’s working on her writing all the time and has books in various stages of the publication process. And she’s interrupting her work to help me with my books. She’s doing everything she can to make sure I’m successful and supported.” Then, my husband understood, at least a little bit. In the business world, people don’t want to interrupt their own work for months at a time by tying themselves to beginners. But through the supportive community that Tara has created, numerous authors do just that, joyfully and willingly.

I am so grateful to Tara for offering this incredible opportunity and to all of the mentors—especially Stacy—for giving of themselves like this. You’ve given me focus and you’ve changed my world.

Jolene Gutiérrez

8 comments

  1. Mary Zychowicz says:

    Well, anyone in the PB world knows the magnitude of this! What a wonderful opportunity for you to get a chance to work with Stacy McAnulty. You cannot put a price on the experienced shared with someone who has been so accomplished. I’m sure you have gained so much from that experience. I wish you much success on you writing as you take what you have learned and continue to grow.

    • Jolene Gutierrez says:

      Yes, Mary! 🙂 You’re so right–it’s priceless. Stacy has helped pull things out of my stories that I never would’ve discovered on my own. It’s been such a wonderful opportunity. Thank you so much for your good wishes; all my best to you!

  2. Krista Harrington says:

    Congratulations!
    Are you married to an engineer by chance? Because that’s exactly how my husband acts most of the time about my writing. Truth is, you should celebrate all the little and huge victories in this field. And the mentorship was definitely HUGE! Good luck!

    • Jolene Gutierrez says:

      Hi, Krista, he’s a software engineer, so the same analytical “just the facts” mind as your husband, I’m thinking. 😉 Thank you for the reminder about celebrating little and big victories. All my best to you!

  3. Amanda Kirkham says:

    Congratulations! Stacy was my top choice and although she didn’t pick me, I am celebrating your opportunity and success!

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