FIRST, think about people in your field you'd like to emulate, or who might be able to help you in some way. If you don't know anyone who fits this description, cast a wider net. Use the Internet to do some research. Sign up for a conference sponsored by a professional organization associated with your field. Attend a lecture. In other words, use all the resources at your disposal to identify individuals who have excelled in your line of work.
THEN, be bold and contact one of them. E-mail is the easiest way to reach out and solicit advice, but you can also call. You should be respectful, of course, of others' time. But most people are flattered to be approached. You'd be surprised how many will gladly help you if you just ask.
FOR EXAMPLE, a couple of weeks ago I spoke at a middle school. Today I received the following e-mail from one of the students:
I have a question. I will start writing something like a short story, and then I'll finish it, look at it, be proud, you know. The whole 9 yards. But then I'll look at the same thing a few days later and go "Wow, this sucks. I really need to rewrite this!" And I do. And I don't know if that's normal, or just my craziness from reading too much Stephen King. Hope to hear from you soon.Here's my response:
Absolutely normal. I just came back from attending a talk by Joyce Carol Oates. (Google her if you don't know who she is.) She said that she does the same thing. Distance really helps when it comes to writing. And rewriting is more than half the effort of producing something decent. So you're on the right track.As you can see, there's nothing fancy about this exchange. I was tickled that the boy reached out to me and delighted to reply.