In the U.S., Thanksgiving is fast approaching. A time of family gatherings, great food, and a few days of well-deserved leisure–wishing the best to you and yours from me and mine, regardless of where you are in the world.
With the season in full swing, I chose The Horn of Plenty picture because it is so appropriate for writers. The message is keep writing, keep creating, and your Horn of Plenty will fill to overflowing.
I believe your horn can overflow only when you share your writing with others; typically, writers scream, “Yes, get me those readers.” A fan base is something desired by seriously minded creators. But I am not talking about that here. In keeping with the theme this month of writers needing other writers to help maneuver the pitfalls of the craft, I want to share my experience with finding a Mentor.
Events in life happen for a reason and at the appropriate time. Despite wishes to speed things along–finish the story or novel, find an agent or publisher, meet the person that can help you climb over the hurdles–timing is not of our own making. (There are, however, things that help when opportunity appears: the most obvious is writing every day to hone one’s skills.)
Case in Point: A friend of my wife mentioned that her mother is a retired English teacher. This topic only came up because Linda told her that I am a writer–she’s my steadfast supporter.
One thing led to another and I met Jeany, a diminutive woman who understands the great power of words. We met and liked each other. The relationship is a perfect match: she loves to teach, I love to talk and learn about writing.
She agreed to read and copy edit my completed fantasy novel, The Returning, which had undergone a “few” rewrites. Over the last three months, we have read, torn apart, and corrected flaws. Many flaws were amateurish (Blush). At times heart-wrenching, Jeany’s instruction was nevertheless vital to my growth. She has given me new eyes garnered from a different point of view, helping me to sharpen my critical thinking.
Writers need each other. Creating is a lonely pastime, but one so rich in reward. All writers face nagging questions, not only about their craft, but also–and more importantly–about themselves. Your experiences, viewpoints, perceptions; they all make you who you are, the writer you want to be.
Working with Jeany reminded me of the reason I started this blog in the first place: to serve, in part, the need for writers to discuss the craft and the myriad of issues pertaining to writing in general. Writing is all about growth, all about improvement.
Do not be shy. Post your thoughts and observations about writing, your troubles–there are others that will relate, be assured.
As promised last week, here is my list of favorite books about writing. I will be adding to this list as time moves forward. Please suggest books that you have found useful.
Until next week, KEEP WRITING!
P. S. Still looking for readers to read and critique the opening of my fantasy novel, The Returning. If you wish, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Request” in the subject line. The Prologue and first two chapters will be sent in a Word attachment. Thank you in advance.