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Retreats and Mentoring in Writing Part 3 of 15

Welcome to all who are new, It’s great to have you here. Do you have a mentor? Well, it’s hard to say yes and no, but often we’d all like to think that we can be both mentored and be a mentor. It’s not that hard to do so. At the same time it is hard.

I say this simple because people want the easy way to writing. I did. I wanted to write the best first draft so that I didn’t need to write the best second draft. So that I didn’t have to write the best third draft. Get the idea? most people don’t want or care to admit that being a writer is hard.

In fact one of the funnier things people who don’t write ask me is “when are you going to get a real job?” Okay, for the record I do have a real job, it’s called sitting down in front of a computer and pushing buttons that have letters on them to form words, which results in coherent sentences, and then paragraphs and pages. Where upon I send these coherent pages the form a book to my editor. She makes them more coherent. I fix it. I could almost called myself a paper design artist of black and white.

That tends to stop them. I don’t suspect that you’ve already guessed where I got that line from… that’s right of of the people who mentored me early on. I told him I should think about getting a real job. He wrote about his job, which is being a writer. Was I up to it? It didn’t matter where my writing skills were, all that mattered was where my passion was.

He also pointed out that it never hurts to rewrite, just simply consider it write an alternate history. Bingo. That got the ball rolling. And now, I can say that writing isn’t as complex as I made it out to be. I suppose that it is because I spend time doing my passion.

My question for you today is this: when you first started writing, seriously, did someone help you along the way to make you a better writer?

9 Comments

  • edentyler

    I have been writing my entire life.
    Only recently, though, did I decide to become serious about it. One day, I just knew I was meant to write a book. Now I know I will write many books.

    One person in particular helped me become a better writer. She believed in me without even knowing me. She just read my work and reached out to me. We've since become close and she's taught me a few pertinent things. I'm still the same writer I was, but now I have to do less editing. I'm more aware of what I'm doing, and my writing is tighter and more polished the first time around.

    On the other hand, though, wasn't it Stephen King who said something like — There are no good writers. Just good re-writers….
    I believe this to be true, as well.
    No matter how many times I look at my work, I can always find something to perfect…

    But I love it all. Every minute of it. It's great to know I'm doing something I love, and that I grow better every day. This is a career in which you will most likely never reach your peak. There's always something more to reach for, all the while still being proud of what you've already accomplished. It's the best. Period =)

    -e*

  • Anonymous

    I am new to taking my writing to more serious and published levels. As the previous post writer, Eden Tyler writes, writing is all about editing. It takes a lot of re-writing and effective editing to accomplish good writing.
    Although I was an English major in college, I have not completed my degree. I feel that once I get back to the university, my writing will undoubtedly improve. I feel that I have a fairly decent grasp of what constitutes writing well. However, there are times when I feel that my command of English grammar and usage has some gaps.
    Most colleges and universities have writing labs. There, one can have his or her writing critiqued. One can even use the email addresses of English professors and solicit their opinions. They are usually more than willing to give their opinion.
    As far as having a mentor goes, I usually study other writers and emulate what I have found from reading good writing. Mostly, I just keep in mind all of the re-write advice that I was given from my old English professors.

  • M

    This is my first time here reading your blog. While I have been writing a weekly printed and online column, I have being doing it gratis (free newspaper resources and clippings!) I would like to venture out from my safety net. Your writing is refreshing! I am now a follower.

  • jenniferneri

    When I wrote my first draft on my first novel I was so proud of myself. I announced that I was done! Of course, that was only the beginning. I sent out a handful of queries and received one rejection from an agent She recommended a book, Stein on Writing. I've been learning ever since.

  • Rob

    My girlfriend did.
    I wrote my first draft which I gave to her. She came back with a list of all the mistakes I had made. I was disappointed at first but then I realized, she's just trying to make the story better. That humbling day, I learned that the first draft is never the last. My first book went through 15 drafts.

  • AmberInGlass

    Like so many of the commentors above me, I too, have had alot of different mentors and cheerleaders along the way. There is no way I could have gotten to where I am now with myself and my writing without help along the way.

    I used to write something and hate it and hate myself and not want to share it with anyone. Finally I felt comfortable with a few select people and I began to show them what I was working on. Their interest and kind words helped build me up into being comfortable with who I am and what I am capable of creating. Thanks to them, I am a much more confident writer, and sometimes, that's the most important part.

  • Anonymous

    I'm relieved to find that words and phrases and the story lines, simply do not ooze out onto the page. That it takes a lot of revision. I write, then re write,leave it alone for a while then go back and revise. the ultimate question that needs answering. Is my writing any good? is it good enough to be published? then ultimately is it something that would be saleable? count me in.

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