There is a prominent idea out there in the world that anybody wishing to achieve anything in life should look for a mentor.
It’s not bad advice. But mentors are (unfortunately) seemingly as rare a beta readers, fairies, and unicorns.
Who has the luck to know a great writer? And which great writer has the time to mentor a fledgling writer like me?
Is it feasible to expect that somebody like Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, or Margaret Atwood will take the time of day to review my writing and mentor me through the ups and downs of my writing life?
Of course not!
And yet, I consider Margaret Atwood my personal mentor who regularly allows me to sit with her and listen to some good advice (which I far too rarely take into account during the actual writing process).
How did I get to be so lucky? I live in the 21st Century where amazing people sit down with the greats and record their wisdom for posterity via various channels such as online masterclasses which anybody (willing to part with a bit of cash) can access and work through at their leisure.
I have spent most of today going through some of Margaret’s amazing lessons to help keep me on the right path towards finishing the 3rd draft of my current manuscript and possibly a 4th…
To this day, the best advice on writing I have ever received came from this astute literary giant and I share it here with you for free as a reminder:
Now, I know some of you will begin to wonder if I make any commission on this masterclass and the answer is NO! I don’t even care if you decide that your cash is better spent on something else. Mentors don’t have to cost anything.
At the end of the day, nobody is stopping you from finding free author interviews on YouTube and inspiring quotes in Goodreads. You can find your own material and note down your favourite lessons. You can also improve by reading (and re-reading) your favourite authors’ works. Whatever works for you.
The point is: you have access to a mentor – whether you take advantage or not. Don’t try to go it alone. Writing is hard and support is available.
What is your favourite quote on writing that regularly reminds you to keep putting down one word in front of another? Feel free to share yours in the comments below and have a great Sunday!