Yesterday, the college-aged son of a friend called me out of the blue. “Mom told me you’re a writer,” he said. “That’s so cool. I’m hoping to be a writer too. Can I talk to you about it a little bit?”
We had a great conversation. It was a first for me to have someone so young soaking in my advice and take on the industry (flattering!). I stayed encouraging, but I also made it clear that writing is not a business for sissies. Hard work and paying attention to the craft is not for the dilettante.
What surprised me was how charged up I felt after the call about my own writing. Just discussing what makes strong descriptive writing and the excitement he felt over creating an image made me remember how enthralled I was with my first attempts, and how far I’ve come.
It was like a shot of Jamba Juice when I headed back to the keyboard to work on my own stuff.
We all know that writing can be a lonely profession. Connecting with other writers keeps the loneliness and fear at bay. But mentoring is also a great way to keep the circle going. I’ve now got an e-mail pen-pal who is soaking up my “wisdom” and by extension forcing me to examine my own choices as a writer. I’m really enjoying this.
Do you mentor a younger writer in your life? Have you had a mentor who inspired your writing? Share your stories with us. It’s things like these that make me love being a writer and being a part of a writer’s community.