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Teachable Moment

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.

About Kathleen Bolton [1]

Kathleen Bolton is co-founder of Writer Unboxed. She writes under a variety of pseudonyms, including Ani Bolton [2]. She has written two novels as Cassidy Calloway [3]: Confessions of a First Daughter, and Secrets of a First Daughter--both books in a YA series about the misadventures of the U.S. President's teen-aged daughter, published by HarperCollins, and Tamara Blake, for the novel Slumber [4].