Dream Mentor Wanted

2 Sep

Monday Nancy Mercado (@editorgurl) twittered that she had joined Girls Write Now — “New York’s premier creative writing and mentoring organization for high school girls” — and I thought, “Wow, wouldn’t it be great if I could sign up to get a mentor and a group of brilliant women would match me up with a brilliant woman who will help me moving into the brilliant women category.”

 

So, I got to thinking: What would a great mentor look like for me today?

 

KNOWLEDGE

She (I’m just going with “she”, “he” would be great too) would have the knowledge of experience that I lack.  She’d write YA, but would understand the ideals of other genres as an overview. The ability to see my work and explain why it doesn’t work and the kindness to also tell me why it works. Knowledge to me also is wrapped up with wisdom. The wisdom to see to the heart of the matter, explain it constructively and clearly.

HONEST

Let’s be honest 🙂 if a mentor is honest with you, what can you truly learn. I know we all have varying degrees of skin-thickness, but the truth is what we need. I don’t want someone to tell me I’m fabulous — although those moments of fabulosity I hit would be great to hear about — I want to hear it all. But tactfully.Which just happens to be the next category.

TACTFUL

Have you ever had someone tell you the absolute truth, but you didn’t hear it because of their words or tone or attitude? I think that’s a lot of what tact is, knowing how to best say the message. Leaving out words like “Well, it sucked but….” Telling the HARD truth in a way I can hear it…ie, leaving off personal attacks.

SENSE OF HUMOR

I have a sense of humor. There. It’s out. Don’t tell anyone. I know, I know, I’d better have some type of sense of humor if I want to write funnier than paint. But honestly, there comes a time when things are so bad or taking so long or are so hurtful that you need to laugh. One of my closest friends does not get this. We were learning to salsa dance and he bapped me in the face on an outside turn. I laughed. He yelled I wasn’t taking it “seriously enough”. I pointed out HE hit ME. We no longer dance together — I need to be able to laugh at things before I fix them.

PATIENT

Yeah, because yelling is bad….see “Sense of Humor”.

PLUGGED IN

I understand this industry is very slow moving and then very fast. There’s a lot to know, not just people but STUFF. I don’t mean she’d know everyone and everything and open those doors for me…that’s just asking too much. But, she’d know enough to steer me and stop me from making career mistakes or missing opportunities.

LOYAL

I’m a very loyal person. Win me and I’m won type of girl. I’d hope we’d be able to build a relationship based on loyalty that would grow as I became (with her guidance) more and more of a peer and less of a teachable burden (yeah, I had a professor who called us all that. He meant it with love so it was all good.)

KIND-HEARTED

Because they’d have to be to take me on…a writer who feels constantly “almost there”

 

Am I asking a lot? Absolutely. But if you don’t ask for a lot in dreams, where can you ask for it? My other dream? That one day I’ll be big enough, good enough to be someone’s dream mentor….until then, a girl can hope!

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2 Responses to “Dream Mentor Wanted”

  1. Cinde Morris September 4, 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    I was tweeting that a few weeks ago on twitter. I would looove a mentor. I feel like such a newbie dolt half the time. You’ve got some great attributes listed!

  2. briaq September 4, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    Oddly, no one has signed the empty page to take me on LOL —

    I do feel like you reach a point where you need someone above a peer — that a mentor would be a wonderful gift

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