#WriteMentor - the idea
I just wanted to share some of my thoughts and intentions with setting up #WriteMentor. I've always been an advocate, through my time as a school teacher, of peer learning. Much more effective than a didactic lecturer, IMO.
I've been involved in little peer contests over the last year and a half with my writing buddies @ScribblersBlog and we set up #PeerPitch - a small, but lovely initiative where writers help each other hone pitches and openings. But I want to give more.
For nearly a decade I have been writing seriously (by that I mean putting in the hours each week equivalent to a part-time job). I have put a lot of time into reading about craft, but also trying to apply it to my work. And I still have loads to learn. We all do.
I have been extremely fortunate during this last 10 years in meeting and working with so many talented, generous and kind mentors/editors/CPs/writing buddies. Without their input I'd still be writing LOTR rip-off stories. Trust me, you do not want to read them!
Anyway, the goal for me is a purely altruistic one. Pass on what I have learned. Ask others to do the same. Help writers with less experience to learn quickly. The mentors will all have experienced LOTS! Every experience is a new lesson for someone else.
Rejections from agents, multiple drafts, rewrites, failed manuscripts, rejections from publishers, failing to SL or LL in a contest, or getting SL or LL. Many have editing experience, or critiquing as part of a group. But everyone has something they want to pass on.
It is the Jedi way... "Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery, hmm...but weakness, folly, failure, also. Yes: failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. We are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters."
#WriteMentor will also encompass so many other Jedi values… Emotion, yet peace. Ignorance, yet knowledge. Passion, yet serenity. Chaos, yet harmony. Death, yet the Force. We are all Padawan, still learning, but we are also Jedi Masters…in some ways.
Our #WriteMentors will be looking to pass on their knowledge, while acknowledging that none of us are Master or Apprentice, but that if we each help other in, purely altruistically, with no agenda, we all become enlightened and better writers and people. Both the mentor + mentee.
So #WriteMentor has been developed from a place of kindness and sharing and helping each other. It is the soul of the people I want to be involved and it is the way we hope that the programme will be delivered and received.
I want to help raise others up, beyond even myself. It is the role of every good teacher and I hope that #WriteMentors will be able to do that for all the unpublished and learning writers who apply to our programme.