This week, I did some catching up with The (always brilliant) Verb (BBC R3) and came across their ‘How do you choose a mentor?’ discussion (Dec 1, 2017, with the inimitable poet Hollie McNish, listen to it here). It got me thinking. And realising that I am deeply glad to be a mentor to my young writers on our Mentoring programme at Didcot Girls’ School.
Every week this process presents me with challenges:
What can I offer them? How will I share it? How will it impact them?
And I guess this week, having reached half term and a short hiatus, was a time to reflect. So.
What’s changed in the last 5 weeks?
- These writers are continually demonstrating sharper observation.
- They are increasingly aware of their power as wordsmiths. Power to reflect their world. Power to make a mark on their world. Power to present realities in a fresh way. Power to challenge things.
- They are speaking out. A few read their own work in front of the entire group this week. That’s a FIRST. But I know it won’t be a LAST.
- They are probably taking away with them more than I can imagine, as I continue to share openly with them about my thinking about writing: my process, my source of ideas, my treasured and collected fragments garnered from other writers.
And in other news …
Some of the writers are working towards competition deadlines with their work (DEADlines: always a good push to finish things 😊), receiving one-to-one feedback from me as they go.
Most are currently editing a ‘Voice’ piece, and putting into practice new editing skills and insights
Many may be thinking about the quote I shared this week, that writing is in fact ‘80% reading’ (as according to Patience Agbabi) … and picking up a book …
Most are getting excited about our plans to publish our own ANTHOLOGY at the end of our 20 week journey (more on this soon!)
BRING IT ON.