knight_tour wrote:I never once suggested 'holding out' for a system to come along and help us. Naturally we are all going to plug along as best we can. But yes, I absolutely do believe that people progress further faster with help than on their own. I don't see how anyone could even doubt that.
Hemingway, self-taught with an in-service boost.
Faulkner, self-taught with a university boost and in-service.
Kerouac, self-taught with a university boost and in-service.
Rowling, self-taught with a university boost and in-service.
Meyer, self-taught with a university boost and in-service.
Tolkien, self-taught with a university boost and in-service.
Vonnegut, self-taught with a university boost and in-service.
Dickinson, self-taught with a university boost and in-service.
Hemingway and Faulkner mentored each other, who mentored who when caused a lot of their interpersonal strife. Their drunken brawling is the stuff of legend. Kerouac mentored and in turn was mentored by a gamut of contemporaries and predecessors. Kipling, Maugham, Joyce, to name a few who infuenced him. Dickinson was influenced by Transcendantalists, Thoreau and Whitman, but finding them unsuitable to her mien went a different direction. She also had Melville and Hawthorne for influences, Austen, Brontë sisters, etc.
The admonition for writers to read, read widely is both mentoring and mentorship. Literature study and response is a mentoring process. Writers writing about writing, from Aristotle to Zelazny, is mentoring. Writing workshops and retreats, online writing discussion venues, writers conferences, manuscript marts, etc., mentoring.
My writing experience began with a whole lot of reading, a little bit of education, and a lot of intution. It progressed into more reading, more education, and a world for investigating. I got lost in the abyss of plenty and lost my way, my passion, my enjoyment the farther I closed in on my goals. I found my own way back from the abyss by recognizing and distinguishing the many voices in my head as not mine, many who I disagree with as well as many who provided insights. I'm close to my own voice. No one can find it for me.
No one can be all things to anyone, certainly not to me. A snippet here and a barn-full gather there, a creative method, a term I can master for my own sake and make it mine, a path to blaze and a path to find the trail head and follow, that's what's out there to graze and choose from. If there were one person who could have made the journey easier, it's me. No one else. If I'd had a high school writing mentor, and I did in the person of an English teacher who was as able to mentor me as anyone and as unable as anyone, I'd send from now to my teenage self a recommended reading list for him to insist I devour. He'd have failed. I was not ready, willing, or able.
The mentoring community is broad and deep and multifaceted. A horse can be led to water, but it cannot be made to drink. Hereabouts, feral horses living free in the wild find water for themselves.
Spread the love of written word.