Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Finding a mentor
I have always been of the opinion that to become the best in any field you have to find the greatest person in that field and learn from them. This has been true in the past of almost all great people in any field. They all had someone to help them develop. Writing is no different. A great mentor will help you develop your voice, your style and not be concerned with the rules that hold down many emerging writers.

The great thing about writing is that there are so many writers wanting to help others along. All writers want to be better and know it helps to receive others opinions. They also know to take all advice for what it is--one person point of view. But, when that advice is repeated over and over it starts sinking in--which can be good or bad.

What is tragic is that sometimes a great writer forgets what makes him special--his own special voice. From reading much more than I want to admit I have noticed that new writers follow rules that are imposed on them in order to become published. As time passes and they can stand on their own, so to speak, they relax the rules and reestablish their style. This is when they become great writers. They write for the reader and not for the rules imposed by some writers and editors.

If I had a choice, I would prefer a writer allowed to express the feeling in a story in his own unique voice to one that is written perfectly according to grammarians and other word controlling elitist. And this is why I think finding the right mentor that has made it pass the control of such is so important.

However, this is my opinion, what is yours?

Johnny Ray


Major said...

I agree, I would much rather have an author write the way he thinks it should be instead of following every little rule. I am enjoying your blog very much. It's full of information and fun to read. I hope you can visit mine at

Drew Pillow said...

ahhh the mentor concept is a hot one ! i never thought of that. and i also agree with major that freestyle writing rules !

Drew Pillow said...

oops i almost forgot, check my free-spirited blog out sometime if you get a chance

Teresa Schultz said...

I would definitely prefer to be allowed to express my own unique voice in my stories or articles.

I don't wite novels. I write articles as a freelancer, and one client I have allows me to write articles of 500 words using whatever style or twist on the topic I want to, as long as the title, being the main keyword or key phrase, is repeated three times in the article, and I use the odd synonym here and there.

It's wonderful being allowed this freedom - I don't like having to stick to too many rules when writing.

I do always try to maintain correct grammar, though, but am able to do so at the same time as writing whatever I want to. I feel using correct grammar and spelling is important, and that no matter how entertaining my writing may be perceived, it won't matter if my grammar and spelling are bad. People would be put off reading what I write. That's my opinion, anyway.

I don't really think I have a mentor. My own standards are high - well, to me anyway - and, if I meet my own high standards, then hopefully that's good enough for my clients too.

Lita C. Malicdem said...

Sir John- the novelist and content-writer- your writing style flows like water to me- as I read I wanted more. You're not just an awardee in your area of expertise for nothing- you are a great mentor to others like me. My high regards and congratulations to you.