Friday, 15 April 2011

Mentors, Guides and Gandalf [Grand Elf for the illiterate]

I posted this comment on the excellent service offered to writers, and I have taken advantage of what is on offer so I speak from experience, by BubbleCow, and it seemed to me a point worthy of wider interest:

My personal gripe from my former career (advertising copywriter) is I miss the Traffic Manager, Hazel, for that was her name - we followed each other from agency to agency. She knew me, could buck me up when down, kick me when lazy, and keep me on the rails generally. A personal mentor who takes no shit but understands my moods would be my lottery prize.

Hazel was the most unflappable individual I have ever met. Her only fault was that she would insist on telling me her dreams from the previous night. As far as work was concerned, she could coax a stone out of blood. And invariably it would be a gem (I'm not blowing my own trumpet, but I was good).

Now that I foolishly throw myself on the sword of my own angst in an effort to write something trully original, I miss her. I need Hazel to tell me when I am doing good and when I am just indulging in pathetic, creative tantrums. A good slap would not go amiss, though Hazel would never slap but just recount her latest dream. It was enough.

She should have gone into publishing were it not for the fact she was not hugely motivated by literature.

I suppose there are two points arising: every writer needs a mentor; and I should get in touch with Hazel again.

I ought to add Hazel became the Production Director of a number of agencies so was no light-weight.

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