M is for Mentor #SOLC Day 12

I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. Each day in the month of March teachers from around the country post to their blogs and comments are made on at least 3 posts.

I am continuing my Bradbury Trio and have found it affecting my writing already. I have always been of the mindset it is good practice to find a Mentor to help you be better at whatever you are trying to raise your skill level in. I had a wonderful coach when I was learning to be a coach. I have consultants and authors I look up to now. But the most consistent mentor I have are books, stories, poems, essays, and most recently, blog posts.

Last night I read the essay, RUN FAST, STAND STILL, OR, THE THING AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS,OR, NEW GHOSTS FROM OLD MINDS by Bradbury in the Zen in the Art of Writing. In this essay he talks about his list of nouns and how he used the list of 20 nouns to fuel stories. Many of these went on to be published. The brain pickings newsletter talked about this concept which I wrote a blog post about as well. You can read that here. It reminded me to make my own list today.

One of my favorite writing exercises is to start with a word and springboard from there. I pick a word and set the timer for 10 minutes and see what happens. It is writing practice and sometimes it leads to a story or a blog post.

I was also inspired yesterday by a writing friend who is going through a coaching process with a professional. Chatting with her about it sparked an idea for a story or an article I am going to explore more today.

Other blog posts are inspiring me with their formats!

The poem I read of Billy Collins yesterday, “Thieves” inspired my own poem in my notebook (not for public consumption…yet).

Inspiration is everywhere!

Other ways to be a mentor of writing:

  1. Talk about writing.
  2. Verbalize stories.
  3. Use storyboards and share stories.
  4. Share stories from your life.
  5. Find a writer that is a little more advanced than you and taker her out to coffee or send her email or a Tweet. CONNECT and LEARN.
  6. Read Books to Help you Become a Better Writer. Try: Natalie Goldberg, Anne Lamott, Stephen King, Ralph Fletcher,
  7. Donald Maass

Add your favorite writing mentors in the comments! What other mentors do you use for your writing?

10 thoughts on “M is for Mentor #SOLC Day 12

  1. I love “Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words” by Susan G. Wooldridge and “Poems Are Teachers: How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres” by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater for poetry mentors (and anything by Mary Oliver as a mentor text!) Thanks for sharing these fantastic ideas/resources.


  2. Seriously – you inspire me!! We are Marie-Kondoing our house during this break, so I don’t have as much time to write as I would like, but you make me want to write all the time. Maybe I’ll sneak up to the attic and pretend to be sorting papers while I secretly use one of your prompts. I can totally get away with that, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love using books (mostly middle grade and young adult because that is what I am always passing along to kids and those are the stories I write). The cool part about my school situation is that I have other writers in my school building (sixth grade teacher, seventh grade teacher, and nurse, who is primarily subbing so she can work on her writing) to talk writing with. Of course, my students are my mentors and inspiration for writing stories. They are honest and know what they like (or don’t like:).

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is amazing you have other teachers to talk writing!!! Kids are inspiring that is for sure! The scariest thing I did was read my short story to a class of 7th graders. Excellent for you


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