I’ve decided to start incorporating some writing prompts into my blogging routine, just to keep those creative juices flowing. So here’s the first one, courtesy of Writing Prompts Tumblr. (And yes, I know it has a typo in it, but it makes me smile. And it makes me think I’m being questioned by an owl.)
I’ve never actually had a mentor. It’s something I think about sometimes, how I wish I’d had someone like that who’d made a long-term investment in me. (Ya know, besides family.) But gosh, if I could pick anyone…
I guess I’d have to say Jo March. (Figures my ideal mentor would be fictional!) A writer, an amateur actress, and someone who is unafraid to whole-heartedly pursue her dreams and schemes, I could learn a lot from her. Sure, she could be hot-headed, but she learned to let her passion drive her without controlling her.
I want her boldness. You could see it in the way she just picked up and went to New York all by herself because she needed something new. When her family needed money, she sacrificed her “one beauty” by selling her hair. Unlike her sisters, she wasn’t obsessed with finding herself a man (hallelujah!) but was still wise enough to recognize the right one.
She’s practical and spunky and a whole lot of things I’d like to be.
And training would be delightful. I’d write pages for her and she’d scowl as she read them. “No no, your character wouldn’t do that,” she’d mumble as she scribbled her notes. “Try this instead.”
Standing, she’d act out her suggestion as I scribbled my own notes. It would be brilliant of course — her suggestion. And she’d keep pushing me, with ideas and challenges until I was exhausted but certain my manuscript could be no better.
Then she’d smile. “That’s it,” she’d tell me as she finished reading the final version. “Now get it published. And don’t take no for an answer.”
She’d give me tips and commiserate when I got bad news. And by commiserate, I of course mean she’d rail against the idiot publisher and what a stupid move it was for them to turn me down.
“Load of boneheads,” she’d mutter. “Wouldn’t know a good book if it punched them in the nose.”
And she’d be the first to rejoice with me when it did happen, shrieking with glee. We’d take a moment to celebrate before she pushed me toward the next book.
Because that’s what mentors do: encourage, challenge, and, when needed, push.
There you have it. Jo March, my dream mentor. What about you, how would you answer this prompt?