Everyone needs mentors to help them along with their vocations. Creatives, especially writers, also need them. Most of the time when we think of mentors we think of people in our lives who might read our drafts or act as our cheering sections. Often, though, our mentors are people we have never met. Often our mentors are writers we enjoy reading and whose writing we want to emulate. They can be writers we have known for years or some we are now encountering for the first time.
Since I was so involved with NaNoWrimo I did not have a chance to read anything for the entire month of November. Therefore, for the last few days I have been reading little bits from several writers. Last week on a show on the Travel Channel, I was introduced to the poetry of Robinson Jeffers. (Some of my writing buddies know which show…. :). ) I was so enamored by the poetry I heard read on the show that I went out and obtained a copy of his collected poetry from a used bookstore. I am drawn to his ability to paint images in my mind with his words. I decided I would study his poetry some more and see what I can learn from his style. I am not a poet but I like to employ a poetic quality to my prose whenever possible.
Other writers and poets to whom I am drawn include Robert Frost for his simple, straightforward elegance, Edgar Allen Poe and J.R.R. Tolkien for their stunning imaginations, Nathaniel Hawthorne for his astute understanding of the complexities of human nature, and Barbara Kingsolver for weaving her social activism into her stories. I also like a number of contemporary mystery and romance novelists who just seem to know how to spin a good tale, — Susan Wittig Albert, Sharyn McCrumb, Nora Roberts, Diane Mott Davidson to name a few.
I have not met these individuals but I consider them all, to various extent, influential to my writing.
Who are your mentors?