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I am a writer - late developer since I wasn't published until I was 50. I have now written 23 novels, numerous short stories and articles.

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Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Mentor, I just love that word. I have to confess, until I watched the X-Factor, I hadn’t given a thought to what a mentor did or what was meant by mentoring. That is until I became one, and even then I didn’t realise, until somebody told me I was. I guess it’s a case that others decide to call you that, you don’t pin the label on yourself. It had been in my mind for sometime that I would like to help as yet unpublished writers to succeed. To be published these days my writers needs all the help they can get. And so I invited a small number to join me. And what a group they are. They are so talented and so helpful to each other. I am very lucky to be involved with them for they inspire me too. Writing a novel is an awesome task. I think it is akin to climbing a mountain. You start off on the flat plain full of excitement and enthusiasm. This is what you’ve been dreaming of doing for years. Ahead lies the mountain but you are not afraid you have studied it, you know the dangers, you’ve read every book you can find on How to Climb a Mountain. Confidence reigns. But then the route you had planned to follow doesn’t appear to go where you want it to. In fact it seems to be going in the opposite direction, you feel like giving up at this point. But you’ve got the mountaineering bug which makes you continue. And, to your surprise, things begin to seem to be working out. You are half way up the mountain and you stop to take in the view and it isn’t what you expected and you feel let down, everything about you is covered in a mist you cannot penetrate. You are bored. You feel your muscles sagging. This climb isn’t working. Now you wish you hadn‘t told people what you were doing - no one is going to be interested in failure. This is when belonging to the group with a mentor is a Godsend. Your friends rally round, they listen, they advice; you respect their opinions for you know they understand your need to climb the mountain. The mentor shows the way to go and assures you that everyone feels this way when half way up the mountain. You start up again. You are propelled by excitement now. You see the goal, the end of the climb. The moment arrives, you reach the summit. You can see clearly, you are amazed by your own achievement. You are sad to leave the mountain but the bug has already taken hold and on the one down you find yourself planning the next climb. That’s what writing a book is like.

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