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View Full Version : when did mentoring become a business? [serious question]



mammamaia
12-28-2003, 01:54 AM
was i asleep at the time?... i was taken aback just now, to find someone touting a raft of writing consultancy services as being a 'mentor'... as far as i know, being a mentor is the providing of the gift of one's knowledge and experience in a certain field, to one who is just starting out in it... taking that person under one's wing for nothing more than satisfaction gained by helping a fellow human... the practice having been named after the original 'Mentor' who:

"...was an old friend of Odysseus. To him Odysseus entrusted his household when he joined the coalition that sailed against Troy. Athena, assuming several times the shape of Mentor, became the guide of Odysseus' son Telemachus, giving him prudent counsel. Since then, wise and trusted advisers have been called 'mentors.'"

so, for folks to be now charging a fee for a 1-6 month plan of 'mentoring services' borders on the sacriligious to me... am i alone on this?

i'd really appreciate feedback on this question from all of my friends here on the boards... enemies are also welcome to chime in;) ...

love and hugs, maia

SoulCurry
12-28-2003, 07:02 PM
Hello Mamma! Newbie speaking - hopefully not out of turn! I've come across a rash of mentoring offers - at a price, of course. In my naivete, I'd assumed that to offer to mentor someone would mean an act of selflessness, a sacrifice of time & energy for a stranger in order that they learn how to write, with the risk that they may go on to become bestsellers! Personally, I'd like a mentor - especially for honest feedback and guidance in technique free of cost ;)
That said, why on earth should a complete stranger do this for me? Considering that they will be expending some time & energy, shouldn't they be compensated for this?

Blackwind Isao
12-28-2003, 07:45 PM
Moms'll do it. Less'n she's retracted her offers that is. I'll let her get to the specifics of the matter herself though since I can't seem to get through to her with my damn e-mails.

On to the topic at hand however. I'm not so much against people offering these services for money as I am against them calling it mentoring. Something about the spirit of the word seems to go sour when you find someone 'mentoring' for money. That's my take on it at least.

- Blackwind.

mammamaia
12-29-2003, 01:37 AM
...glad to hear i'm not alone in feeling a bit miffed about the misuse of the term... i am sad to hear that it seems to be a new trend, claiming to mentor and charging for the 'gift'...

i'm not against anyone else making money, even though i live well enough without ever doing it, but imo, the spirit of that word IS compromised by its use in commerce and i sure wish folks would stop doing it... it's like if found out you had to sign up for a 2-6 month plan of 'mothering' and your moms would 'let' you put it on pay pal, for heavens sake!

a true 'gift' has to be free... and being a mentor is giving the gift of your knowledge/experience to others... but, the snowball's on its way downhill by now and mentoring will probably never be the same again... so, what else is new?... see why i'd love to be adopted by et's?... or even amoebas?

hey, bw!... what's with your email?... keep trying, 'cause i'd love to hear from you off the board... here's a link... try it and see if it works from here: maia3maia@hotmail.com (maia3maia@hotmail.com)

and no, i haven't retracted my offers... don't see that i ever will, long's i can click these keys and see the screen...

so, dear newcomer, drop by my site [below] and/or just send me an email and let em know what i can do for you, ok?

love and hugs, maia

silentriddler
12-29-2003, 02:03 AM
Dear Maia,
I can understand your apprehension... and I know you are talking about my ad here. I'm a little hurt by your comments :blackeye , to be frank, but since you sound genuinely confused by this sudden 'offers' for mentoring services, I'd like to put forth justifications from my side.

You have to understand that when I wrote my ads, I didn't think of semantics :\ . I chose the word mentor because a 'consultant' or 'Instructor' sounded too sophisticated for the budding writer.

I didn't want to scare a prospective student with titles that sounded expensive or glib; the word mentor sounded both friendly and experienced (I'm sure this is the reason writing consultants choose that name to advertise their services).

May be Coach would be a better word, don't you think - and I have edited my post too... and at present, editing my site :)

I realize that you are bothered by the word usage alone; but still, I'd like some heart-to-heart talk with you, my friend. I'm afraid you expect everybody - or every writer who wants to help another - to be selfless. It's not possible - at least not in this economy.

There was a time when writers wrote for pleasure and a book's success was met with surprised happiness. But now it's not a business or even a profession anymore; it's is a whacko industry with people racing against chart lists and contracts; there are consultants and query/book doctors and researchers and agents and what-not to help the book's creator emerge as the victor in this quest.

I admire you, maia :) . It takes a lot of heart and time to dedicate yourself for guiding budding writers free. But even you mentor young writers to get published and - let's admit it - get paid for their work. If they can get paid for their work and time, why cannot their mentor or a coach get paid for her time and service - unless she, like you, personally doesn't want to be paid.

Sure, I post tips, suggestions and pointers for newbies at messageboards like this and at mailing lists, my share of paying it forward, if you can get it, but but but... as a budding entrepreneur it's quite impossible for me to offer my services totally for free.

And some people can provide professional and timely service for their clients only if their valuable time is compensated; I just do not want to give slapdash service to one just because he pays lesser (or doesn't pay at all) for my time than the other.

I have previous experience teaching writers for free. I practiced the first part of my workshop on a few writers, and out of 5 only two were punctual in submitting their assignments and replying to my emails regularly.

Only these two were willing to spend two hours everyday on writing their assignments and browsing the links I sent them. The other three were not at all communicative or enthusiastic; they simply accepted my workshop because it was offered for free :|

When I suggested an online 'test', only these two responded; the other three weren't interested. One gave an excuse that she was too busy to prepare for a test and the other two argued that tests were for kids and that freelance writing skills cannot be tested.

And when the workshop ended, they didn't even send me a thank you mail or a it's been good mail. Maybe the workshop wasn't good in the first place to deserve such mails :lol , but the other two were hooked enough to hire me as their mentor, or rather, coach 8)

Bottomline is, when something is free people are not very serious or committed about it. Put a price on it and ask them to pay for it - they will make time to get their money's worth and listen to what you're saying.

And personally, isn’t it a little selfish and ignorant on anybody’s part to expect somebody to sacrifice their time and expertise without limit or concern for her survival???

Granted, for the love of the art, I decide to mentor writers voluntarily… but how many people can I balance under my wing??? 10, 20, 100??? Isn’t it best to guide 2 people all the way, from idea to publication, than to give brief, generic pointers and notes on the craft for a 100???

And I'm not doing it for money alone - I'm an architect who never practiced because of my love for writing. I want to spread the message that it IS possible to become successful writers, in spite of a fulltime job or other obligations. I certainly tried posting messages and writing how-to articles but it wasn't as good as interacting regularly with a budding writer and enjoy her progress, witness her getting better in her writing and marketing.

Thus the story of my email workshop, coaching services and the monthly installment plans, both for my and the prospective student's comfort. The Paypal links are for ease of payment for my services, as I sit here in India before a rented computer and a costly phone bills :(

And finally, if I'm giving my help free, I won't have time to write for magazine and other clients. That happen, I will no longer be a coach... how can I be called a qualified writing coach if I am not financially successful???

And hey, a big doubt here -

... Since then, wise and trusted advisers have been called 'mentors."

From these, I understand that wise advisers are called mentors, NOT those who give their advices for free. How do you know anyway that there was no mutual transaction between these 2 parties, eh? :evil

So, if I may request, please give a thought about the other person's POV before probing into ethics and semantics. May be you consider mentoring as a generous gift, maia (and you follow what you preach; I can't say a word against that :) , but really, it's not practical to expect million other writers to share the same view. Why not appreciate those who are like you and leave the rest to write (or coach) in peace?

And while I am certainly guilty of using the word MENTOR in a commercial sense, you too need to accept reality; writing, that is, successful and publisher-worthy writing IS a business, apart from being a talent or a joy, at least in this century.

Hope I didn't sound like a patronizing boor... I enjoyed the files you sent me some time back and your helpful responses scattered throughout this board. Let's have a lot of friendly arguments and 'conversations' like this one ;) !

... Have a great weekend :lol !

Warm regards,
Radhika Meganathan
Words-Worth
pages.ivillage.com/jwaala/wordsworth (http://pages.ivillage.com/jwaala/wordsworth)

LiamJackson
12-29-2003, 03:24 AM
This issue does seem to be one of semantics. When this forum was founded, was the intention to only match writers with those offering "free" advice/instruction, or was it intended as a forum to couple writers and professional coaches who charge fees?

My initial impression was the former. Of course, as my wife points out so frequnetly, I have been known to be wrong.

By the way, Mom... I sincerely appreciate your review/critique/suggestions regarding the piece that I sent to you. Your comments were right on the "money." (Pun intended)

LJ

silentriddler
12-29-2003, 03:48 AM
Hi LJ,
I'm taking your advice and editing my post (in reply to shannalee) in the mentoring forum :)

Warm regards,
Radhika Meganathan

mammamaia
12-30-2003, 04:46 AM
glad it was on the you-know-what:evil :money :evil , lj!:rollin ...

radhika, i don't want to misquote you or miss any reponse called for in your post, so i'll paste relevant parts here and reply like this ///in situ///, if you don't mind...

"Dear Maia,
I can understand your apprehension... and I know you are talking about my ad here. I'm a little hurt by your comments , to be frank, but since you sound genuinely confused by this sudden 'offers' for mentoring services, I'd like to put forth justifications from my side."

///i'm truly sorry your feelings were hurt, but that wasn't my intent, as i really didn't mean just your ad... it did sort of spur me to address the question, but it's not the first time i've seen someone using the term in a for-profit way... so, i was definitely not just talking about your ad, if that helps any///

"May be Coach would be a better word, don't you think - "

///imo, it certainly would... and it still has a positive 'feel' to it///

"I realize that you are bothered by the word usage alone; but still, I'd like some heart-to-heart talk with you, my friend. I'm afraid you expect everybody - or every writer who wants to help another - to be selfless. It's not possible - at least not in this economy."

///heart-to-heart, i must point out that you're assuming incorrectly, as i've been in this world much too long [65 yrs] to be that naive... my only problem is/was with using a word that implies 'free' in describing services for which one charges a fee...

i'm all too well aware that not everyone wants to be helpful to others, and have no idea how you would get the idea that i expect otherwise... happily, however, many on this board and the others i monitor daily, do help each other, which proves that generosity of spirit's not gone completely out of style, the economy notwithstanding///


"I admire you, maia . It takes a lot of heart and time to dedicate yourself for guiding budding writers free. But even you mentor young writers to get published and - let's admit it - get paid for their work."

///the reason i do what i do for writers is not to help them "to get published... and get paid for their work" ... but only to help them to learn how to improve their writing... whether their aim is to make money with it or not, is not a factor in the equation of my helping them///

"If they can get paid for their work and time, why cannot their mentor or a coach get paid for her time and service - unless she, like you, personally doesn't want to be paid."

///i've never said they shouldn't... to do what i now do for free [that i was once highly paid to do] is a personal choice and one i don't expect anyone else to either understand or emulate... i don't preach it, i just practice it///

"Sure, I post tips, suggestions and pointers for newbies at messageboards like this and at mailing lists, my share of paying it forward, if you can get it, but but but... as a budding entrepreneur it's quite impossible for me to offer my services totally for free."

///that's entirely understandable and no one i know of is asking you to, nor suggesting that you should... and that includes me///

"I have previous experience teaching writers for free. I practiced the first part of my workshop on a few writers, and out of 5 only two were punctual in submitting their assignments and replying to my emails regularly. "

///i can understand your frustration [rest of your description left out just to save space] ... the difference between that and what i do may lie in that you were conducting a workshop with several folks all doing the same thing, on some sort of schedule... the attrition rate of such a plan doesn't affect or bother me, because i work one-on-one with each writer, so they can operate on their own time frame, not mine... i'm not suggesting you should have or should ever do the same, just pointing out the difference///

"Bottomline is, when something is free people are not very serious or committed about it. Put a price on it and ask them to pay for it - they will make time to get their money's worth and listen to what you're saying."

///that's true... but i have no personal investment in the outcome... i'm not concerned with whether those i help listen to me or not, or if they're serious or committed... it's up to them if they choose to be or not... that they need help with something and i can provide it, is all i care about///

"And personally, isn’t it a little selfish and ignorant on anybody’s part to expect somebody to sacrifice their time and expertise without limit or concern for her survival??? "

///i wouldn't say 'selfish' or 'ignorant'... but most people are largely self-concerned, and most who come to me are indeed surprised [shocked, even] to find that i really do it all for free... some don't even believe it without proof, sad to say... it says something about our society that i have to prove i'm giving help for the sake of just helping, doesn't it?///

"Granted, for the love of the art, I decide to mentor writers voluntarily… but how many people can I balance under my wing??? 10, 20, 100??? Isn’t it best to guide 2 people all the way, from idea to publication, than to give brief, generic pointers and notes on the craft for a 100???"

///doesn't 'best' depend more on what your own personal needs and motives are, than the needs of the 'clients' or 'mentees'?... and, are the 2 you take all the way to a publisher's check any happier or 'better off than the hundreds i've helped learn how to write better than they did before they came to me?... as a mentor, i give detailed, personal help and tutoring, not just the generic pointers and notes you might see me post on boards... i don't think there really IS a 'best' here, do you?... perhaps only a 'different'///

"And I'm not doing it for money alone - I'm an architect who never practiced because of my love for writing."

///in a strange 'coincidence,' in my 'old' life, the business i had before becoming a writer full time was as an architectural design consultant... i did the design for and oversaw the construction of 7 major home remodels of my own, and had just done my first commissioned one, when i, too, decided that writing was my prime passion///

" I want to spread the message that it IS possible to become successful writers, in spite of a fulltime job or other obligations. I certainly tried posting messages and writing how-to articles but it wasn't as good as interacting regularly with a budding writer and enjoy her progress, witness her getting better in her writing and marketing."

///certainly, a worthy and noble goal///

"Thus the story of my email workshop, coaching services and the monthly installment plans, both for my and the prospective student's comfort. The Paypal links are for ease of payment for my services, as I sit here in India before a rented computer and a costly phone bills "

///a couple of my mentees are in india, so i know of those challenges you face///

"And finally, if I'm giving my help free, I won't have time to write for magazine and other clients. That happen, I will no longer be a coach... how can I be called a qualified writing coach if I am not financially successful???"

///i suppose you can't, since in the material world, 'qualified' and 'success' are always tied to money-making... i do have to say, though, that only a handful of the many who've wanted my help have ever demanded to know if i've sold any of my own work... it seems that the writing samples i sent them [and now, that all can see on my site] and the samples of how i can help with their work that i give them, are enough to 'qualify' me... but in the 'normal' world, of course that wouldn't work///

"And hey, a big doubt here -

... Since then, wise and trusted advisers have been called 'mentors."

From these, I understand that wise advisers are called mentors, NOT those who give their advices for free. How do you know anyway that there was no mutual transaction between these 2 parties, eh?"

///that was only one reference to Mentor and Odysseus' relationship... many others make if fairly clear that it was not an employer/employee or a for-a-fee situation///

"So, if I may request, please give a thought about the other person's POV before probing into ethics and semantics. May be you consider mentoring as a generous gift, maia (and you follow what you preach; I can't say a word against that , but really, it's not practical to expect million other writers to share the same view. Why not appreciate those who are like you and leave the rest to write (or coach) in peace?"

///you seem to have read into what i posted, so very much that i did not... i don't believe i ever questioned anyone's ethics... and i do believe i have a right to question semantics, don't I?... nowhere did i claim that millions should share my view... and i surely have not indicated that i wouldn't let those who 'coach' for a living, 'rest in peace'... nor would/do i!... i'm afraid an over-sensitivity on this subject has led you to put not only words in my mouth/hand, but thoughts in my head... none of which exist, except in your imagination///

"And while I am certainly guilty of using the word MENTOR in a commercial sense, you too need to accept reality; writing, that is, successful and publisher-worthy writing IS a business, apart from being a talent or a joy, at least in this century."

///and where on earth did you get the idea that i don't accept a reality that i in fact emphasize to practically every mentee i work with?... so many come to me with dreams of instant success, that a part of my s.o.p. is a dose of the facts of life about the business end of the publishing and film industries///

"Hope I didn't sound like a patronizing boor... I enjoyed the files you sent me some time back and your helpful responses scattered throughout this board. Let's have a lot of friendly arguments and 'conversations' like this one !"

///well, to be honest, you did a bit... but i understand from whence it came and am not put out by it... i do hope i have set things straight on the many misconceptions you seem to have had, though...

i'm glad what i sent you was useful in some way and wouldn't mind conversations, but i sure hope future ones won't be this long! :\ ... i'd just as soon eschew arguments, however, as it's just not my thing... if we don't agree, i'd rather agree to disagree than get into a spat...

love and hugs, maia///

Mridu
01-04-2004, 03:47 PM
I'd just like to add that too many "mentors" out there, or even coaches for that matter don't have the credits to actually mentor or coach new writers.

I just came across a woman who wanted me to advertise her mentoring services, but when I asked her about her credits, I found that she'd only been published in a couple of zines, and didn't really make any money from her work. Yet, she claimed to be able to teach her students how to do so.

That's why I admire you even more Maia-- you're straight about what you can and cannot offer. :)

Radhika, I never really saw a mention of your credits anywhere. Maybe that'll help you get more paying students, if those are what you're looking for.

silentriddler
01-05-2004, 01:51 AM
Hi Mridu,
When I advertise my services, I always direct the readers to a credentials page at my site, which lists all my works and the assignments I have completed for various clients.

The Nov 02' - Jan 03' session of my workshop (1st batch) is full anyway, with students from saudi arabia to amchi mumbai, so I guess I will start next session marketing late this month, with my students' comments about my workshop :)

Radhika Meganathan

mammamaia
01-05-2004, 03:29 AM
mridu...
sadly, you're so right about the quality of help offered 'out there' for pay... i've been asked to critique copy for folks who expected people to pay them to write stuff, when their own websites and writing samples were full of silly-to-awful grammatical/syntactica/punctuation/spelling errors!

and when i point out all the goofs and gaffes in their writing, most are embarassed to think they could have expected to sell their services... it's more sad than anything, don't you think?

love and hugs, maia

mammamaia
01-05-2004, 03:40 AM
...have you read my reply to your long post to me above?... i was hoping to hear that my responses to you had healed any hurt feelings... did they not?... if i left anything still 'rankling' please let me know and i'll do my best to apply some soothing salve, ok?

love and hugs, maia

ps: btw, i just today read some of the last posts on that 'happy new year' thread, and agree with you about conditions in india for women... i've several mentees from there, as well as some friends, and know your assessment of the situation to be true in many parts of the country... and much worse, besides... maybe you can tell me if the wedding dowry custom still results in so many 'accidentally' burned-to-death brides... m

silentriddler
01-05-2004, 08:57 AM
Dear Maia,
I didn't want to take up any more of the board space, so I sent a reply to your personal mail some time back... didn't u get it??? Drat, I HATE it when this happens :( ... if you haven't, I will just hunt up for the message in my system and re-send it again.

And yes, no hard feelings... I know the mirror has two faces :)

Radhika Meganathan

mammamaia
01-06-2004, 02:24 AM
nope!... if i'd gotten it, you would have had a reply in minutes, or overnight at worst, if it came in after i go offline [9pm pst]... yes, it's a pain:( , but when things do work, this stuff is wonderful!... i'm old enough to remember vividly, what it was like w/o the internet!

please resend to: maia3maia@hotmail.com (maia3maia@hotmail.com)... hugs, maia

Malemotives
01-12-2004, 10:34 PM
<blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>taking that person under one's wing for nothing more than satisfaction gained by helping a fellow human...<hr></blockquote>

I dare say I agree wholeheartedly and I shutter at how some traditions are abused.

As I recall, back in my college days, I was assigned a Mentor, who's charge it was to guide me through my undergraduate years. He received no extra pay. His reward was my success. From within my high school Alumni Association, we provide Mentors to students in need of guidance and direction. We also provide funds for students who need tutoring to get over the ills of mastering a difficult subject.

Now, I'm a pretty capitalistic guy. Any honest way that a body can come up with to make an extra buck or two—or more, is just fine with me. If their product or service is beneficial to my wants or needs, I may even make sacrifices to climb on-board.

Having said that, neither political correctness, or semantics that skirt misrepresentation do much to enamored or excite me. They do raise flags with negative connotations.

Paying for help in learning has always been understood, by me, as hiring a tutor. An admirable profession, worthy of payment. Why then, the sudden change to defining the service as mentoring? Does it sound more professional? I think not, although, perhaps someone might have decided so.

A rose, by any other name is still a rose; as the saying goes. So too, is one who charges a fee for assistance, a tutor, irrespective of his/her desire to be something else.

While it's not something that I'd venture into a flaming debate over, it is a sad ploy of misrepresentation and one that I'm always sure to point out.

MM

reReading: The Blue Nowhere, Jeffery Deaver
Writing: Character Development
<a href="http://crackedrabbit.com/writeroom" target="_new">The Write Room</a>

mammamaia
01-13-2004, 01:09 AM
...a misnomer, per what i can tell from your much appreciated message, kiddo!... 'benemotives' sounds more apropos t'me...

thanks for the support in this, and i'm happy to hear you got good results from your 'menteeship'... if you ever need a reprise, all ya gotta do is ask!

love and hugs, maia

qatz
01-13-2004, 06:50 AM
I am positive that Radhika meant no harm in advertising her coaching services. She has credentials and could probably help me as well as many other less literate people. And though others may be at fault in this game--the controversy has been going on at least thirty years, it is not new, nor created by you, moms--I note that only Radhilka is singled out for censure. This strikes me as unfair and tawdry.
Radhika may possibly be allowed an understanding of the Odyssey less deep than yours, moms, because she lives in south India, where the classics are different. However, I do have your ken--and you are not entirely correct. The larger inquiry, though, is why you would attack another person for trying to make a living in a field that has paid you well, and all over a simple semantical slip. I am wondering if you do not simply wish to toot your own horn. This type of hippier-than-thou attitude should be, I would think, far beneath you, yet I can see it is not. There is no need to tear down another to exalt your own spiritual state. There is, however, a positive duty to have compassion for other sentient beings, including understanding another person's situation.

I have, regretfully, seen your sharp tongue in action before along with your hugs and well wishes, and even pasta sauce offers for me personally (though you seemed a bit churlish with my young friend). Here, though, I think you have outdone yourself, my elder sister.

You, moms, can do things for free only because you are not poor. It is easy to be generous when one has the means to do so.

Mentor took care of Odysseus' household. O. was the king of his village, known to the gods, and by no means whatsoever middle-class. Greek friendship was clearly reciprocal in nature. O. would clearly have taken care of his old friend's needs, irrespective of quid pro quo. It would have been ignoble for him to do otherwise. And Athena was a goddess, who could do pretty much just as she liked. When she put on Mentor's aspect, the word took on its secondary meaning, the one it has today. But she was a goddess! To mentor was indeed god-like. It still is in essence, but it is specious to expect it all to be done for free. That is mere spiritual arrogance. We do not roam Olympus, and the day has changed. In my life, I have had mentors take me under their wing, beloved and wise people who helped solely out of their hearts--but most often these were teachers who got paid for what they did anyway, and other times these friends did not despise a little wine or food or furniture or what may be, the juice of life as it were.

I perused your long response to Radhika in vain for an apology. I am sure you'll give me no quarter. I am also sure you've helped many, many in your day. But I consider your scattergun approach, if I may say so, condescending if it is not to be qualified. Methinks that here you got a bit judgmental, and unjustly so.

I must respectfully submit that it is especially galling to me that you, with your pretensions to helping the world's downtrodden, would be so snippy about filthy lucre in Radhika's case while admitting that you yourself used to make a batch of it this same way, thus being able to afford the luxury now of looking down on those who were not quite so lucky in the past. Perhaps you should observe the age-old admonition: Doctor, heal thyself!

Greetings, Mridu; I am honored to make your acquaintance. I notice your agreement with Maia that many ill-educated and even untrained leeches hold themselves out to help the writers of the world for pay, and I have no doubt many do, and that it is an unremittingly bad thing that they do. I refuse to believe that Radhika fits this mold until and unless proof is advanced. I am indeed hopeful that Radhikah, who has impressed me with her manner and good heart in the past, will not be wholly bereft of your kind services as she tries to build her career, for I trust and expect that her credentials will seem to you fit for her current mission in life. That she misses a word now and then I would ascribe to life's fortunes, and fervently wish that I would stumble so little on my ascent of the mountains to her north. Perhaps you can help her to improve her grasp of the colonial language as she makes her way forward.
Yours most truly, Q

p.s. Radhika, in case you sent me an email, I never received it either. No big thing, but just so you know.

mammamaia
01-14-2004, 03:54 AM
wow!... what on earth happened, to set you off on me like a pack of pit bulls, qatz?... get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, or what?... i'll reply point, by point, even though i'd really rather ignore your mudslinging ramble here, because i don't want all the falsities in it to remain 'in the record'...

if you have some personal bone to pick over something you think i've done to hurt your feelings, please be open and honest about it instead of camouflaging it in a bushwacking like this, ok?... i'd thought we were 'friends' but i must have been mistaken...


I am positive that Radhika meant no harm in advertising her coaching services.

...i don't see that anyone here even intimated that she did, eric... the 'evil' i referred to in the head of my last post was clearly aimed at the previous poster's userid and nothing more, in case you didn't 'get' that...


She has credentials and could probably help me as well as many other less literate people. And though others may be at fault in this game--the controversy has been going on at least thirty years, it is not new, nor created by you, moms--

...no news [or argument] there...


I note that only Radhilka is singled out for censure. This strikes me as unfair and tawdry.

...you're awfully quick to judge, kiddo... unfairly, to boot... your saying that, is what's unfair and tawdry, because i did not single her out in my original post, nor in any other one, nor do i see any subsequent posters doing so...


Radhika may possibly be allowed an understanding of the Odyssey less deep than yours, moms, because she lives in south India, where the classics are different.

...i wouldn't be so insulting as to suggest any such thing... the classics are the same everywhere... people in india read homer, too, you know...


However, I do have your ken--and you are not entirely correct.

...not correct about what?... shouldn't making such a claim be followed by your 'correction' if you have one?... and what does 'have your ken' mean?... as opposed to, 'i have your barbie'?;) ...


The larger inquiry, though, is why you would attack another person for trying to make a living in a field that has paid you well, and all over a simple semantical slip.

...A. i did not attack anyone... i merely questioned a change in usage of an old, established free practice into a money-making business one...
...B. i don't mind anyone making a living in the field of their choice and nothing i wrote suggested that i do... and
...C. the semantic 'slip' is what i was asking opinions about, not suggesting that anyone in particular should be hung for misusing a word... you must not read very well, if you can see so much that isn't there...


I am wondering if you do not simply wish to toot your own horn. This type of hippier-than-thou attitude should be, I would think, far beneath you, yet I can see it is not. There is no need to tear down another to exalt your own spiritual state. There is, however, a positive duty to have compassion for other sentient beings, including understanding another person's situation.

...this is almost too ludicrous to even bother batting down... anyone who's known me on these boards for much longer than you have, or even has recently come across me, can see i only offer to help and don't 'toot' as j mc d and some others do quite noticeably... yet, i don't see you posting these silly and unfair charges against them... i have to wonder why...

...what do you think you are doing with this, if not "tearing down another to exalt your own spiritual state?... and where is your 'positive duty, etc.....'???... remember the parables about stone-throwing, dear heart... and the glass house dictum, as well, before you toss any more boulders my way...


I have, regretfully, seen your sharp tongue in action before along with your hugs and well wishes, and even pasta sauce offers for me personally (though you seemed a bit churlish with my young friend). Here, though, I think you have outdone yourself, my elder sister.

...this is so rude and childish i'll let it speak for me... it's you who have outdone yourself in nonsensical back-biting for reasons i wouldn't even care to guess at... and can you really claim you have never wielded a sharp tongue on these boards???... totally without sin, huh?... must be nice...


You, moms, can do things for free only because you are not poor. It is easy to be generous when one has the means to do so.

:rollin ... sorry... couldn't hold that back... do you know what 'not poor' and 'has the means' = in my case?... i am totally homeless, possessionless [save for a laptop and my work and a few pieces of donated clothing] and have no income other than social security from a dead ex-husband... and, anyway, why is being generous a sin in your book, easy or not???...

btw, the long part about mentor i'm not even dealing with, because it's moot...


I perused your long response to Radhika in vain for an apology.

...since i didn't set out to offend her, and was not attacking her, as you only imagined, there was nothing to apologize for... i explained my point, and she seemed satisfied with my explanation, so why aren't you?...


I am sure you'll give me no quarter. I am also sure you've helped many, many in your day. But I consider your scattergun approach, if I may say so, condescending if it is not to be qualified.

...can't be sure what you mean here, but if by 'scattergun approach' you mean that i don't help every single person everywhere, with everything, of course i don't... who does?... i do have a right to refuse to help with work containing violence, as i've taken a vow not to... is that what's bothering you?... did i turn you down on something with violence in it?...


Methinks that here you got a bit judgmental, and unjustly so.

...sorry, honeypot... it's only you, and this tirade, that this charge fits...


I must respectfully submit that it is especially galling to me that you, with your pretensions to helping the world's downtrodden, would be so snippy about filthy lucre in Radhika's case while admitting that you yourself used to make a batch of it this same way, thus being able to afford the luxury now of looking down on those who were not quite so lucky in the past. Perhaps you should observe the age-old admonition: Doctor, heal thyself!

...in re your closing line there, obviously, i DID, silly!... and again/still, you've put words in my head and mouth and posts that never existed except in your own mind...

just for the record... i don't have time to do this again, so don't bother with another tiresome screed, ok?... or, if you do, know that i'll be just as sorry as i am here, to see you showing all and sundry how badly you twist people's words to fit whatever your agenda might be...

love and hugs [anyway/still], maia

qatz
01-14-2004, 04:04 AM
thank you for your reply, maia. i stand by what i said. i was not going to say more, but there is a little i might add.

not to stir up the fish tank further, but on reflection i will make a few further clarifications of my "falsities." (The word is "falsehoods.") The Oxford English Dictionary does not mention mentoring being for free in its denotation of the word; it calls it the advice of a trusted advisor; it mentions Mentor but not Pallas Athene; thus I assume without deciding that your interpretation remains a secondary meaning (it is a plausible interpretation, at least). I continue to believe that my interpretation is superior, especially as it was taught to me by a genius Greek scholar, and you had nothing to say about it. You may have thought it beneath you to argue concerning the meat of my subject, and if so I am sorry you felt that way. As far as the classics of south India go, I assume you're not as conversant with the Ramhapadra as you are with Homer; your remark was very patronizing. And "ken" is a word in the English language, not just the name of a silly doll; or is that beyond your ken too? Your remark was offensive to me and ill-educated, sister. "Educado" in Spanish is polite. Surely you can be "educable."

I assume we can leave well enough alone at this point; I endorse that; but do not think you can savage young writers in my presence any longer without being corrected. To invoke compassion for yourself in that circumstance is just meaningless, perverse, and sophistic. If you really did live on a street corner and eat out of bags you would have no more excuse to act thus; but I do not believe that you do. My mother raised three children and paid for a house on a Social Security check from her dead husband, and hard, hard work--and do you know what? She never whined.

It was nice to chat with you this morning; I would like this exchange to end now; that would be a great good thing.

mammamaia
01-16-2004, 02:38 AM
not worth replying to, sad to say... i'm sorry you seem to bear some personal animus toward me and can only hope you'll get over it eventually...

love and hugs anyway, m

qatz
01-16-2004, 04:20 AM
not really. respect you for your good work. hug you too! take care

JustinoIV
02-04-2004, 02:18 AM
I suspect most of the paid mentoring is done by people who failed to truly make it into the industry themselves. So they try to set up businesses, that make money off of the truly inexperienced.

It's kind of funny to see these so called mentors, trying to charge "newbies" for their services. When most of these people have never been produced, and some of them have never even been anywhere near Hollywood.

You have a desperate con artist trying to take advantage of a desperate person.

Mentor implies a successful person in a profession who decides to take a new person under his/her wing as his/her protege!

I've never paid, nor would I ever pay, for a mentor. I've had, for example, query letters that were wrong in the eyes of these wanna be experts. But they were good enough to get me read by mainstream production companies.

While you do have a lot of work in learning how to write a screenplay properly, I think a lot of newcomers are a bit overwhelmed. And that makes them easy prey for all the sharks out here.

Perhaps this board, and other boards of a similiar nature on ezboard will one day have to address one thing. Are they places where screenwriters are supposed to socialize and interact with each other? Or are for people to hawk their so called mentoring services.

I suspect the internet has opened up whole new worlds of opportunity for this kind of shark.

alipali
02-11-2004, 12:42 AM
Mama,

I think you need to cease and desist. |I

Justin,

As a recipient of reader services for which I paid I don't think it's fair or accurate to tar everybody who charges for their time and expertise with the "shark" brush. In fact, it couldn't be more erroneous. I mean, where does it end? Should we stop paying school teachers and college professors? What about dance teachers, choreographers or architects, book editors, sports' coaches? Hell, let's stop paying for anything.

And when does having "failed" yourself preclude one from providing others with the benefit of your experience? You sound like a smart guy, Justin, ever heard of Robert Mckee?

mammamaia
02-11-2004, 02:37 AM
...mentoring for free?... why?

...responding to argumentative posts in this thread?... if you check the post dates, you'll see that i ceased and desisted doing that nearly a month ago...

...something else?... pray tell, what:\ ???

love and hugs, maia

Gala
02-12-2004, 01:56 AM
Mama, you are one of a handful of people on this site that come across as real. Don't ever cease and desist. (note that person has only 2 posts.)

You asked a good question, and a legitimate one. For some people asking a question = stating an opinion, it would appear.

I mentor people for free. I tutor for a fee.

A local college in my town has a mentoring program, and the mentors are paid. Some or all of the payment is in tuition for the mentor—good deal for the college. To be a mentor one must have a masters degree. The person I know who works this program is unable to work otherwise, (for dubious reasons, I fear), but she loves this program and wants more mentees.

There's a topic in the novels board, where a topic-starter was blasted for asking a legitimate question regarding genres. He was told more or less if he were a real writer he wouldn't care. Huh? That's the Internet for ya, and these boards aren't monitored much for trolls and spammers.

Keep doing what you're doing. My opinion is to ignore certain kinds of posts.

As for the topic at hand, I believe it may be part semantics, cultural definitions, and what the market will bear. I personally would not expect to pay or be paid for mentoring, however, the fact that people are out there doing so has made me ponder how I position myself as a mentor differently.

The Small Business Administration has a mentoring program, of retired business people. Their mentors do not charge.

<img border=0 src="http://www.ezboard.com/image/posticons/pi_hippie.gif" />

mammamaia
02-12-2004, 10:59 PM
...thanks for your input and support, gala!... i'm used to such posts, having been monitoring 7-8 forums with multiple boards for several years now... which, btw, resulted in having happily helped and mentored hundreds of writers... i get 2-4 dozen news requests per week... flak and flaming kinda goes with the 'job'... i guess some just can't handle another doing for free what they won't [and can't?], or would only do if paid... fortunately, they're only a handful among hordes of nice folks...


love and hugs, maia

rtilryarms
02-13-2004, 02:18 AM
Gala said:


I mentor people for free. I tutor for a fee.

No matter what you call it, this is what you are doing.


(I thought I posted this before)

JustinoIV
02-13-2004, 04:05 AM
"As a recipient of reader services for which I paid I don't think it's fair or accurate to tar everybody who charges for their time and expertise with the "shark" brush. In fact, it couldn't be more erroneous. I mean, where does it end? Should we stop paying school teachers and college professors? What about dance teachers, choreographers or architects, book editors, sports' coaches? Hell, let's stop paying for anything."

School teachers, professors, and all the other professionals you mention are qualified people.

Anyone can claim to have reader services, and often said people have no credentials. Would you let someone who failed out of college teach high school or at an university? Someone who never able to design anything work as an architect?

"And when does having "failed" yourself preclude one from providing others with the benefit of your experience?"

Generally, if one wants to be successful, doesn't it make since to listen to those who have been successful?

Gala
02-14-2004, 12:10 AM
Actually there is a difference for me, in terms of what I do for the client, and what they expect.

For example, I am a volunteer mentor at the library, on computers. I don't have a long-term relationship with those who randomly make appointments or show up for help.

In Toastmasters, I have a mentor--that person guides me along and is available for questions that come up.

As a tutor, I sit down on a weekly basis with a writing student. I give her homework, we have goals and such.

I don't really care what the anonymouses on the Internet thinks of this; I'm clarifying it for those out there who are doing the same (or not.) I support sharing one's expertise in a means that is important to them.

Good luck.

silentriddler
03-20-2004, 03:59 AM
GALA
Just one doubt. You said Alipali had only 2 posts... and when I checked his profile (and this thread after a looo...ng time) I found Alipali to have posted around 2300 posts...

And anyway, a person with 2 posts is not allowed to share his/her opinion??? Wonderful attitude.

MAIA
you mentor for free, GREAT. Others don't, well, what a pity but what do you want them to do? Steal, beg to pay their landlords and buy groceries?

I hold free writing workshops for under-privilaged children at weekends but never ask why my other writing buddies, with so much talent and time, aren't doing that. Whatever they do is THEIR business. Unless and until they wreck my workshop, badmouth me or ask the children to boycott my classes, I have NO REASON to complain or rant against them.

And of course, I know better than to expect everybody to be like me |I

Radhika Meganathan (the one who started it all :smokin )
Managing Editor, UP! with Learning (http://www.upandp.net/managingeditor.html)
Author of 'The E.a.s.y Guide to Dreams', to be published in 2005, Seasons Publishing, Chennai, India
(do I have enough credentials now??)

maestrowork
03-24-2004, 11:32 PM
We pay teachers, don't we?

mammamaia
03-25-2004, 12:31 AM
MAIA
you mentor for free, GREAT. Others don't, well, what a pity but what do you want them to do? Steal, beg to pay their landlords and buy groceries?

I hold free writing workshops for slum children at weekends but never ask why my other writing buddies, with so much talent and time, aren't doing that. Whatever they do is THEIR business. Unless and until they wreck my workshop, badmouth me or ask the children to boycott my classes, I have NO REASON to complain or rant against them.

And of course, I know better than to expect everybody to be like me
'
...i'm afraid you're making erroneous assumptions, radhika...

1. i have no quarrel with anyone charging a fee for providing writing services and nowhere have i even implied that i do... all i pointed out was that 'mentoring' is generally understood to be done for free, while providing a 'service' is done for a fee... and to call it mentoring when charging a fee, seems to me to be misleading...

2. it's great that you help some without charge and i did not intend anything i wrote to be construed as 'asking' why others don't... i think some of my words were taken out of context, or else i didn't make myself clear, because i did NOT mean to 'complain or rant against them' as you seem to be charging... i have no reason to do so, any more than you do...

3. and, of course, i also know better than to expect everybody to be like me...

i wish this issue could be seen as the semantic one i intended it to be, and your personal attacks [for whatever reason] left out of it... as for me, i'm declaring myself hors de combat from this point on...

i wish no one any hurt feelings or disrespect... if anyone feels insulted by anything i've written in this thread, i hope you'll accept my apology for what was truly not intended...

love and hugs, maia

RichMar
03-29-2004, 03:53 AM
Mentoring takes on new meaning in the commerce of writing. The craft/art of writing has come to an ambiguous halting since the advent of cyberspace. (it was bad enough when a writer published little to make a living, yet after writing a "how-to" book found him/herself making a hundred-fold more than he/she could make actually writing. Now we have the internet, where everybody writes. The con artist, (I believe a good deal of them can't even imagine themselves as such) have burst on the scene with new meanings to the craft/art. Ah, mentoring!

Don't concern yourself with a "gatz" he looks for commas out of place, an apostrophe that found itself in the wrong word. Little s h i t s like "gatz" are forever with us. They fake selfishness, they look for comrades when it can help them, but they're all little s h i t s.

silentriddler
03-29-2004, 11:43 PM
Sometimes I'm really surprsied by these posts.

What makes a person to support a nameless stranger and claim another stranger as s h i t, without stopping to think?

Rich, you're showing your approval of one person's opinion by degrading another member. YOUR vote is not going to be respected by either one.

:(

silentriddler
03-29-2004, 11:47 PM
Maia,
We might have our arguments but I'd just like to thank you for being so courteous in your replies. Reading Rich's post is like being drenched in a bucket of sewage remains and I'm glad you're so professional in your replies.

:\

rtilryarms
03-30-2004, 02:18 AM
I agree with silentriddler.

Richmar,
Your post discredits you completely. You lost the debate without ever giving a valid argument.

qatz runs rings around your intelligence even on his worse day. (and thats saying something).

Betty W01
03-30-2004, 03:23 AM
Wow, Rich, that was low. Qatz is not a - what you said - and even though he was a bit harsh in this thread, you're lowering yourself to call him names over it. Nice that you want to defend those you deem unable to defend themselves (although they may disagree), but do it with some class.

My take on this thread - if anyone cares - Mentoring is done by an old-timer in any particular field, out of the goodness of his/her heart, for the benefit of a newbie in the field or, like on these boards, for the benefit of the whole field, as a way to give back some of what others have done for you.

Coaching (and I guess you can call it tutoring, too) is doing basically the same thing, for pay. Choosing to do one or the other doesn't make you better or worse than someone who makes a different choice.

But neither should be done by someone who has no credentials. It is not true that "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." What is true is that you can't teach something you don't know how to do yourself. Don't offer to teach me how to write and get published if you have no clips, only form rejections (or even worse, nothing to show you've ever let anyone who is knowledgable make any comments at all on your work.)

And that is not pointed at anyone in this thread or anywhere else, just a common-sense comment. Who'd want someone who flunked basic bookkeeping to teach you how to keep your books or someone who wears velcro shoes because he can't tie a bow to teach you how to tie your sneakers?

One last comment - being nasty is being nasty, no matter what spin you put on it.

Shame, Rich.

RichMar
03-30-2004, 03:26 AM
So, Laurel agrees with Hardy--precious.

Guess I'm not as cognizant of the subtleties of professionalism as some of you. As a token of my bad- boy behavior I'll not call Gats a s h i t again. I'll merely point out the errors of his ways in a fashion that won't upset the feint hearted, the professionals, the self-employed, the dream weavers in other folk's dreams, and yes, even the phoneys.

Betty W01
03-30-2004, 03:32 AM
hmmm. Wonder what category I fall into? Hey, Rich, can I be a dream-weaver? I like that one...

rtilryarms
03-30-2004, 03:41 AM
Ah yes, Richmar, another expert with an attitude and a thesaurus.

Just another frustrated egotist who believes that the world should agree with him.

aka eraser
03-30-2004, 04:32 AM
You can point out others' errors to your heart's content Rich. But until you acknowledge your own, I'll follow Journalism's Rule #1 and consider the source.

RichMar
03-30-2004, 04:47 AM
You got me, arms, at least in part (although I'm not sure how a thesaurus fits in.) I've already finished a successful career far afield from writing. However, I do have a grounded sense of my own self--call it what you will.

To varying degrees we all have an awareness of how we fit into the scheme of things, and that cognizance makes us social animals. How each of us blend into this to and fro does become ambiguous. So, on this board, and at this time, we'll be attempting to hammer out those ambiguities.

Betty W01
03-30-2004, 05:29 AM
Rich, I'm guessing the use of words like "cognizance" and "ambiguities"?

Meanwhile, your posts on here have probably guaranteed that no one will ask you to mentor them. If that's what you wanted, you've succeeded. (And if someone does ask, I hope they have a thick skin. If you're this harsh in every arena, he'll need it.)

RichMar
03-30-2004, 06:52 AM
My perfect protege would be on death row wanting to find the proper words to praise the chef on the exquisite last meal he had just downed.

I'd be a free read/edit, but I'd probably make him feel that that final walk would be less daunting.

rtilryarms
03-30-2004, 08:28 AM
No,

I guess I don't have you after all.

I thought you would take the ill hidden bait and rip into me.

Instead you posted analogical anecdotes. I was more prepared for the former.

Is it fair to say that you are moody?

rt

biotales
03-30-2004, 10:09 AM
After reading this forum, confusion then anger set in. You mean to tell me that all these years that I have mentored I could have been paid. Please tell me that I mis-understood, please. I could have been paid, and what about my kind giving heart? :rolleyes :( :o :cry

rtilryarms
03-30-2004, 10:33 AM
opportunities lost.
So sad, so sad

mammamaia
03-31-2004, 01:52 AM
and my thanks warmly returned to you, radhika!... i ignored that fellow's comments as not worthy of comment, but am glad that others saw fit to chide him for his little-boy-like nastiness...

we don't all have to agree, but it sure makes things nicer for everyone, if we don't 'get personal' and/or be impolite in our replies... thanks for standing with me on this aspect of board behavior...
love and hugs, maia

RichMar
03-31-2004, 05:59 AM
Conflict is good. It's why we're alive. It goes awry only when we don't learn from it. I prefer to handle conflict directly rather then express it in nuances while sticking pins into the object(s) of my discontent. Mom's little-boy-like nastiness, although not aimed at me was uncalled for. When an olive brance is held out, you shouldn't hold anything else in your hands.

ZoeJesnik
05-03-2004, 06:25 PM
I am a fairly new writer - unless you consider the hundreds of free comments that I insanely had printed in two of my local newpapers over the past 3 or 4 years. I have self-published my book (no - I do not have a thing for having my voice in print for free hee hee:ssh ) and am now getting very serious about being paid as an author.

I am exploring freelancing as well as querying the traditional market with my second manuscript.

It is my impression that mentoring would be free. Mentoring should consist of someone who basically knows what they are doing and has gained much knowledge through their own previous mistakes. I believe that a mentor would take a new aspiring writer under their wing and share the sort of information that they wish someone would have shared with them when they first began.

If I ever make it - really make it in this writing business - I would love to be a mentor. I have learned so much over the past year just through my own mistakes and lack of information. It is sites like these that can really help.

I would love to have a mentor in this biz. I only hope that I can find a mentor who is not charging a fee. I am poor! I self-published, have tapped out my budget on stamps for queries and postage and copying for submitting mss. I think I need some help - or at least a professional that can give me an honest critique of my query letter, synopsis, etc.

Real quick - is it really safe to reveal your title and other information about a manuscript that you are querying? While I want to share my info for some opinions - I am worried about someone unethical taking my ideas. Just a ?????:o

ZoeJesnik@neo.rr.com

www.geocities.com/zoejesnik

mammamaia
05-03-2004, 10:14 PM
dear zoe... obviously, i share your opinion about mentoring being free... thanks for adding your voice to mine on this issue... and i admire you for intending to pass on help to others when you're capable of doing it... if you want to explore the possibility of becoming one of my 'mentees' feel free to email me at: maia3maia@hotmail.com (maia3maia@hotmail.com)

as to your question about revealing title, etc., when querying, that term is usually applied to the act of approaching editors, hoping they'll ask to see/buy your work, and how else can an editor know if they want to consider taking on your work or not?... or, did you mean when approaching a mentor?...

if so, i can only speak for myself, but i do ask/need to see a synopsis [and logline, if a screenplay] before i can decide whether to take on that particular work, because my free help offer has a non-violence caveat...

as for posting your title and info about your plot, to get opinions from others, as long as your work is finished and thus copyrighted, you have that protection [registering your copyright (w/ loc or wga) is not obligatory, but the wise thing to do]... you should know, however, that titles can't be copyrighted... only the full work itself can be...

i hope this is some help... love and hugs, maia

toto1958
05-17-2004, 10:40 AM
I wouldn't mind paying for a mentor, as long as their fee is reasonable and what they give me are things i can work on long after their services are over.

My biggest concern out side of that is being able to get a good mentor who is qualified and sincere aabout their work. To many people out ther are crooks and shim sham you.

LiamJackson
06-07-2004, 01:15 AM
whoa...been a while since I last visited this forum. And I now remember why. When self-declared mentors digress to this sort of diatribe, it doesn't exactly instill confidence in the new folk.

A couple of comments on my way out. (And no, I won't let the door hit me in the ass.)

1. Qatz has a superior intellect. Period. The same can be said for several others that frequent this board. However, intellect and credentials don't seem to be the major issue in this thread. Ego does.

2. Mentoring is a double-edged sword. "Free" is good, but in some cases, "paid" may be better. In my own field of expertise, if I offer free mentoring, the recepient has the benefit of highly techincal, highly specialized expertise, without the usual costs associated with acquiring said expertise. And because it's free, we both can walk away when ready, regardless of how well I've prepared the mentee.

On the other hand, if I've been paid for a service, I have a legal obligation to meet expectations. (provided the expections were clearly defined on the front end.) If I default on that expectation, the "student" has legal recourse.

3. The biggest problem I have with mentors in general, paid or not, is the presence of sanctimonious attitudes and premature assumptions. In their defense, mentors can be the single most positive influence in a new disciples career.

Mentor or not. Charge fees or not. But always honor the intent of the relationship, assuming the intent is to pass along knowledge in order to develop a better product.

Flawed Creation
06-07-2004, 10:12 AM
RichMar- While i don't agree with Maia about everything, and do feel that certain aspects of her posts ring of sophistry, your posts are completely unintelligible.

you are attacking people who are not condemning your buisness, but talking about the meaning of a word. i, personally, might be willing to expand the definition if a mentor. while a mentor being paid directly by a mentee doesn't feel right to me, less direct payment seems to make sense, such as a person paid by an orgnaization to teach people for free. i know this doesn't make sense, but it's my current opinion.

however, RichMar, you don't have any clear position, and your writing is subpar, to say the least. next time, please take a little more time to make sure that (a) you are using english corectly, (b) you aren't being offensive, and (c) you know what you're talking about.

EDIT: here's an example.

"To varying degrees we all have an awareness of how we fit into the scheme of things, and that cognizance makes us social animals. How each of us blend into this to and fro does become ambiguous. So, on this board, and at this time, we'll be attempting to hammer out those ambiguities."

is this supposed to mean something. don't try to claim the problme is at my end. i've read godel, escher, bach. i've read the cyberiad. i can understand most words.

let's take this line by line-

"To varying degrees we all have an awareness of how we fit into the scheme of things, and that cognizance makes us social animals"

this line is poorly phrased, and is mostly psychobabble. however, it might mean something re-written.

"How each of us blend into this to and fro does become ambiguous"

how does one blend into a to and fro? furthermore, making the means the subject of the sentence is slightly weird (of course, i jsut did this same thing in this sentence). the only thing ambiguous here is what you're trying to say.

" So, on this board, and at this time, we'll be attempting to hammer out those ambiguities.""

which ambiguities. oyu mentioned one thing being ambiguos, namely the way people blend into a to and fro. but how do we hammer that out, and why do we care?

for a re-write, how about,

Humans, as social animals, have an awareness of their place in the scheme of things. We each blend into the pattern of society in ambiguous ways. On this board, we'll attempt to clarify our roles.

RichMar
06-07-2004, 05:45 PM
I won't argue with you, lad. Although you're intellect is somewhat ahead of your age, you're still 14 and just beginning adolescence. If I took your bait I'm afraid you might be pulled out of the boat--and I wouldn't want to have a precocious teen, filled with confidence, begin doubting himself.

As for my subpar writing, please don't inform The NYT's, Field & Stream, Saturday Evening Post, Reader's Digest, et al of your findings. I've had them fooled for years.

Flawed Creation
06-07-2004, 09:42 PM
well, while i was perhaps too rash, don't fear making me lose my confidence. nothing can, but i think i could do with losig some confidence. right now i have more than i need, and it's not a good thing. as for subpar writing, perhaps you can write well elsewhere, but *in this thread* your position has been seriously undermined by the format of your posts.

I loved your previous mention of "ambiguous halting", "sticking pin in people" (which is what you were doing as you said that) and "little-boy nastiness"

you've really made my day. tell you what, RichMar- since you seem so keen of attacking my friends, such as maia, please make sure you do it properly. in order to help you with this, i will be happy to take you on as a mentee for 50 cents. i'm fairly sure i can teach you how to phrase sentences, which will give you an edge.

RichMar
06-07-2004, 10:50 PM
since I'm not looking for any characters experiencing pubescence with the added handicap of a messiah complex, I'll hold off.

I do have this suspicion, Grasshopper, that you're somebody else who visits this board. If so, no problem--one preteen playing a teen is a good sign. It shows he wants to grow up.

Flawed Creation
06-07-2004, 11:13 PM
what, pray tell do you mean, when you say you think i'm someone else?

if you're implying that have more than one screenname, it doesn't happen to be the case. i'm sure the mods could tell you that my IP address is unique on this forum. still, i *would* be interested to know who else you think i am.

:huh

:shrug

and how exactly is *14* *preteen*?

RichMar
06-08-2004, 12:16 AM
If I harbor a notion that somebody else is playing you and you say your 14, then--obviously--the person playing you would be the one I'm calling a preteen.

Flawed Creation
06-08-2004, 04:34 AM
oh, okay. that makes sense. actually, i *am* 14, but pretty immature for my age.

RichMar
06-08-2004, 05:03 AM
I don't think the mods will tell me about your unique IP, and I wouldn't ask them. I do wonder about the logic you used to show you're nobody else but you, grasshopper. But that's just my little mind raging against the inevitable fetters of senility.

Arisa81
06-08-2004, 09:40 PM
Why argue about it? Everyone will have their own opinion.

If I may share mine: Mentoring is not a holy act. Not charging for it doesn't make anyone better than anyone else, nor does charging for it. Nor does if affect the quality. Mentoring is mentoring. Let's face it, even people of the church are paid for their services. It doesn't make it any less worthy. We all need to make money. And if someone loves to mentor people and wants to do it as their full time job, good on them. And if someone can afford to offer their services for free, good for them. I have had people tell me that if writing is my passion I should not be taking advantage of it by getting paid. Now that is just silly. I will do what I love and make what I can from it. Sure if I could afford to offer work for free I would probably do more of it, because I love to write. But I can't.

April:star

aka eraser
06-08-2004, 11:08 PM
April, do you mind bumping up the size of your font? It's too small for these middle-aged eyes and I'd like to read your opinions. :)

RichMar
06-09-2004, 12:12 AM
How are you handling trilene knots these days? You been recently staring hard to discern largemouths from smallmouths?

aka eraser
06-09-2004, 01:25 AM
Thanks April. :D

Rich, I'm a long-time Improved Clinch knot man. But I confess that most often nowadays I need to nudge my glasses to the end of my nose and squint over them to thread the line through the eye. Once I've done that I'm ok.

At my last eye exam about 2 years ago (I was 51) the doc said I was the 2nd oldest patient he'd treated who didn't need bi-focals yet.

I enjoyed that for about a month. Then the glasses-down-squint thing started happening. I'll cave one of these days and get bi's I suppose.

No probs discerning species.

Yet.

RichMar
06-10-2004, 06:34 PM
Incidently, angler-mentor, I started you're book--about 30 pages of it. It's great. As soon as I'm through I'll write a review at Amazon.

aka eraser
06-10-2004, 08:18 PM
Great! Thanks Rich.

Now I can only hope you feel the same way about the next 140 pages or so....

toto1958
06-12-2004, 08:40 AM
Hey wait a minute! whats this remark about middle aged, Whats wrong with middle aged, its better than ancient age, wouldn't you say? I like my font size like I like the size of breasts but that doesnt make me blind does it?

oh well, yawn, nap time.

tfdswift
08-02-2004, 04:36 AM
Maia,

I would just like to add my 2 cents worth (if it is worth that much).

I think some people would prefer to pay someone for their opinions and suggestions rather than have someone read their work and give unprofessional, unkind, insulting or belittling comments about their work for free.

Let's face it, whether paid or not, a coach/mentor is someone who should give honest yet constructive, professional, unjudgemental comments.

Unfortunately, all those who claim to be mentors and/or coaches are not what they claim. Some people use the title 'mentor' to act high and mighty and give bad advice filled with insults, degrading comments and unprofessional digs. I pity those who "think" they are mentors when really they are just nasty little wannabes.

Just my thoughts....

~~Tammy

mammamaia
08-03-2004, 12:27 AM
tammy...
i respect your point of view and your own preferences...

as i see it, different people have different styles and different people will have different perceptions of those styles...

any opinion/advice given freely, after being asked for it, should be respected, imo... it will often not be what the asker was hoping to hear, but is still a generous gift of one's time and energy and not something just forced on one unsought...

i don't see how frank and open critique can be sugar-coated, if it's to be completely honest... some will be wanting to hear what's good about their writing and not what's not, but if the writing in question is basically poor, what can one say and still be honest and helpful?...

i suspect that 'nasty little wannabes' will be found charging fees more often than among those offering their help for free... i'm sorry you had an unhappy experience... if you find any affordable for-pay 'mentors' that you like, i hope you'll let us know who they are, so we can pass them on to others in need...

love and hugs, maia

tfdswift
08-03-2004, 01:12 AM
QUOTE:
__________________________________________________ __
I don't see how frank and open critique can be sugar-coated, if it's to be completely honest...
__________________________________________________ __

How about: "I don't know where you were going with this it doesn't make sense in my opinion. Maybe you should change the point of view or just delete that section. Maybe you could revise the chapter to have more action."

Or what about: " I personally did not like/understand the story. Maybe you should try another person and get their opinion. Maybe you could just get rid of the parts that don't work like 'insert positive suggestion'."

Maybe even: "That title doesn't work. How about instead of calling it 'The High Road' you could call it 'insert positive suggestion'."

In all of these examples an honest opinion was given in a helpful yet non-insulting and non-judgemental way. You can say what doesn't work or what you don't like with tact and offer positive suggestions for changes.

I say if you cant be tactful don't offer help (paid or free). Writers are people and with people you should treat them the way you want to be treated. End of story!!! Even backwards hillbillies (like me) understand that concept.

Nameless65
08-03-2004, 01:18 AM
any opinion/advice given freely, after being asked for it, should be respected, imoThere’s a limit. Do we thank a person who offers to help us carry our groceries to our car then dropkicks them into the truck?


but if the writing in question is basically poor, what can one say and still be honest and helpful?“This paragraph adds nothing to the plot.”
…or…
“This paragraph is so trite, extraneous, and juvenile that I can only assume you wrote it simply to exercise your keyboard, not for any purpose relating to the PLOT!

“The numerous grammatical mistakes and plot defects in your writing suggest that your needs would be better served by taking a writing class at the local community college.”
…or…
“The numerous grammatical mistakes and plot defects in your writing suggest that you have no more than a 2nd grade education.

Maia, these examples are not intended to demonstrate your method of mentoring. They only demonstrate how saying essentially the same thing can be done with a little compassion. IMO, a mentor whose advice is made up of equal parts helpful advice and acid should warn potential mentees beforehand. Also - good advice can be overlooked in an avalanche of scorn and insensitivity.

Tammy, I believe that free mentors that aren’t condescending and harsh are out there. Keep looking. Nothing worth having is easy.

rtilryarms
08-03-2004, 01:41 AM
This is not intended to defend anyone just relay my experience.

I asked for help on this board and took the offer several times. Each of the times I was warned by the mentor that critiquing would be frank. I re-read some of the comments last night and twice I was asked if I was sure I wanted the truth.

I said yes. One Email came back as "Brace yourself". I admit it was hard to take but I went through and verified each comment in red. In short it was a transfusion.
But in all cases they were accurate and the "rude" comments were installed as making light of it. I thought they were funny and appropriate in context.
Frankly, at first, I was put off by it but I kept going back each time I thought I had the perfect short story or chapter.
Still wasn't pretty but each time I was warned that my work was not ready for advanced critique.

I know I have a stronger stomach than most (heck I am a songwriter) but maybe my having fun with it sparked a more zealous mannerism without the warnings.

I am grateful but I was prepared too.

Mike

tfdswift
08-03-2004, 03:33 AM
Mike I feel like the main word in your thread was "prepared". I agree that if a mentor is going to be extra harsh they should warn people up front. I don't mean by saying "I am going to be brutally honest". I mean say something like "My words may be harsh. I have been accused of being mean. Not everyone can handle my criticisms. I may be insulting in what I have to say."

Anything to warn them up front of your personality or code of conduct if that is the way you are going to approach mentoring. In general I think people should try to be as nice as possible in giving any response - good or bad.

I mean do you call up a person and say, "Your grandmother just bit the big one. Bet you wished you would have kissed her butt a little more to get some of her money."

Or do you say, "Your grandmother has just passed away, I am so sorry for your loss."

I use this analogy because my writing is to me, a part of my heart, just like a family member might be. If someone insulted my mother I would be upset, too. So I won't stand for my writing to be insulted or worse, personal digs at me because of my writing.

Maybe my thinking is wrong - but it is still my way of thinking. I think treating people like you want to be treated, makes you a nice person. At least it used to.

~~ Tammy

MyrandaWrites
08-03-2004, 04:58 AM
May I add something here even though the statements were not addressed to me?
You are correct, not everyone will be the perfect fit for everyone else, so logic should tell someone to try something a little more middle-of-the-road until you know for sure it would be more affective to use more outlandish strategies. If I may quote you maia; you say this:

“i don't see how frank and open critique can be sugar-coated, if it's to be completely honest...”

Of course you are correct. I need to ask then what falls under “frank and open”?

“gag me with a spoon”, “barf-making”, “barfaroo” perhaps?

Should I assume those are vomit-coated, rather than sugar-coated, to fit a certain situation then?

No, with me, and with most I would be willing to bet, critiques and suggestions such as;
”This kind of description (phrasing, dialogue, whatever…) is not going to interest your reader. Maybe you could put it this way…..”
Or;
“Your story idea is ok, but your delivery is not. You should try this book (or these samples) for reference…..”
Or:
“Your delivery is reasonable but needs some work. Your story, however, will most likely not interest many.” Or “It’s been done so many times, consider another story.”

Perhaps even;
“You may not be destined to be a writer of marketable work, if that is your goal, but I encourage you to continue writing for you own pleasure. I can see you must enjoy it. With time and practice, perhaps you might improve.”

I do not consider those examples as being false and misleading, not even sugar-coated, but are tactful and should also not take the wind out of most writer’s sails.

Maia, you also suggest;
“some will be wanting to hear what's good about their writing and not what's not,”

That is for certain, but you can’t assume this is always true. Just because some would be put off by the aforementioned “frank and open” critiques, does not mean they are not truly interested in being shown their writing short-comings. A person would not expect this from a teacher in a school setting, nor should they from any critique given in the name of a “gift”, and that is for good reason. It is unsettling, dispiriting and certainly insulting; in other words, most likely non-productive.

You go on to ask;
“but if the writing in question is basically poor, what can one say and still be honest and helpful?...”

Simply saying a person’s writing is basically poor would suffice. If you want to go further and be honest and helpful, I’m sure there are diplomatic ways to do just that.

I apologize in advance for what I’m about to say, but I find analogy very useful sometimes, first to find words to make a point, then to try getting that point across.
This very morning I received a call from a woman who asked to have a second utility bill paid after having a previous one paid not long ago. The community group I work with refused to allow me to give her the funds to once again avoid having her utilities shut off. Our funds are very limited. No exaggeration or unwarranted purple prose here; it was heart wrenching to tell her the bad news. I talked to her for a long time, trying to come up with a solution, or think of another agency that would help her. I am not sure what the outcome will be, but she felt better having someone to talk to who she KNEW was on her side. She didn’t need something else to be unsure of. I would not have considered it helpful to say things like; “Well now, at least when it’s dark out, you won’t be able to see the dump you live in.” Exaggerated example? Much too important to make light of? Can you be sure it wouldn’t just be an attempt at humor in a difficult situation? How could it actually make things worse, after all?
By the way, the help I give is also given for free, no conditions attached, as far as I am physically or financially able. If one seeks help from a person, without first being invited, then one perhaps should take what one gets gratefully no matter what form it’s in. But, if one seeks help because one has been invited to do just that, then it should be considered a freely given and accepted gift that should be treated by both sides as a freely given and accepted gift with NO strings attached, and no hidden booby-traps. I don’t find anything wrong with having conditions, especially when one’s help is given away for free, as long as the recipient, and presumably the giver, will feel as good as, or better, afterward than they did before they were “helped”. It can be done even when the news is not what one hoped to hear. Otherwise maybe a line of work not dealing with other human beings would be best.

maestrowork
08-03-2004, 06:00 AM
There's a constructive way and there's a mean way. I don't think Tammy and Myranda are naive to think that all mentors should be singing praises and telling them what wonderful, talented writers they are -- otherwise, they won't be asking for a mentor's help.

As writers, we do have to learn to have thick-skin and know that we have much to learn. As mentors, we should take care of not hurting others by being mean and degrading. You can be honest without being demeaning and you can kind without sugar-coating your criticism.

If you say "your characters are weak and your dialogue is stilted but I can help you with that" then offer examples for improvement, that's constructive criticism.

If you say "your characters are bunch of baffoons, highly unlikeable creatures from your pitiful imaginations and your dialogue sounds like crap. I'd have a better time reading nutrition labels. I can't stop laughing because it's so bad" it's mean and hurtful.

Sometimes these comments are used as humor -- as long as it's very clear to the mentee. I think that's okay. But generally, unless you're sitting right next to the person and you know them well enough, humorous insults should be avoided.


Don't confuse honesty with meanness.

tfdswift
08-03-2004, 06:22 AM
Bravo, Maestro!! :clap Well said!!

Myranda, You pointed out the same thing I was trying to say. I appreciated your analogy. Let's continue writing so one day we can look back and say "Wow! Look how far we've come!!" Sure it sucks being a newbie, but the harder we work, the faster we will move on to the next level. (I wonder what the next level is...):huh

I do have a mentor that is on a trial basis and free and so far they have been helpful, constructive and friendly. Not a single insult or degrading comment so far. I am learning. Slowly, but surely. This person does not claim to know everything but they do try to point me where I need to go. Guidance is the first basic foundation for a mentor, although tact and kindness are a close second. Boy, did I luck out!!!:jump :party :hug :snoopy

A big THANK YOU to my mentor/coach (you know who you are);) !!!:kiss

~~Tammy

MyrandaWrites
08-03-2004, 08:01 AM
Yep, Tammy-that's my plan now also. And as for me, I feel better now that I know my particular mentor, who has and shall remain namaialess in my posts, used certain tactics in an almost generic way (not specific to me). I no longer feel quite so useless, and only wish I’d known at the beginning how she worked. I was so sure my work was at least salvageable (and now feel that way again), so I looked for that help. I felt especially bad because we actually had hit it off right away. After several very friendly emails, then sending my first chapters and receiving my first critique, I assumed I had either been taken for a ride (for whatever reason I couldn’t imagine), or I was actually so unimaginably bad that I’d almost literally made her ill.
I’m glad I made the post following yours in the "I Am Looking For..." thread in the Mentor section, or I would have never known the real story. They say some things are better left unspoken. I’ve learned a lesson on which things are, and which things aren’t. ‘Nuf said by me.

MacAl Stone
08-04-2004, 06:39 AM
"your characters are bunch of buffoons, highly unlikeable creatures from your pitiful imaginations and your dialogue sounds like crap. I'd have a better time reading nutrition labels. I can't stop laughing because it's so bad"

:ack Ray--who sent you my WIP???!!! :rofl

Seriously, I think a ton of this is a difference in perceptions.

I can easily see how a mentor--who sincerely believed they had achieved a working rapport with a mentee--might use humor (however ascerbic) as a means of attempting to communicate very strong opinions. Especially a mentor who sees a LOT of writing, every day, and has mentees who are absolutely comfortable with that approach.

And I can see how a mentee--especially a new writer, having not yet grown the alligator-hide necessary to honestly evaluate their own work--could be hurt and offended by such.

When such a thing happens it's hard on everyone involved. But I honestly think the best thing for everyone is to saddle up and get over it.

*ducking back under cover, now*

maestrowork
08-04-2004, 09:33 AM
Mac, I would never say "nutrition labels" to you.

:grin

<running, ducking>

MyrandaWrites
08-04-2004, 11:50 AM
“Seriously, I think a ton of this is a difference in perceptions.”

“But I honestly think the best thing for everyone is to saddle up and get over it.”

No doubt about it, and the subject has been bandied about long enough to get the point across…I know I way overstated my own case.
But please may I just add, I was all saddled up, well on my way over the subject, (just as Mac advised!) when I decided to post one last message here to let my previous mentor know that I understood it all now and, although I’d prefer critiquing of my own work to be plain-spoken but unadorned, I was so glad to realize our pre-mentoring emails were genuine, and that I no longer took her critiquing words as insults. (Otherwise I wouldn’t have did the smarta** line about my mentor remaining namaialess, it was supposed to have conveyed some warmth :) ). I did post such a message, just a few posts up from this one, but after re-reading it, I thought it sounded like more of the same complaining I had already done. :smack I was so worried about wrong perceptions of my own comments that I mentioned it to a fellow water cooler devotee.
So, to restate the message of my previous post; although I will continue to be a critique-sissy for the foreseeable future, I hereby revise all of my prior conceptions of my past mentor. :peace
Signed,
MyrandaWrites (way too much sometimes) :ssh

MacAl Stone
08-04-2004, 12:53 PM
A lovely and articulate post, Myranda. Thank you for the clarification, and I'm glad you're sticking with it! :)

Well allrighty, then! What shall we talk about now? :grin

mammamaia
08-04-2004, 08:26 PM
I can easily see how a mentor--who sincerely believed they had achieved a working rapport with a mentee--might use humor (however ascerbic) as a means of attempting to communicate very strong opinions. Especially a mentor who sees a LOT of writing, every day, and has mentees who are absolutely comfortable with that approach.

And I can see how a mentee--especially a new writer, having not yet grown the alligator-hide necessary to honestly evaluate their own work--could be hurt and offended by such.

When such a thing happens it's hard on everyone involved. But I honestly think the best thing for everyone is to saddle up and get over it.

would that all here could... thanks much for your keen sense of perception and this post:kiss ...

myranda... i'm so relieved to see you intended to convey 'warmth' with that prior post, as all i felt at the time was more heat ;) ... your explanation is much appreciated... i sure hope this :horse can be let up now, and we can either get back to the topic this thread was meant to address, or get back to work on our respective whatevers...

love and hugs to all, maia

Selenia692
08-05-2004, 01:35 AM
Managed to read through this whole thread, just have a few points that I wanted to chime in with :)

Anyone who offers their time/expertise to help out fellow writers, pay or not, gets kudos from me (so long as they are properly qualified for the position, as discussed earlier on in this thread).

Words do have more than the face or dictionary value, and I think this is where people are getting confused on the whole issue this thread is based around. It's the implied meaning of the word, and what services surround it, that is being called into question, rather than any particular person. Whether a particular person/service sparked the idea for the thread shouldn't matter, as there wasn't any personal attacks or names named (at least in the beginning of the thread) :p

I finally took the time to email Maia myself for some much needed help on a story of mine. I don't see how anyone should lash out at critique and critisms of the work, since even just the simple act of having another read your work can help fine tune it, or catch things that you never noticed before. It's not an attack or views on the person, just the work.

Some people are just too thin skinned to deal with how things really are, and that's just irritating. Not many people make it through life wearing rose tinted glasses, and those that do..well I just can't imagine living like that, to say the least.

Just seems like there is a lot of misunderstanding as to what each person is trying to say, misunderstandings that should be resolved through peacable means, not name calling or other attacks. We're all writers here, and if we can't get along with each other, at the very least we can wait until we're backstage to stab each other :p

Wouldn't kill people to be civil, as other posters have managed to do so admirably on this thread. Back to work! hehe.

Selenia's Cavern
selenia.shadow-moon.com (http://selenia.shadow-moon.com)

tfdswift
08-05-2004, 02:39 AM
I hope I have not offended any particular person on this thread. That was never my intention. I would not say I am thin-skinned, but I would say that I am not one to listen to someone put me as a person down. I can take criticism, I live with a fifteen year old know-it-all for crying out loud.

But I would like to say that I sent my work to someone to read and they did say some things that made me look at my work and see some problems that needed fixed even though they used insulting and degrading words. If they had stopped there, things would have been fine, I could have sifted through the comments to find some things helpful. However this person went on to put me as a person down as a person. I draw the line at anyone treating me like garbage.

I have had a rough life and for many years I was put down simply because of where I lived and how poor my family was. I do not come to a board such as this to be personally put down by anyone. NOT ANYONE (I don't care who they are, how much experience they have or how popular they are)!

I will not name any names, this person knows who they are. I am also done whining and complaining about it. I just wanted to state my case one last time.

Now about the issue of paying for a mentor...

I posted a thread asking for a mentor and was approached by many people by personal email. Some said up front they charged a fee. One even said they charged a flat fee but when I asked about it they said that they were like a repairman they would not know the price to charge without looking at the problems that needed fixed. To say the least, I shied away from them.

Then there were those that offered help for free. Not wanting to be hurt or personally attacked by again. I started asking some questions, I did some checking and believe it or not, I found the right person for me.

So I guess it depends on what you want, and whether or not you are willing to pay. Obviously these people would not be in business if there weren't people willing to pay for their services. Somebody on some thread somewhere on this board said something like "Money flows TO the writer", well I wasn't willing to pay and in the end I did not have to.

So it boils down to personal choice and what people are willing to do. Now I am done ranting, whining, and complaining. I am going back to the original reason I joined this board.... To learn and grow and reach my goals as a writer.

Thanks for listening.

~~Tammy

maestrowork
08-05-2004, 07:55 AM
A mentor/mentee relation is an important one. Of course you should find yourself the right match.

rtilryarms
08-05-2004, 09:58 AM
Paging Atilla....phone call for Atilla the Hun......Rt calling Atilla.....Please go to the nearest welcome kiosk.....call for Hun.....Atilla the........

mammamaia
08-05-2004, 10:18 PM
or momma'll hafta spank;) ...

as for that attila 'call,' i'm sure glad to find out i won't have to answer it, since that stuff about putting someone down personally for what/who they are and where they came from is for sure nothing i've ever done or would even ever think of doing...

i certainly sympathize with anyone who's had such an unhappy experience, but hope that this poster was fair enough to tell the accused party all that's been said against her here, to her face [or to her email-displaying monitor screen, at least], before having made such an extended and multi-posted public issue of it...

to attack someone for perceived poor behavior in public, without having addressed the person directly about the alleged insult/injury first, and allowing them a chance to either clarify a misunderstanding or apologize for whatever, would be behaving as badly as what's being complained about, don't you think?...

what if those who mentor/help others without charge were to post chapter and verse about the occasional nastiness they're subjected to by a mentee, in return for generously giving of their time and energy, without a word of warning to the offender first?... would that be fair?... or even ok?...

imo, it wouldn't be right to do so under any circumstances, with or without advance notice... so i don't do that, even though a rare few have behaved truly terribly and hurt my feelings, and made fun of me for being stupid enough to help folks for free... instead, i let it pass, and just do what i can to help the next one who comes to me with a problem... and the next and the next...

but, that's just me...

love and hugs to all, maia

MyrandaWrites
08-05-2004, 11:36 PM
.....that horse was dead once, (or so I was lead to understand). Maybe we could be more careful with the sleeping dogs. You didn’t read the thread thoroughly if you thought anyone was oversensitive, had rose-colored glasses, or even thin-skin. Just morale to keep intact.

“Wouldn't kill people to be civil, as other posters have managed to do so admirably on this thread. Back to work! hehe.”

Isn’t that exactly the lesson to be learned here, after all?

So, issues seemed to have been resolved, and names applied (sort of) only after the named was understood to be a friend after all, just one with a misinterpreted method of doing things, (and only the typed word to convey ideas). Why should that name go unmentioned? Why would you hide the name of someone if you publicly, sincerely wished to make amends-on equal terms? I judiciously didn’t name names until AFTER I thought it was time to do that.

Actually, in my 3D life I suppose I am quite like her, (except my humor might lean more toward the “off the wall” instead of *put definition here*), and my husband warns me constantly that I will be misunderstood someday. (And I have been, when someone new isn’t expecting what I say, but it’s only temporary, then eventually it becomes expected of me.) Maybe this is just another of those lessons I seem to learn everyday, and I guess I cannot fault someone else for finding herself in the same position. We wouldn’t need to accept offers of help, or even need to communicate in any other way, if we were prescient. Email communication certainly cannot be expected to work the same as being able to use all possible means (visual, verbal…) to get a point across, especially if one has no prior physical acquaintanceship with the other party. For anyone.

You have now been forewarned of how your own collaboration will go. That’s fair enough, and that’s all I (and others) would have asked. OK?

tfdswift
08-06-2004, 08:31 AM
Apparently I have put some people on the defensive. I never meant to do that I just simply wanted to make my point. Now in retrospect, I see that maybe I should not have gotten so personal.

I just wanted to make one simple point: If you are a mentor or coach (paid or free) be respectful and professional in your suggestions and opinions. If you are a mentee, be open and willing to learn and take CONSTRUCTIVE criticism in the manner it is meant. It should be a positive experience for both people. Period!!

I am not going to dwell on this thread anymore. I have moved on, I hope others do so as well. I stand by my words and my posts, since it is too late to take back my personal info. Those who feel defensive because of what I have said, need to look inside themselves and see why, because that certainly was not why I made my posts. I apologize if that is how I made it look.

~~Tammy

reph
08-06-2004, 12:17 PM
As I understand the term, a mentor in business settings doesn't just correct a junior person's work and give advice. The mentor acts in additional, less specifiable ways to help the person develop his or her professional identity. A relationship is part of the package. Accordingly, a mentor for writing would do more than critique sample stories, yes? And the fit between personalities would be more important for mentor and mentee than for critiquer and writer?

mammamaia
08-06-2004, 07:24 PM
you're so right... writer-mentoring is about more than just critiquing and/or correcting work... but, as i do it, the level of guidance provided is up to the mentees and what they need/want from the relationship...

among the thousands i've assisted and worked with over the past few years, many have only wanted a bit of help with a particular work, gotten it and moved on... and many have wanted a much more personal connection, asking for advice or help with all facets of their lives beyond writing... quite a few keep in contact for years or come back again later, when at a further stage in their writing or life...

and some don't ever feel that personality 'click' that's so necessary for a successful long-term mentorship... of those, most are content with getting the immediate help they sought and keep looking for a better 'fit' for the long haul... but, sad to say, a very rare few are disappointed to not have gotten what they'd hoped for and go away >: or hurt...

so, to any who're thinking of finding a mentor, reph's question/observation is critical!... test your 'fit' with the person offering to mentor you, by sending them a piece of work that you know needs some help and see if their style is one you can handle comfortably... if it's not, just say 'thank you' for their offer and their help, and keep on looking...

but i still contend that if any :money is involved, it won't be 'mentoring'... it'll just be a fee-based 'service'... and there's nothing wrong with that, either, if that's what you want...

love and :hug s, maia

miles111
08-13-2004, 08:01 AM
Believe me, I don't want to get into the middle of this. When I first saw the topic of this thread my only thought was simply to stop in and tell maia how much I've enjoyed her posts over a long period of time; on this board and others.

So, let me say it straight out: maia, I'm glad you're here and I, along with a great many others, I'm sure, look forward to your posts. You add more color and vitality and yes, wisdom, to the writing boards than any other single person I 'know'. Sad that my first message to you had to be in such a venom-laced thread.
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qatz, I don't know what thread you've been reading, but maia said nothing here that should have offended you or anyone else. In fact, I can find little, if anything, in your several posts, that relates in any rational or meaningful way, to maia's messages. IMO, it is YOU who owes an apology here. And you owe it...to maia.
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I, too, feel the word, mentor, is cheapened when it is used in a commercial sense. Part of what makes the commercial use of that word so distasteful is the fact that, today, anyone who can string even a bad sentence together and can afford internet service, can put up a web site and try to sell their 'services' and products as a publisher, a consultant, or, yes, even a paid mentor. It too often seems, these days, as if there is no end to the folks online who are trying to hustle writers; especially beginning, hopeful writers.
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As an aside, I've worked in advertising for years, and there is one thing that bothers me more than anything else about it: that so many advertisers feel the need to be deceptive in describing what it is they do. Many of them will go to any length to make themselves sound innocent and helpful. And, in my experience, it's usually the sharks that go the furthest in this regard.

Good, honest, informative advertising can be interesting and, yes, effective. Sad that there's so little of it to be seen, these days. It's nice, refreshing, even, to hear someone say straight-out, what it is he is trying to do. If you're trying to sell something, why not come out and say so. Instead, many people feel the need to beat around the bush and try to make what they're doing sound all innocent and sweet and helpful. Just try some basic honesty, for God's sake.

Talk to you later, maia. Hugs to you, too. : )

miles111
08-13-2004, 09:27 AM
I apologize for any typos and for hitting the semi-colon rather than a comma in the previous post. I tried to be careful but I was writing pretty fast, trying to finish the post before this silly dialup connection cut me off.

mammamaia
08-13-2004, 10:43 PM
i think qatz left the forum for good, some time after those posts of his in this thread... your riposte is much appreciated, nonetheless, sweetieheart!... and i won't even nit-pick atya for any typos, ok? [this time]...

:heart and :hug s, maia

schnootzie
10-10-2004, 10:18 AM
Just want to say that I found a mentor here. And yes, it's Maia. she's been working with me for a coupld of months and I've learned so much. Yes, she can be ascerbic, but also has a great sense of humor. I, for one, have found her to be the mother of all mentors.
Rreading through the posts tonight, I haven't seen any posts by her. Just want to let you know she's not dropped off the face of the earth, just, apparently, AW. I know for sure she's still out there and still working for free! mary

writerscut
10-11-2004, 08:30 AM
maia was banned from this site a while back, but yes, I know she is still alive and I do stay in touch with her and e-mail from time to time...good luck with your writing, and I hope you're learning a lot!

JustinoIV
10-21-2004, 09:37 AM
I just wanted to say, as a script reader, we were instructed to read the entire script.

We then wrote a synopsis of the story, gave it a recommend or pass, wrote about the positives and the negatives of the story, evaluated the writing itself, gave it a recommend or pass, and then mentioned the positives or negatives.

We were recommended never to just totally trash someone's workm because hell hath no fury like a disgruntled writer, as I'm sure some banned persons have learned.:)

Seriously, these kinds of mentors know nothing about professional critiques or assestments. All they do is reader a few sentences of the script, and insult people for a grammatical or spelling error.

These are people who can not teach writing. Buy some books, get some internships, read scripts, etc.

SimonSays
10-21-2004, 10:33 AM
Well said, Justino.

Jamesaritchie
11-29-2004, 03:54 PM
Some people will charge for anything another is willing to pay for. It's pretty much always been this way.

Personally, while I tink free mentoring is a good idea, I'm not at all big on paid editors and consultants. I think teh smartest thing a new writer can do is avoid paying for such things.

If you really want to pay to get help with writing, the proper way to do so is through a good colllege or university, or through similar online classes run by pros in your field of writing.

Mammamaia certainly don;t see eye to eye on everything, and I don't think money corrupts the written word in any way, shape or form. Money is just a symbol for food, clothing, shelter, and whatever else we want, and taking food m=for writing is no different than taking money for it.

But where mentoring is concerned, I think we see it pretty close. You shouldn't need to pay a mentor, an editor, or a consultant. There are many reasons for this, but if nothing else, I want a mentor, an editor, or a consultant who's good enough at writing or editing that they don't need or want my money because they're already earning a good living from doing these things.

Money should always, no exceptions, flow to the writer, never away from him.

If yu have to spend money, spend it on a good college with an exceptional writer-in-residence on hand. This is the only place I think it makes any sense at all for a writer to spend money on learning how to write, edit, or anything else.

tfdswift
12-07-2004, 11:27 PM
I didn't know Maia was banned. I did not know you could get banned. What types of things do you have to do to get banned? I would certainly like to avoid doing such.

~~Tammy

SimonSays
12-11-2004, 11:46 AM
There are people out there who have a knack, a true ability to see what does and does not work in a novel or script or play and work one on one with a writer to bring their work, and their writing to a whole new place - a place they might not be able to get to by themselves.

They are teachers/coaches/consultants/editors all rolled into one.

I have a friend who does it and is amazing at it. She has helped novelists improve their craft and revise their novel so that they not only got agents but a few wound up with huge advances, she's worked with playwrights who got their work produced on Broadway and screenwriters who sold their scripts for hundreds of thousands of dollars once she finished working with them.

Yes she charges for her services. She wants to help writers achieve success - she also wants to eat and pay her mortgage.

It's really no different than working with a golf pro to improve your stroke or a voice or acting coach. And the one-on-one nature of what she does, can be far, far, far more beneficial than a writing workshop that has 8 or 10 people.

Her clients have already taken the classes, got the degrees, learned the craft. What she does is take them to next level.

I am constantly awed by what she does and how well she does it.