You may have noticed that I’ve started posting some old works of mine. I’ve also created a page where you can find all these posts. Why do that? Why share my old works? Well, there’s a couple of reasons, and one of those is acting as a passive mentor.
Every couple of weeks I find myself looking at my collection of old short stories, scenes, series and other things I wrote (don’t know what to call some of them). I’ve wondered what to do with them as I move forward with my writing career. Some of them I’d love to rework, some of them I’d like to just delete, and some of them I wish there was a way to anonymously donate to charity because they’re okay but I’d rather never see them again.
The thing is, they were written by the previous versions of me on my way to being the me I am now. The ‘right’ answer occurred to me as I started making notes about a blog posting I wanted to do on mentoring, and then everything came together. So why share my old works? Well let’s break it down.
The Active Mentor
As I started my career and built it up, I always wished I could have a mentor. Someone who could look at me, and see the untapped potential, and help me to get it out and become the best me that I could be. When I looked around, I saw no mentors and few role models. I ended up becoming the type of mentor that I always wanted to have, professionally and personally. When I wrote my memoir (yet unpublished), I came to realize that there had been mentors there, they just were a lot more subtle that I had wanted.
I’ve been a career and technical mentor since at least 1999, but when it comes to writing, that’s more recent. I’ve been writing short stories, series and snippets actively since about 1990. I only ever had poetry published and that was circa 1991 (no I will not share that, you can pry it out of my burden, nuked, hard drive). I wrote these things and shared with only with friends and family.
Every since 1990 I’ve provided feedback on stories, helped people get past writers block, broken stuff down with them, and helped them focus but never as something that felt central to where I was going and what I was doing. Since I finally decided I was going to go after being an author full force, this has changed a bit. Now I engage people on Twitter on a daily basis and I’ve been approached by several people and asked to provide feedback on stories or to share my thoughts, and I’ve done the same to others.
Being a mentor is about putting yourself out there, letting people know you’re happy to help, and growing by helping them grow.
The Passive Mentor
When I looked at those files, I realized that one of the things that people often see is the you you are when you step on stage. I really stepped on to the Twitter stage with my first book, Along Came a Wolf, coming out a couple of weeks later. People got to read my “first” work, and then get to see where I go from there. Judging by the feedback, people really like what they’re reading from me.
While I am always willing to help people as an active mentor, there’s something else that I can do for some folks, and that’s share where I came from. What were some of my earlier works like? There’s only a handful of them that MAYBE I will consider keeping to do something new with, but honestly, these were written by a different me, a long time ago. Why spend time on reworking the past, when I can invent the future?
So I’ll be posting these shorts and scenes and maybe episodes from some of the multi-installment series I did over time. If you like them, let me know. If you found them interesting, let me know. Twitter: @AdamDreece
So why share my old works? Because maybe someone who liked my book, who feels that their script or story really sucks and is in that moment where they feel that they will “NEVER BECOME A GOOD WRITER” will see that a lot of us sucked or wrote silly things, or hadn’t sculpted our style before we published our first book. And trust me, as anyone with any experience knows, I’m going to probably look back at the stuff I’m producing today and flinch in 10 years, but that’ll be a different me, and his success will only come from the hard-work I’ve done up to this point, and the work he’ll have done on top of it.