Expect the unexpected is great advice for life;
In mentoring, it describes the writer and their strife.
A lot was discovered in one academic year,
The learning curve was fun, but steep, challenging, and sheer.
In learning not to talk whenever I should listen;
The power of silence promotes a writer’s vision.
How to get involved in a discussion and advise,
But to step back, be a sounding board, not patronise.
Holding fire: it’s not tell, but show and offer choices,
It’s recognising that writers have their own voices.
Getting a writer to explain what things are complex,
Having them tell you what they’re planning on doing next.
How to be resourceful, and varied with suggestions,
And handle embarrassing video reflections.
Be lively and warm, not abrupt, or to interrupt,
Also being foe, going where writers don’t want to go.
Asking so many questions it’s like an interview,
Remembering to smile, to check the time, then review.
Discussing facts and thoughts from diverse subjects unknown,
I am shocked by all the ways as a mentor I’ve grown.
Jobs abound: empathiser, right through to editor,
Counsellor, admin, blogger, and a motivator.
Yet watching people learn and blossom is amazing,
There’s nothing like the glow of someone’s ‘light bulb’ dazzling.
And why for this piece have I chosen rhyming couplets?
Whatever level of thrill you’d expect, double it!