During my time as a writing mentor I have learnt a lot, not just about mentoring but also about myself. My two years as a mentor have been eye-opening.
I remember how nervous I felt right before my very first session. I thought I wouldn’t be able to help at all and the writer would go away thinking that I was useless. It wasn’t like that at all and now here I am in my final week as a mentor. Now I get excited about my sessions and look forward to the next challenge. I know I am not an expert but I understand that I can make a difference despite this. Sometimes I still get a little nervous about sessions especially when someone has said they want you to “read over my work and check grammar and spelling issues.” Most of the time though I eagerly anticipate meeting the writers who come through the door.
One of the best things for me as a mentor was when we did video sessions. I was really dreading it and was hoping that no one who was seeing me would want to be filmed. Unfortunately, I did end up having my video session. It was however, incredibly useful and it was nowhere near as bad as I had imagined it would be. The camera did make me a little nervous at first but then I forgot it was there and ended up having one of my best sessions with a writer. Even better because it had been filmed I had the unique opportunity to look back on a session with a critical eye and observe things I had probably missed in the moment. Although, watching it back was a little humiliating (I hate hearing my voice on camera).
Working with everyone else has also been a great part of the experience. Having the opportunity to discuss with others how sessions have been going and being able to make use of everyone’s different areas of expertise has been invaluable. All of you make mentoring much more enjoyable and have helped me to see things from a different perspective which has been invaluable for my sessions.
I would also just like to thank Julian, especially, for all his help and support during my time as a mentor and whilst I was on my year abroad. Thank you for helping me develop as a mentor and for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
Sadly, my time as a mentor has come to an end but I am sure that those of you continuing on next year will continue to do an amazing job. And to those who start in September I wish you all the best of luck and hope that you enjoy this role as much as I have.