Used to be, in the publishing industry, writers could find mentors. Older writers who'd been there, done that. Editors who took writers under their wing and nurtured their careers. Friends who served as early readers and kind critics. Are there such people anymore?

Now, editors are green kids out of college who couldn't edit their way out of a grocery bag with a typo, writers don't know where their next contract is coming from, and friends don't have time.

Anyone who has written book-length fiction knows what a solitary existence writers lead. Ultimately, the hard work is up to us. But sure would be nice to get a little moral support on the way.

ms

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Comment by Dana King on February 18, 2009 at 4:46am
I think mentors are still out there, just not so formalized as they used to be. I have people I go to for advice, and I try to be as helpful as I can to those who are just now getting to where I was a few years ago. There may not be as much of a one-to-one relationship as before, but writing is rich with people who are willing to help out with advice from their own experience, much more than any other group of people I've been around.

Your comments about time are well taken, but I think most writers, when appraoched with some condsideration of their time constraints, will help in areas in which they feel they have expertise. I'm glad to help members of my writrs group with ideas about submissions (I've done that, and had some success at the short story/agent level), but I shy away from marketing recommendations, as I've no experience there.

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