Monday, September 29, 2014

A Diana Gabaldon fan from the start. Thanks for the mentoring...

Jamie and Claire from Outlander
4 AM and what am I doing?  Listening to the theme from Outlander on YouTube. And from there, as you can see it's 4 hours later, and I've just gotten serious about working. I followed up the song with a few interviews of the cast members, screen writer, and author, Diana Gabaldon. Then I discovered I could watch interview after interview with the author, suddenly recognizing from her answers that my own writing style was a component of a universal process. Perhaps not every writer has the exact same way of developing a story, but I believe there are many similar moments every writer experiences. 
In this case, she recognized what she wanted much earlier than I did. Fundamentally, she decided to write, her immediate imagination kicked in (with a visual of man in a kilt), and then she decided what she was going to write. The how was never an issue, because research was her background. Writing is a practiced talent, a craft you can continue to improve, but story telling is an art, and the two abilities don't always go hand in hand. If you're a natural story teller, you can learn the craft. 
I'd forgotten that Diana Gabaldon was one of my accidental early mentors until something she said about being an early social media pioneer struck home. Diana was one of the first authors who had an interactive website or that's what I'd call it for lack of a better definition perhaps a precursor to the blogs. She had FAQ's and an entire section for aspiring authors about the process of writing and publishing before anyone else, as I recall.
Foe me, she planted the seed, then later, others provided the fertilizer and water.
Therefore, besides enjoying the books Diana writes, I'm indebted to her for taking the time to write articles that help other authors move forward with their dreams. Her new website doesn't have all the useful information the old one had, but apparently it's in the process of being updated.
As people, we never know what we might do or say to influence the road another may take, or when, but things we say and do have a profound effect on others. Perhaps you won't ever be aware of what or how you effected them or a decision they made. Maybe they won't remember you as the one who planted the seed, but because your actions and words last beyond the moment, mentor wisely and often. 

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