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Sunday, January 04, 2015

A Good Mentor

By Marcia Lee Laycock

It’s been six months since we began, my mentor and I. She sends me a lecture on various aspects of playwriting, then the assignment comes. After a few weeks of that routine I was instructed to begin working on a one act play. This involved a lot of thinking and planning before even beginning to write. Then, at last, I was allowed to begin. Then the real work started as my mentor edited, critiqued and corrected my work. Then other assignments came – there were plays to read and dissect, quizzes on content and questions that took me deep into my own feelings, opinions and ethics.

Then more work on my one act, more comments and corrections, more nudges to go deeper, to question why my characters did or said what I had made them do or say, more research to do. 

I have loved this process. It has pushed my writing to a new level and caused me to do some needed soul-searching at times. There have been moments when I wanted to stop, moments when the research, which took me to the horror camp of Bergen-Belsen, was too dark, moments when I despaired of ever being able to do justice to the story I wanted to tell. But my mentor kept me going. Sometimes it was just a few words – “oh, I love this,” typed at the end of a line, or a well placed question mark that made me stop and examine what I really wanted to say.

That’s what good mentors do, and I have greatly appreciated mine. 

It’s also what our God does. He walks with us, showing us where our weaknesses are and how to correct them. He provides us with the depth of His wisdom and then leads us into experiences that show us how it all works. Sometimes the lessons are a challenge but He whispers encouragement, always revealing a part of Himself in just the right way at just the right time. His Spirit, living in us, guides and directs. As writers of faith we have the best mentor, the best “muse” possible. He is available to us 24/7 and He has promised that He will never fail us. 

One of the most well known prophecies, spoken by the prophet Isaiah generations before the birth of Jesus, described Him this way – “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). 

His name is Jesus.

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. Her second novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed in the contemporary fiction category of The Word Awards. Marcia also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.

Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded here.

Her most recent release is the first book in a fantasy series, The Ambassadors


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