Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I've recently been asked by WYLMT's publisher to act as an 'author mentor' to some of their newer recruits.
I said yes, obviously (hey, publicity's publicity).
My first thought was - what the hell do I know? What the hell could I tell anyone that they couldn't learn from spending ten minutes online?
That's a question yet to be questioned. It will be, eventually. By me.

The thing it made me think about, though, was the notion of a 'mentor'. What does that mean, really?
There are things I do, in life but they're not my life. There are areas I choose to get involved with, but they're hobbies. They're not that important. Writing, music - they matter to me, but they don't actually matter.

In my real life, outwith my family, I've had two mentors. One, I'll call 'A', and the other I'll call 'P', just to be contrary.
Neither of them are writers, but both of them are truth tellers, of the highest order. One showed, and taught, me the difference between being a silly teenager and being an adult, with adult responsibilities.
Okay, at times he showed me by doing the absolutely wrong thing, himself. He knew he'd done it, though, and, through his mistakes, and his honesty about those mistakes, he taught me how to be a better person. And a better barman.

Then I met the other one. What did he teach me? Every, single, thing, I know about the job I curently do. There are a number of fuckwits who do my job. 'P' taught me how not be one of them. While my sense of ethics and morality were still forming, he guided them in the right direction.
He once said something along the lines of - I'd rather have one Danny who doesn't know the rules yet, than ten people who think they do.

I've been lucky - I have two people I admire who choose to spend time with me, and take the time to teach me, in my life. Add to that my wonderful parents and sisters, and I'm a very lucky person.

And not one of them is a writer.

One of my mentors got some bad news, recently. Ill health has found him. Could be serious, we don't know the full extent, yet.
He's joking, we're shitting ourselves.
He's the funniest person I've ever met. He loves, and supports fully, my life as a writer (he travelled several hundred miles to be at the launch), but, he'll be the very first person to call me a twat if I ever act like one.
I'm not letting him go, even if he wants to leave.

How important is writing?

Not very.


  1. Hi Danny
    I'd say that if you're able to pass on any of that desire to learn, and commitment to honesty, those other writers will have nothing to complain about.

    Only just found your blog (following a trail around the internet), and I'm sorry to hear about your friend, but hope all is going well with your writing.


  2. Hi Katharine

    If I do take on the role, I'll be basing everything I say and do on the things others have taught me. Writers and not.

    Thanks for getting in touch. There are many things I don't miss about that other place, but I do miss some of the people, yourself included.

    Happy words