Mentoring vs. Teaching


W.O. Mitchell

A teacher offers knowledge, an experienced mentor offers perspective.

A mentor adapts to the needs of the writer. The writer sets their own goals, and the mentor helps them discover their own wisdom and voice.

I was mentored by one of the best, W.O. Mitchell. Bill was one of Canada’s most distinguished and charismatic novelists. His book, Who Has Seen the Wind is a Canadian classic.

His interest in my writing and his profound respect for language helped shape me as a writer. He listened to and nurtured my voice, but he also offered his own leanings, which is how I first became aware of how important visceral storytelling is, and how often it is achieved through visual expression. Because of Bill I have a deeper understanding for the power of descriptives and rhythm of cadence.

Having been mentored by him has greatly strengthened my ability to mentor others.