Earlier this week, I sat nervously in a Starbucks—the quintessential aspiring writer’s hangout—awaiting my first meeting with my mentor Lauren Kirshner. Thrilled though I am to have been accepted into the program, I was nervous about the seemingly insurmountable task of editing my writing. Editing is easily my least favourite part of the writing process; going over the words and phrases I slaved over always seems like a daunting and excruciating task. However, meeting my mentor put all those fears to rest.
Editing does not have to be a scary process she assured me. It’s not about tearing your work apart; it’s about making the strong parts of your work sparkle, and working on the parts that don’t to highlight your main point effectively. We discussed all aspects of my piece, with her giving me her comments and suggestions throughout. She asked me what my objective was in writing this piece—a surprisingly difficult question. My piece is about my struggle with identity, one that entails traditional family values versus modern Western ideals and the desire to forge your own path. Of course this could describe the upbringing of many first generation Canadians, but my mentor assured me that I have an interesting story to tell, and that I tell it with elegance and flare.
Her advice has been both constructive and encouraging, and it’s exciting to have her expertise dedicated to the improvement of my writing. Now, I must put her advice into action and tackle revising my work.