I need a mentor. I need to find someone who believes in my talent as a writer to help me get over the hump. Here’s the hump – I have a day job as an entrepreneur. I’ve been writing advertising and marketing communications for brands for over a decade and have even experienced some modest success along the way. But I feel strongly that I’ve got more to do in this world than write and execute communications strategies for brands. I write every day, but nothing really contiguous. Rather, my daily writing is a lot like my copywriting – where I solve complex problems in the time it takes to watch a commercial. Brevity doesn’t bode well in developing longer works. 

When I quit drinking many years ago in Queens, I had a sponsor. His name was Jack. He was 6’ 9”, about 300 pounds and 100% New Yorker. I remember going to AA meetings at night and then Jack dropping me off at my basement room where I'd wave goodbye and then walk up to the corner store for booze. The next morning Jack would let himself in and pick up all my beer cans then haul my ass to another meeting. He was formidable influence, but he knew what was best for me. And I wasn’t going to say no. I knew he knew too. Eventually I got it. But I couldn't have done it without Jack. 

I need a Jack for my writing. I want more. It’s in me, It’s like an ache that I acknowledge daily. It's not that I haven't tried – it's just not easy making the jump. It’s not easy balancing what’s real and what’s not. It’s not easy transitioning and keeping the faith and believing in myself. But fear of hard work isn’t why I don’t do it – I don’t do it because I’ve got no one to show me the way. I’m completely lost. 

I need a mentor. I need someone who is confident enough to challenge my ego and tactful enough to know how to help me get the most out of my talent. I need someone who has run the gauntlet and who knows what it takes to do this thing. I fear that without this person kicking my ass, I may well suffer the rest of my life in deep regret. 

Hello Jack – are you out there? 


Jim Mitchem/@jmitchem


Posted via email from Jim's posterous

Warm October afternoon air - thick with the fragrance of tumbling drier sheets
I Need a Mentor

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.