As a teen I always wanted to share with others what I’ve learnt about writing. Now at twenty (excuse me a minute while I have a small freak-out about my age), I feel I’ve gain enough experience and maturity to offer advice to teen writers. So here I go:
1) A Writer is Someone Who Writes- For the past three years I haven’t written any complete novels. I have however written mediocre and excellent essays, blog posts and online articles. My point is this- you’re not a writer unless you write. You don’t even have to be published. As long as you write you are a writer. (Sorta like how if you kill someone you’re a murderer).
2) Write everything and anything- write whatever you can. Above all, write what makes you happy. This allows you to see what kind of writing you’re good at and what you enjoy. Maybe you’ve got the skills to be the next Enid Blyton. Maybe you’re the next horror movie director. Perhaps you’re just an ordinary teen who hates high school. Bam! You have a novel ready and waiting. Everyone hates high school.
3) Be prepared for rejection- this is very very important. Writers face rejection every day. We have our work rejected by publishers, magazines, etc. I’ve had two of my novels turned down. And while the first novel was horrible, both weren’t turned down because of my writing. They were turned down because there was no market for what I was writing.
4) Haters gonna hate- *sighs* there is no way I can say this without sounding like a conceited ass but I will try. People will discourage you. Be it because of the belief that “writers don’t make much money” (true but I’m assuming you’re writing because you enjoy it) or simply because of jealousy, you’re going to have to deal with people trying to stomp your dreams into pieces. Don’t let them. You do you! (Also if this happens and you need someone to talk to, email me! This is not a joke. I’ve had to put up with this for years. Sadly it doesn’t get better).
5) Write Online- The internet is your friend. It makes publishing super-easy. You can submit work to websites, publish ebooks or fanfiction and start a blog to display all your work. Starting a blog also allows you to have a collection of pieces to show off. Ta-da you’re a writer with published pieces. Good for you!
6) Write Often- I’m not going to say everyday because that’s going to be difficult. However it is incredibly important that you write regularly. I stopped writing during eleventh grade to focus on school. It took me two years to start again. So write. Write on napkins, on your phone, on the cover of your Maths book. Just write.
7) Live- this is very very important. Do not lock yourself up in your room to write 24/7. Yes it’s fun to escape into another world but you NEED the real world. How else would you gain experience and ideas for your stories? While I regret my two year hiatus from writing, some of my greatest memories and plotlines were drawn from that time.
Lastly and most importantly- okay equally important as living- be sure to have fun. Writing doesn’t have to be serious. In fact it’s better if it’s not. Trust me, college has enough serious writing waiting for you. Have fun with your writing. It’s an entire world that you created. It’s almost magical.