Okay, you’re a teenager. And you’re a writer. Then I’m sure you’ve experienced the blank stares and weird silence after you’ve blurted out this slightly embarrassing fact. Luckily, I haven’t had to deal with too much of it, but I’ve had some people not take me seriously. I’d tell someone I wanted to be an author and I’d get that look like ‘yeah, good luck’, or ‘okay…?’.
The truth is, most people don’t really understand what it takes to write a book. Or a short story. Or even a poem. I mean, this madness is tough.
So, this post isn’t as informative, as it is supportive. I mean, I went back and forth for years between calling myself a writer or an author, or just saying I ‘kind of write, sometimes…’. But seriously, own it. Because it’s something you love, whether you’re great at it yet, or not.
Learn about the publishing industry.
It’s never too early to start getting to know the business – I started querying when I was thirteen and although the only things I received were about a billion rejection letters, it taught me what works and what doesn’t. So by the time I actually wrote something worth reading, I had a good idea on how to write an adequate query letter and how the whole publishing process works. (Agents and publishers like authors who know what they’re doing – so figuring out the whole publishing process is most definitely a good idea.)
You might have an advantage.
Despite all the rolling of eyes teen authors can get from writing ‘seriously’, remember that we have an advantage. If you’re a teen writing MG or YA, you know how teenagers think and act, you don’t have to remember it from a long-ago past. Many serious writers struggle with Children’s, MG and YA literature because they can’t get back in touch with who they were when they were a teen or a child. They’ve forgotten how teenagers think. And luckily, you are one. So you’re an expert.
Feels nice, right? To be an expert in something? Yep.
Practice makes perfect.
So ignore anyone who says you can’t do it and just write. Write even if it sucks. I have a billion unfinished and finished manuscripts that are probably some of the worst pieces of fiction I’ve ever laid eyes on. But they made me a better writer. And they were fun.
Don’t forget the fun aspect of writing. Because after all, you are a teenager. I mean, why did you start writing? For instant fame and money? I doubt it. You started writing because you wanted to and you kept writing because you liked it. You can be serious about your writing and have fun as well.