It can be hard to be a writer in your teens, but you can’t let your age limit you. You will have some challenges most writers don’t have. You will also have some advantages, too. This is some advice based on the lessons I’ve learned as a teenaged writer.
Be Your Own Motivation
Not only as a teenaged writer, but as any writer, you’re going to have to learn to motivate yourself. You can’t count on friends and family to give you the motivation you need to write. For starters, writing is something you, and only you, can make yourself do. You have to write because even though it’s hard, you love it. Second, not everybody is going to be supportive or take your writing seriously. Some people will say you are wasting your time. Some people will consider it a ‘hobby’. You have to learn to ignore them and be supportive of yourself. People are going to be jealous or underestimate you no matter what, so you can’t hold yourself back waiting for them to get on-board.
Also, know that you are going to feel like the worst writer in history at times. You’ll think your writing is silly, or unprofessional, or just plain-out bad. But, there are also going to be days when you feel on top of the world. At the end of the day, whether you feel great or terrible about your writing, you have make yourself keep going. If you think your writing is bad, then keep practicing and revising. If you feel great about it, then work to make it even better. You are the only one that can make you give up or succeed.
Balance Your Time
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still working on this. Finding balance as a part-time writer is difficult enough, and being a teenaged writer doesn’t make it easier. As a teenager you have school, extra-curriculars, chores, and likely a part-time job. Those are all priorities in your life and it can be difficult to fit writing in as a priority, too. You probably won’t be able to write as much as other writers do, but the idea is to write anyway. Even if you only write a little, just try to be consistent. Even if you only get a couple sentences down, write every day. Moving forward a small amount is better than standing still.
The Internet Is Your Friend
Many writers swear against internet-access when writing, but I swear by it. I say this for three reasons.
First, you need to learn all you can about your craft. You probably don’t have English degrees, or many friends that are authors to help you, so the internet will have to be your guild. Find bloggers, vloggers, and online classes on writing, and learn! There are countless posts and videos on writing advice and discussions, so click on one and start learning. You can never learn enough about your craft.
Second, you will need to do a lot of research. As a writer, you are going to need to search for information as you are writing. Maybe you need to find a colour shade, the definition of a word, to know if something could work in real-life. The internet is important for these things, especially when it comes to fact-checking and wording your sentences.
Third, Youtube playlists come in handy. Music can be extremely helpful while writing, but who has money to pay for all those songs? If you have internet access, you can create Youtube playlists for each scene or mood you are writing and it’s all free.
Revise Many Times
The first draft is not the only draft. There will be many drafts of your story to come, and that’s a good thing. With each draft, you revise and improve your story. As you learn more, you’ll see more and more things to revise. Don’t get too down about this, it’s a good thing! You should be proud that you’re noticing errors and things that need to be revised. It means you have grown as a writer. You’re a better writer now than you were when you wrote a few months ago, and thus, have higher standards/expectations for your writing.
Don’t Trust Family & Friends (With Your Writing)
Family and friends are usually well intentioned, but they shouldn’t be the ones to beta-read for you or tell you if your story is ready for publication. As much as they may claim to give you an honest opinion (and maybe they think they are), they are going to be biased towards your work. They care about you and they don’t want to hurt your feelings. You should have people beta-test for you that don’t know you well, typically an acquaintance or a stranger. Family and friends also can’t tell you if your book is ready to be published. They aren’t writers, and they certainly aren’t the writer of your story. Do some research, make sure you’ve gone through all of the editing and revising you needed to, analyze your beta-reader feedback, and then decide for yourself if your book is ready.
Are you a teen writer? Did you find these tips helpful?
I post new advice on Saturdays, so please click “follow” to keep learning more! Sorry for missing last week–there were too many Mother’s Day plans to count!
What would you like me to blog about next? Do you have any questions about writing? Please be sure to let me know in the comments, or contact me via social media! 🙂
With all of this in mind, go out and write your masterpiece!