Now, you may think you already know who your protagonist is, but depending on your story, this can actually be more tricky than you might think. Instead, the protagonist is the person who makes the decisions that drive the story forward. Every story is composed of a set of scenes which take place in a specific place and time. Some write fast in multiple drafts, others write slow and edit as they go.
Whatever works for you, just get it done. I firmly believe publishing is the most important step to becoming a writer. Instead, what if you got feedback from a writing friend or even by our Becoming Writer community? One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. Do you like to write short stories?
What is your favorite part? Let me know in the comments! You have six other steps to do that. Just write. Write for fifteen minutes. When your time is up, post your practice in the comments section. Interesting dude. I do have to agree with you that alot of teenage writing sucks. I mean my earlier stuff really sucks, now that I look back, and in a few years I will probably say the stuff I am writing right now sucks too, but guess what I am getting better, and that is all that matters.
Most of my friends snort when I mention I can write, but mostly online no one cares. Your site was pretty helpful, so thanks. And what does money even matter? I read this article with an open mind, and I thought that most of the main points were very useful. But, being a teen myself, I must admit that I had to skip a few lines every now and then sorry. Well, for the most part. Try and honestly picture it. And if you did have the chance to turn back time, and that miniature version of the present-day you took your advice, you know what?
You probably do too! Well, no. But if one wants to become a professional writer one day, then there are other skills to pick up, the earlier the better. Babies do it. Speaking as someone who writes for a living, money matters rather a bit. Again, no. So anyone expecting to read this and suddenly be a better writer is going to be sorely disappointed. But more than that, I think teenage writers should make mistakes — lots of them. Thanks for the feedback, you made some really great points.
Oh, yeah. Not to mention the comments that were posted after it. And by the way? Eragon was horrible. I never read Eragon. The title sounded too much like dragon. In my limited experience, dragons in fantasies always had terrible characters. Your honesty is good. See, this why you need writing advice. You should be able to come up with a much better snide remark than this. Thanks John, your wise words are an inspiration to me.
I, being 18, realize that I have yet to reach my full writing potential. On the other hand, I have an utterly distinct view on life at this age which is worthy of being listened to if nothing else. Sure, I may not be as witty or wise as my 35 year old counterpart, but it is the naivity and brashness of my writing which makes it so distinct. If I were to write from the perspective of my current age, 18, as a 35 year old, my work would most certainly be adulturated with 17 years of forgetfullness and perhaps even wisdom.
I may or may not be truly representative of others my age in this post, but I have suspisions that their are some who also have this quite ridiculous convictions. You do. The question is: Do you have the technical wherewithal as a writer to get those words out and say what you want to say, how you want to say them? This is where mundane practice and experience can help.
Hya i have nearly wrote my first book and i think it is remotley good as i have baised it on a true life sitiuation that have been through but i really want sum 1 2 read it and tell me what my next steps are. I took the time to read it after I found it. Interesting article. I am 13 and I found this useful. However, may I point out like others have done on this very same blog that SOME very gifted authors i.
Francois Sagan have written some truly amazing books. Francois Sagan may indeed one of those freaks of nature, and feaks of nature are their own thing as noted in the article. Most of us have to work at it, alas. I am a teenager, and somehow stumbled across this. I agree completely with you, John. My writing sucks. Anyone who says otherwise is delusional. I must say, however, that in reading the other comments by teenagers like myself I was a little irritated. I have the guts to admit it, even to myself. Hearing this advice is worthwhile, even if a lot of it we already know.
I must say, however, that in reading the other comments by teenagers, I was a little irritated. I can see right away how horrible they are. But, at what other point in your life are you as inexperienced as in the teenaged years? Once you experience college, having a career, renting your own aparment, one can presume you have much more to write about. Thank you for your advice. Well if you think you have the potential to get a few books onto the writing market then you should, you never know what the stuff you come up with that you think is downright crap could do to the world.
Hence, look at what the bible did because it IS a load of shit and yet it is the bestselling book in the world. So think very carefully about what you want to write or have written, it may be easier to throw it away and not think about it again, but trying harder and giving up can lead to very different situations. Remember people, its only hopeless when you give up. The odd thing, for me, is that I read some of the stuff I wrote in HS, and while it is not good , by any means, it is also not nearly as bad as the stuff I wrote in college.
In HS, I still had very correct diction and phrasing, sentences that were not, perhaps, ideally phrased, but which were at least clear and not over-ornamented with parenthetical asides, with mixed registers, with interminable run-ons, etc. And I wrote nearly every night, for an hour or so. But this all became extremely sloppy in college. I have never recovered. Since then, I have simply never been able to attempt fiction with any confidence. I am also always conscious of how hackneyed my characters sound when I have them speak.
There are other places to do that. Thanks again for the advice! Hey, this article was really great, especially the part remninding people that writers make close to nothing most of the time. When I read this I was reminded of something I had heard about Ray Bradbury and his ability to write for hours every day. I think a lot of people have the habit of sticking with one piece for long periods of time, but sometimes setting things aside for another time can really help bring perspective to a piece.
I also liked your insights about submitting work to publishers. I interned at a publishing company for a semester during my sophomore year and I was amazed at some of the pieces I had to send rejection letters for. Some were horrible, but others were really great. The only advice I would add is to limit what you send to the publisher instead of a manuscript send a sample and outline of the work and provide a return envelope because they really appreciate it. If the editors want to see more they will request it.
I have visited this page several times after coming across it using Mozilla Stumble. It has been of great interest and help. I am always in search of good, solid writing advice, and I find this article to be very helpful. Should any grammatical error weedle its way into this comment, I am sorry! I really want to thank you for doing this. But you really put it in a way that I understand. This includes my friends, music, movies, books, and opinions.
The lack of experience in my life definatly reflects my age. My favorite writer would have to be Bob Dylan. His book Chronicles is amazing and what you wrote is in sync with it. So check it out. Anyway, I appreciate the expertise and that there are people to guide little dreaming fledgling writers like myself. I would like to say something that is going to sound very biased, even though I know exactly where you guys are coming from that are adults.
I believe that through books you could live many lives and gain wisdom from them, if you know where to look. I believe even a 15 year old like me could do that, which means we teenagers can be wise, we probably just choose not to and have fun instead. Sorry, had to ask.
Experiment 1: Lucky Number
I would also like to add to my previous statement by saying that this article has helped me figure out a few things that I needed to figure out. For example, I had a half page story I was supposed to write for English, and it turned into a 28 page story. I believe that if you want to write every day, just for the heck of it, good for you. BUT, if you begin writing something and then choose to stop, even though you can tell what is going to happen next, I believe that is, in a sense, very,very stupid.
This post just got my determination working again, and I had an instant flash of inspiration… I wrote a little bit, maybe I will use it later on, maybe not. Just one thing that annoys me for the longest time here at my school ist that there is no real editing at the school newspaper. And by now, nobody does anything, because the older guys just finished school and as the newspaper was so crappy the last 3 years nobody joined there in a long time…. So… I talk too much, anyways, thank you very much. I will bookmark this, and print it as soon as I get that printer hooked to my computer, and pin it above my bed or something.
Incidentally, I got several fun characters out of my early teen identity-crisis angst. It kept me from writing poetry. Another problem is that because I know my writing sucks, I feel less motivated to take up my pen and work. Not good! Any advice on how to get past that? First and foremost: hands down, that was real sound advice. Please tell me what you think. Is my understanding of the art of writing so shallow for an year old? Wish me luck! So am I just blind to my weaknesses, or do these people really suck?
I doubt either of them is true. THAT was trash. I mean, what were you thinking? I may only have ever written one fanfic piece, but yours is nothing compared to it. I would love to get more advice from you, John. Do send me your reply. I really enjoyed this article; it was well written and funny in some parts. I put it on my favorites and all also add it to my blog because I think most of the advice was excellent! Speaking as someone who finds attacks on free speech deeply, deeply distasteful and offensive.
Just a note on basic principles, respect, etiquette. I can remember being pissed off because i was supposed to co-write with a friend. In the end i just started writing on my own; her version never got passed a page with a crayon picture.
Three Men on Why They Like to Date Women at Least a Decade Older Than Them
I cleared out my room at the weekend. Cheers, mate. Several of my good friends at school are now reading this. For absolute certainty, you are now officially global. It really sucked. If I can see the technical and descriptive faults, does that prove that my writing is better than yours was at my age? And therefore, possibly, good? I think it does. I know many active writers who outclass, both in vocabulary and otherwise, many of the adult authors that have been published to much acclaim. Many of them enter contests that are intended for established writers, both within the community and nation-wide, and often take first prize.
As for vocabulary in particular, most of the teenagers that make a habit of writing already have an extensive word-base, seeing as almost all of them are avid readers. At least, one written by an adult. As an aside, however, comments like this suggest that a belief commonly held in my time as a teenager is still alive today, namely that the current generation of adults achieved their state of adulthood without having the intermediary stage of adolescence, therefore are incapable of accurately assessing the talents and skills of teenagers due to lack of personal experience.
And also and possibly as a result that we adults want to keep all these teens down. Speaking for myself, however, I would be absolutely delighted to see an entire generation of brilliant teenage writers. Literacy saved for another 30 or 40 years? Bring it on , friend. Oh, and being involved with the school newspaper also helps to really clean up your style and grammar as well. You know I always find it so comforting when everything I already knew is thrown in my face.
I already get enough prejudice because of my age. Take it as you will. I am in a program called early college it is where I go to college while I am in high school. And when I graduate from high school I would already have my associate degree and be working on another degree. So I know my writing is not all that good but I want to write for my school newspaper but being in this program I can not do anything like that. I was thinking writing for my town newspaper would be an good idea. For anyone who is reading this if you all have any ideas on what i could do just e-mail me at Eerie aol.
Dude, im a teenager and my writting is advanced than any teenager as I write with the expertise of an adult writer. In other words im one of the few who are good. I suck? Man, and here I thought I was the best thing next to the Bible. No, really, thanks for saying that I suck, even though you dont know me or anything…. I actually thought your teenage writing was atleast half-decent. Oops, my bad. I guess I got to work on this writing thing until I stop sucking. However I did adore the way you said I sucked. It was a good feeling, truly. I never said you suck.
I said your writing does. I was just wondering though…how much harder is songwriting than say short story writing or writing a novel? I just like your article and a little clarification would be godly. If I could change at all You know that I would change it all And you would be my angel…. Is that the kind of thing that only comes with age?
Or do you not like it? You should be writing salable material by your mid-teens. I started selling community news articles to the local weekly and daily newspapers when I was barely Some people are able to write pay copy early, some later. I do agree local papers are a great way to get started, and they are often happy to work with teenagers.
Newspapers also often have sections specifically written by teens and for teens — The Fresno Bee did when I worked there. If your local paper has that, by all means take advantage of it. I was searching for essays to kill time when I came across this. What you wrote is pretty inspiring to a 16 year old like me.
I would keep your words in mind. Thanks for the 10 things we should know. My six year old son writes quite okay for his age, is there any organisation or person i can approach to have his work assess. Probably the best thing to do is simply encourage him and encourage his teachers to foster his talents as well. Quite frankly i think your advice was useless. Beyond that, you are of course perfectly free to think I and my advice are entirely full of crap.
Since this popped to the top it got my attention. Are the early August comments for real?
Some read like spoofs. Of course fruit flies like bananas, too, so what do I know? I am based in India and am reading this from there. The opportunities for young writers in India are limited to say the least. What is your opinion on Indian writers? Do you have any specific advice for writers from non-English speaking countries?
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As far contests are concerned, which contests in the U. I ask this because while I would like to take part in literary competitions many of them are restricted to citizens of North America. Furthermore, can you tell me anything about the Atlanta Review? Is it a fraud or is the International Poetry Competition a scam? I would dearly like to know because I submitted two poems there. For clarification in my last message I meant writers in English from non-English speaking countries, not writers in a language other than English. I would appreciate your answers on these points.
I read this entire passage and it was so very helpful. But you gave awesome tips and encouraged me even further to pursue my writing career. Again, this was extremely helpful and thanks!! I will be referring back to the page in a time in need of inspiration. Thanks again!! I disagreed with them vociferously in their own forums I shared other aspects of their politics , never noticing at the time that their own printed polemics were always grammatically correct.
I will share this topic with my teenage writer friends and hope that they will also realize the worth of your advice. Thank you! Dear Experienced Writer, I just adored your 10 helpful tips. I thought I would let you know I appreciated your article. And I basically love your writing personality. And it felt good. Thanks, Teenage Writer-Wannabe. In fact I wrote two peices on my favorite writing website.
I was wondering, when you were younger, did you seem to have trouble filling out an entire novel? Is that normal? Anyway, thanks for the advice! It is defidantly words to live by. Pretty informative, too! Thanks for the tips, I really needed these advice. I would like to publish something one day, but I also know in order for me to do just that, I need to gather all my resources.
To be honest, my writing sucked my first couple of years. Thanks for the tips, though! Your tips helped me a lot but they also depressed me a bit. I have always wanted to be an author of amazing novels. It will mostly likely be a job that I hate. I love to write but is it worth making a lving of it if I have to sacrifice about 40 years of my life in order to truely be a good writer? What am I supposed to do? Ugh…I know that is how life works but…Anyway, enough of my endless complaining.
I got a job as a writer while I was learning to write novels; I was just doing other sorts of writings. You can find something you love to do and write on the side. And that comes in useful. Hm, never really thought about it…Anyways, back on topic. I read this and I thought there were some helpful hints, but I also thought it very depressing, and may I add, a little full of oneself. Which giving everything straightforward is good too, but I do not believe everything you say, especially since I have experiences in otherways.
Who does she think she is? And yes, I have heard this from many people, but I know a lot of teenage writers that far exceed that of the ones published; they exceed them in not only creativity, but in wisdom and cleverness as well. I have seen some authors that I must say are delusional, and I now refuse to read some of the works by those particular publishing houses. I know many teens that are at professional level as we speak, yet are barely into highschool.
And I must sound like some whiny spoiled brat teen that has everything going for them, I apoligize for that. And as you can tell, so do I. I think you have some really nice points, such as researching all the aspects of a writing career. Another good point would have to be to not major in English or a writing class, but have something else to fall back on. Be prepared for rejection, becoming independent of other sources, etc. All wonderful points, but not in the best attitude. This is all very insulting and very discouraging.
A lot of us teens are growing up with harder lives than the ones that go out and party all night long, and believe it or not, have a lot more experience with several things that many adults have never seen. It is very insulting to them, very degrading to all those in a whole, even to the ones that need work.
Now with all this said, you may curse my name and despise me for the rest of eternity, or think of me as a pompous windbag, I really do not care in the least. One more thing, please excuse all of my spelling and grammar mistakes there are quite a few , but I am far too tired, and homework is calling. No offense, Megan, but this is another example of teenagers assuming that adults got that way without being teenagers themselves. I am of course quite aware that the lives of teenagers vary to a very wide degree; I know it from my own experience and from observing the lives of friends and others.
You say you know a number of teens who are at a professional level; good for them. I too sold some work professionally when I was a teenager, and naturally I encourage any teen writer to work with editors when and where they can. I sold writing as a teen; my teen writing is not very good , particularly relative to how I eventually learned to write. Some of them may also have useful advice. I read the comments to this article and would like to address the one in which you have just responded.
So, really, if everyone spoke this way about careers, no one would want to go for anything. Teens and kids are already under enough stress as to what they want to become, and all of the bad portions you have stated are going to be in every job. Get over it. And I read some of the work you wrote as a teen, and I have to say it did suck. You assume everything is the same when you were growing up as it is today. And I must say, though I do not know how old you are, but for me it has changed so much. I detest you type of people, so I do hope you take offense to this, because you should.
Your comment is coming from the same I. My first tip-off, incidentally, was that none of the teachers I know would worry about giving their age as verifier of credibility — their credibility is not in their age but their training and in their words. So I checked the IP addresses of the messages and, well, they were the same. Basically, Megan, your writing gave you away. I enjoyed reading.. It was interesting to say the least reading what you had to say. Thank you for the information. For someone around my age at that time you wrote very well, but yet again different time periods and different life styles of a person shapes them.
Thank you again. Im 13 right now, and my story is much more exciting than yours was in that one dumb story about the story. Also, do you realize that not all teenagers are bad writers. Well, I mean most are, but not all. Whats his face that wrote Aragon or whatever sucked. It sounded like he wrote a story, and then later got a thesaurous and changed all the words… BTW: dont edit my writing, I wasnt trying to write perfectly, just trying to make a point. Well funny enough leah writing a novel does involve writing a story, they are both kinda the same thing!
It might be good, i dont know, but dont go mouthing off about other writers and assuming your work is better. And no i dont beleive he is trying to tell teenagers to not write books but just laying down the truth as he sees it and talking about the experiences he has had, that is the best advice anyone could give; to speak about what has happened to you personally in life. I too was a double loser high school and college editor , but it was benefit to my current career Software engineering.
One of the most important thought processes I learned was the idea that what you write first is just the first draft and can be either improved by rewrite or trashed. In either case you have improved the material. It is amazing to me how poorly engineers write. I have always maintained that programmers writing a program are the same as fiction writers writing a story or reporters writing a news article. I surely wish I had known when I was a teen what I know now. My biggest problem is when I sit down to write something anything other than a blog post my brain pretty much just shuts down….
I am 13 years old. Now, that would indeed suck. I wanted to point something out in the above comments. Eragon was written by young Christopher Paolini. He began writing at around age fifteen. I believe Mr. Scalzi made note of in such exceptions in his article.
And Eragon, in my opinion, did not suck. It was well written, if not a bit wordy for the audience. Bey, no offense but, do you have anything better 2 do?? HAHA, what makes you think most teenagers these days think like how you thought back then? Poetry, writing, you name it. But… Please dude.
Ppl who rite from the heart will neva eva say there work sucks. And I am very much sorry for writing in internet slang. Have a good day. Even though i am 13it is pretty good. WEll i guess it is. Plus i start playing the keyboard when i was 9 years old! I toght myslef how to play! What you said fit me perfectly, especially with the bit about immitating other writers. I need to develop my own voice. I found this post rediculously useful. And I think I will start submitting some of my better and not quite so obviously DNA-knockoffy works to various and assundry publications.
Now I kinda know what the process is and what to expect. The only thing that suprised me is the comment about Journey….. Some kids heard lullabies, I heard classic rock thank you, Daddy. And some talent! So give us some credit! This site is truly invaluable to us aspiring writers. I appreciate such information. There is always room for improvement. But how are we to improve if we believe that our writing style is superior to others? Stubborn teenagers… I apologize for those who criticized this post.
And so what if you sounded condescending? Writers are sometimes snobbish anyway. And there lies the beauty: it just makes us want to outdo you more. This is really helpful. Well, first of all, thank you for writing this! I knew a lot of the points, but it helped to be reminded! I would reccomend it to any teenage author, I really would. Not only can you get feedback from other aspiring authors such as yourself, but you learn so much about writing including the feeling of rejection and your writing really does improve so much.
Anyway, once again, thanks for writing this. I think I just might. I find this a bit useful actually. Very funny actually. If you knew what I was talking about. And I know. I know its true. I read most of them. I consider my poems alright. Depressing or emo sometimes. But alright for my age.
I hate grammar. Not that you should know but whatever. I hope I can be as good as a writer as you are. Thanks for not using slang. That was a very smart decision on your part. I was on the newspaper staff at my last school and I have had one of my poems published. But my goal is to write a book and everything that you wrote has made a difference on my outlook on my writing career.
I just want to say thanks. Um, okay, I have to admit my first thought was: well, thanks a bunch. People who are so easily discouraged are going to have a rough time with the real professional writing world. I think that is a perfectly healthy response, incidentally. Um, hi there. I just wanted to say that I thought what was written here was quite useful. I just turned 15, and would like to think of myself as a teen writer and poet.
I took a creative writing course last year as a freshmen in high school, and I found it to be by far the class I enjoyed the most throughout the whole school year. So, I guess I just wanted to say I found nothing in what you said discouraging. Although I admit to cringing on several occasions whilst reading this seeing as it brought my ego down a few healthy notches , I did however difficult this is to believe learn a few things.
First and foremost, it would seem that you have a rather stereotypical view of teenage authors. I understand why many adults think so little of us. However, it would seem that you are ignoring the few teen authors that do produce decent work.
But there have been some great teenage writers, and a blanket statement like that just comes across as a little petty and generalised. This is true. There have also been some teenagers who pitch perfect 99 mile-an-hour fastballs without much in the way of training. In both cases, however, they are in the extreme minority among all the teenagers who attempt that particular skill. The reason this statement seems general to you is because it is. The vast majority teenage writing sucks. It simply means they lack the skill to be as good as they will be in time.
I think the most important message here is not that teenagers suck at writing. Through lots of practice and the tips you gave here, we teens can become good at writing. Oh, and I have a question. When you say we suck at writing, does that mean our ideas for our novels will suck too? Because honestly, I have been developing my ideas for several years now. The stories really excite me and I picture them in my head before I go to sleep.
Which leads me to another question: how do you know if your idea is a good one? I am a 16 year old, teenage writer. Never been published not yet at least, entered my first contest last week but I honestly can not stop writing. I actually have an overload on ideas right now, not because of the multiple problems that often plague writers, but because I work on my poems for weeks and weeks after my first draft some of my poems have got up to 7 and 8 drafts.
Like him though, I often write about nature and relate it to others things but thats because I have never read a poem that incorporated man-made things such as cars and computers that made me feel any better-off after reading it. Not just by teachers and relatives but by random people online who I have never meet not that they know much more than I. And at current, I love to just play with words.
I honestly think I am addicted. I have actually seen a decline in my communication with friends in the past couple months for the reason I have, at times, found it more amusing to stay at home playing with my writings than to go out with friend. Anyways, I would greatly enjoy talking to you aside from this topic. Just to be able to talk to a published writer and get their feedback if possible on what I have written. I went to Interlochen Arts Academy as a Creative Writing major for the first part of a semester, but then I went crazy and had to come home. There were 37 of us in the department, of all sorts.
I must inform you that not all teenage poetry sucks. Some of these kids rocked my world with their poetry. Mine does suck. It beyond sucks. And yes, a lot of our writing is crap. Most of what I write, I read through the next day and laugh at, not because it is funny, but because it is bad. I think my perspective on my own writing — which has this odd way of varying even within ridiculously small time frames — is fairly accurate. Everything up until then is practice. I like that idea. If it takes 10 years to get brilliant, I have 6 left. So moslty, the article — not that ground-breaking earth-shattering or new, but a nice summary and clarification of what I for the most part already knew.
But, okay, my plans for the future now consist of getting a license to cut hair and living off of that. I have a question. When your writing is good, how do you tell? Or, what are the qualities of a good novel? I know that I will be writing my novels for a very long time.
That works. I excel academically, but nothing beyond your average honors student. I am a teenage writer. If not for anyone else, for myself. I confess I daydream about someday being published. And it definitely takes guts to flaunt any piece of writing. I admit to being a selfish coward and rarely share what I write. As cliche as it is, talent rarely ever gets very far without application and hard work. I believe this article was merely trying to stress that. To Mr. Scalzi; I was among the many other readers who stumbled across your article by means of Google.
Your article was, in a word, humbling. Yes, my writing sucks right now. Thank goodness it does! Heaven save us all if this is the best I can do! I realize my writings need work. Both sent back suggestions, but thought that the writing was of good quality. I want to write. But, it seems as though you are discouraging this. Can you perhaps clear up some of my confusion? Well, I was convinced that my writing sucked before reading this I have a friend that is so down to earth honest that I am basically his only good friend. There are actually a few stories I have written that I know are enjoyable.
Probably my best work has been from allegories of real life experiences that I have had. The few amazing teen writers of today just might be the best empathizers of real life that exist or perhaps they actually have had real life experiences. One of the problems with writing from empathy, is that you had to take it from somewhere else. You probably had to break it down in your head analytically and try to discover why things are the way they are.
As a side note for young writers who try to be emotionally stable on their own and who forsake their popularity to keep their integrity. First of all, Bravo! Friendships are strongly dependent on the constant aproval of each other, and I have almost never met anyone who is happy and has no friends.
There are many decieving praises and criticisms out there.
Thanks John Scalzi, for giving down to earth advice in a society where most everyone tries to sugar coat things. Now you may find it to simply be horrendous, but it would be nice to know from a seasoned professional if I really should publish some of my works and possibly some suggestions of where I could publish them. I want to make that clear before I ask you this. If I a fourteen year old writer were to eventually get an offer from a non vanity press, and the publishers were not taking my age into account, does that mean that the book is good, and really should be published?
So, give me your thoughts please. Thank you for writing this. I mean, all I can see myself doing is wandering about the city simply observing people and writing about what I see. I can experience life by socailizing, by having friends, by interacting with people, right? I simply cannot imagine working during the day and then writing as a side-job. It seems so wrong. What happens now? Many great poets had day jobs. My favorite example of this is Wallace Stevens who won a Pulitzer Prize for poetry while he was a vice-president of The Hartford, the insurance company.
None of the recent Pulitzer Prize winners in poetry is a full-time poet; they all have teaching positions although interestingly Ted Kooser was at one time vice-president of an insurance company, just like Wallace Stevens. Perhaps you should think of insurance. End of story. Is it possible you can see some of my 14 years-old boy? I think he has writing skills even though his gramma sucks but I would like to have a point of view of somebody better than me.
Please email me. Your son has teachers, no doubt. They can be useful in this regard. Life isnt perfect to anyone of us but its easier for some. So if someone gets the courage to face life with nothing but a huge heart it wont mean much to the world. Since they got the courage to face their fears that would make them brave and a hero.
But then why do people pay more attention to all the singers and actors and actresses instead of the better people in life? We must categorize for a message to be sent across and to be received. Ironically those teenager writers who have, save their grace, written honestly are not always shown — they are not always novels, they are sometimes short stories with potential, often they are only small spurts that have forgotten how to be clever, that only remember how to be inspired.
This is anything but the case, I just felt an urge to share my viewpoint, so please do not feel this way. Otherwise, I agree with you completely. I read through several of the comments left for you — forgive me, please. While some were loaded with fallacies, others were grateful. How do YOU know? No, you did not sugarcoat, as far as I am concerned your only euphemism can be seen in your second paragraph. But I believe the only way to thank you is to apply, apply, apply. It would be unfair to not tell you that I am a teenager.
I am far from your equal, just that I know, for a fact, my elders have a hell of a lot more to say than my peers. In other words, I am just another teenage writer, but, hey, take me as I am. Hello, thank you for providing this source for aspiring writers. I have wanted to write books since I was in third grade and have been writing frequently every day in school, of course, but at least once weekly on my own since that time.
I am now seventeen and I have been told by my current English teacher that I am one of the more advanced high school writers she has yet encountered she has been a teacher for over thirty years and I attend a school brimming with writing talent , I want to make it clear that this compliment was not taken lightly and has not gone to my head, but I do want to ask for your advice on a thing or two. Now, I am a realist and know that my chances are slim at being able to do this only by being published, but would it be a positive and possible objetive for me to pay for college with the pieces I have written?
I know your answer would be most accurate having actually read the work, but, considering your time and priorities, I realize I cannot ask you to do this. Just answering as to whether or not you think it is possible and probable for someone to cover a chunk of their college expenses by being published would be much appreciated. By the way, with having been writing for so long and being exposed to a lifestyle that many cannot imagine, I do have considerably more experience than most people my age, therefore I have motive and, equally important, ideas.
I have a passion for writing and I want to become an author. As of now, I am writing my first real novel. In the past I have written short stories and essays for school, but now I want to get out in the world and show everyone who I can be on paper. It was pretty funny because not whole bunch of people recgonize me.
It was the best feeling ever to walk on that stage and know, that I, with out trying, acomplished something wonderful. I really love your blog, your advise, your wisdom. But I have to know-would it be way out there if I wanted to become an author now. What I mean is, is it impossible for me to actaully get money at age 15, 16, 17 for writing?
Lol, well anyway, excuse my bad grammar and spelling. I best be off now, i hope you relpy. I would love your opinion. Excellent advice. In fourth grade I had the idea that I could write a novel and get it published and make millions. Yeah… I enjoy reality now. But as with every other teenage writer I also enjoy mantaining a slight delusion that my writing is, in fact, awesome. Such is life I guess. Your article was very helpful,thank you.
I really like some of advice you gave. It was okay, not that bad. Although I might not have agreed with all of your points- it was still enjoyable to read. Any advice for a kind soul that needs it badly? I disagree with one of the comment below. This site really helped me out, though, so many thanks!!!
I am the first to comment here in a long time, the first in actually.