10 Tips for (Teen) Writers
I got inspired by Joseph Eastwood’s blog post with the same title that I thought about writing my own version of it. Not that I don’t agree with him, but I believe there are things that I can add to what he said, which I totally agree on. If you’re a teenage writer, like we are, here are some of the tips I think could help you out.
1. Ambition is not enough…
I am aware that it’s our ambition which motivates us, but it’s not exactly enough to reach your dreams. If you want to become a successful singer, you can’t just be singing in your bathroom. Expand your wings, do whatever it takes to be noticed. It’s always the first step for everyone to do mistakes before we learn, so don’t be afraid to commit them. In writing, even the most talented and experienced authors nowadays make them. But don’t be too overconfident, too. Sometimes, if not always, overconfidence fools you; letting you think that what you did is good enough when it still needs some work.
2. Don’t be afraid of judgments…
Believe it or not, judgmental people are everywhere. When you’re still writing, these judgments are what help you to know where you went wrong, and what your weak points are. They actually help you become better, so don’t fear them. After all, judgment will always be there, no matter how good you’ll become. You’ll encounter hurtful words from critics and for people who feel like they are good enough to be critics. Learn from them, and try not to be so sensitive about them.
3. Write your life.
It’s true. I’m not saying write an autobiographical novel of yourself. Just be who you are. Always bear in mind that the words that come out from you is who you are. If you’ll write about a character who shares no similarities with you, that’s going to be a problem. In all of my characters, I’ve always tried to put something in them that defines me. I believe that when you put bits of your soul into these characters, it’s what makes them believable and easy to relate on.
4. Read a lot of books.
Trust me, that’s how you develop your style. It also gives flavor to your own writing. Don’t read something just because you think it’s what’s in today, but because you want to. Also, read different kind of books, because you only absorb few things from a book. Reading books of different genre will help you expand your knowledge about writing and vocabulary.
5. Be brave.
Let’s be honest. Every writer feels fear somewhere inside of us, because it’s really scary when people are out there to judge us. But being brave doesn’t mean the fear evaporates just in a second. It’s still there, but have the courage to accept whatever these people say. Do not let yourself feel intimidated by other people’s words, when you know you also have your own words you’re sure that have to be heard and read.
6. Keep writing!
Writing is what makes you become better. It’s quite obvious isn’t it, because you want to be a writer! Write your life, write what you know, and write something that you think you know. It doesn’t matter if your writing your novel, or a blog post, or just updating your Facebook or Twitter status. The important thing is that you’re writing something. Every word you write is a step up on a staircase.
7. Stop being such an introvert!
I’m telling you right now, don’t stress yourselves in front of your computer/laptop screens. It’s always a great thing to be out there, and be inspired by the world. There’s no better inspiration than the people we meet and places we go. It also helps your imagination to widen. Talk to people, appreciate your surroundings. Just like that and words will keep flowing on your computer screens!
8. Have a break, have a… critic.
Please, don’t ever think that your friends are good enough to criticize your works. I have friends, too, and they’re all nice. They say nice things about my works, which sometimes help because they make me feel like I’m doing the right thing. But it’s not always the case. Find someone who you know you can trust, but will never just say good things about your work for the sake of sugarcoating. Search for someone who’s honest and who you believe. Like a professor you’re close to, or someone who has the experience and will be willing to help you out. There’s no such thing as a lone wolf in the writing business! It’s always a group effort!
9. Do not take revisions personally.
We’ve all been there. We keep saying, “We’ve already done a spectacular job. Why do I have to go back again and edit my work?” Please, don’t be such a cry baby. Revisions are important, especially if you didn’t write your novel in one-month without sleeping. There will always be those moments that would feel choppy, or like you just passed by in front of your computer screen to write something you thought about. Revisions are what make your work smooth-sounding when you read them again. It’s what crafts your craft. It makes your work become even better than it already is, so don’t ever take it personally.
10. Patience and perseverance is the key!
It’s a process! If you’re writing a poem, I’d believe you if you’ll say that you wrote it for just one night. But a full-blown novel? Stop talking, because there’s no such thing as finishing a novel overnight. As I always love to tell people, talents and skills are never enough. There’s always patience and perseverance that most people doesn’t have which is the real key to finishing a novel. Even if you’re the most talented person in the world, if you’re lazy, you’ll never go anywhere!
Thank you so much for reading this! ‘Til the next post!