FIRST POST OF THE YEAR! How are you all getting off in 2017? (Have you consumed an entire package of Oreos in one sitting? No? Just me?)
I know a lot of us are young writers with big dreams.
Lots to do.
Much chocolate to devour.
Life is s.h.o.r.t., right? You know, we have to “live life to the fullest” and all of that?
I also know that a lot of us are getting back to our novels after NaNoWriMo/Christmas, finishing a first draft, slaying all of our darlings whilst editing, or sending off our lovelies to beta readers.
Perhaps your goal for 2017 is to publish a novel.
And that is FAN-TAS-TIC.
Truly. If that’s your hope for the new year, I am absolutely thrilled for you.
BUT, if you’re a young writer and have 3,000 completed stories in your documents section without a New York Times Bestseller title at the beginning of your name DO NOT PANIC.
A lot of us struggle with that. We want to get our stories out there, we want them to succeed, and heck, we just want them to be read!
We writers work HARD. We have huge expectations for ourselves.
While I totally understand all of these things, don’t forget that patience is a key factor to success. Don’t forget that you are young. (And I mean this for all ages 12-25ish!)
The worst thing you can do to yourself is getting frustrated about being a “failure” because you haven’t published yet.
HOGWASH, I SAY!
You don’t have a ton of experience in life, you have so much to learn. And that’s okay.
You may be saying, “Gosh, are you saying that just because I’m young means that I’m unqualified to publish a novel?! HOW DARE YOU, YOU INSOLENT OXYGEN THIEF!”
And that would be where you’re wrong!
I’m totally fine with a 12-year-old publishing a dystopian about the oppression of Cheetos in a futuristic Greenland. In fact, I would probably read it.
But I think there is this huge rush to write a story and get it published. There’s such value placed upon it that it turns into negative pressure rather than a future goal.
We sometimes feel this need publish every story we finish or see potential in.
You might remember me ranting about never finishing a novel and how much that made me feel like a “failure”.
Because I switch novels and try out different genres, why do I feel that way? Why does planting my roots deeper in my craft make me feel lesser?
A lot of times we mistake growing for falling short, and that is by no means the case in writing.
Let’s take a look at real life. From the moment we’re born, we gain knowledge. Our muscles become stronger. We get used to our new environment.
And as we get older, we’re receptive to learning. No one expects an 8-year-old to perform a brain surgery in the Arctic tundra!
Being a young writer is no different.
It’s okay to absorb whatever’s around you, even if that doesn’t mean publishing right away.
So here’s my advice to you, and it’s something I’m trying to get better at myself:
Enjoy the ride.
You’ll get there someday.
Enjoy those moments when you can write a contemporary one day and an epic fantasy the next! Take a break and read writing blogs all day! Read tons of other books!
You may not get published, but you’ll be so much better equipped than your average 30-year-old writer!
However, I definitely understand wanting your voice to be heard, your creations to be shared. Artists don’t usually keep their painting in a drawer forever, right? So take the time to share with your family or other writing buddies. Post on Wattpad! I know a lot of people are against using Wattpad for stories they want to publish someday, but it’s a great outlet for those stories you’ve finished but aren’t sure about. But that’s just my suggestion. ^_^
(maybe this entire post was an excuse to use a Cassian gif but we won’t tell anyone)
So don’t publish your novel for the sake of publishing. That doesn’t define your success as a writer.
And when you’re ready, you’ll know.
You may be thirteen or forty-five, but that doesn’t matter!
Like I said before,
You. Will. Get. There.
And it will be awesome. 🙂