Friday, June 25, 2010

And What About Younger Writers?

The last two days, we've been addressing the concept of starting to write later in life. I hope you've been convinced that it's never too late to begin as long as you have the desire and the will to work at it.

The same goes for people who start writing at a very young age. A few years ago, I was contest manager for the Prose Division of our district Kansas Authors Club. The contest was open to members and nonmembers. The winner of the short fiction category was a young woman still in high school. As well as being happy for her, I had a great deal of admiration for a teen-ager who felt confident enough in her writing that she'd enter it in an adult contest. And obviously, she did the right thing as her story surpassed all the other entries.

When a very young person has a serious desire to write for publication, or even for their own satisfaction, they are several jumps ahead of those who wait until they have accumulated a bushel basket full of life experiences. When they start early, there is so much more time for improvement. It's a given that we all improve as we practice the craft of writing. When I look back at some of my very early efforts, I cringe and am suddenly proud of the fact that I'm now a better writer.

We've said that it's never too late to begin, and at the same time, it's never too early. Young people who pursue writing in more than school assignments are the ones I'm speaking of. There are more of them than you think, bu unlike the contest winner I mentioned, they keep their writing a secret. It takes some time to learn the marketing ins and outs and to gain the confidence in sending work to an editor. Rejection is tough at any age.

If you see a son or daughter or a grandchild who exhibits a desire and a talent for writing, do all you can to encourage them. There are many books about the craft of writing written directly toward the teen and young adult writer.

1 comment:

  1. I have one of those young writers. She has been writing poetry and short stories since she was old enough to hold a pencil. When she comes for a visit, we often compose a story together. It's nice to have writing in common.