I’m back! No more stitches, no more pain. Well, there’s some pain, but it’s not that bad, and I can type by myself and at my normal typing speed.
Today I’m going to talk about something very personal to me. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Since I was a little kid, I’ve picked up and read every book I can, learned everything I can learn about writing and about story telling. It’s become so much a part of me that I can never give it up. Even when I want to, I come up with more stories, or have breakthroughs on my ongoing ones. It’s become so much a part of me that when people say something to me, my first thought is to connect it to my stories.
I’m not joking when I tell people that writing is my life.
But because I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, I was a young writer. I was that fifteen year old girl who sat in the back of her class and jotted down notes about her stories instead of the lecture. The crazy one who barely graduated high school having written five novels, and the one who people said, “she’s going to be a famous author some day.”
When I first joined the writing community, I was excited. I was so ready to learn, to help others, to be out there and get my name out there! It was the best thing that could have happened to me at sixteen. Except, people didn’t want to take me seriously. I’d give them advice and they’d smile, but once my back was turned their eyes would roll. Not because it was bad advice. When I go back and look at it now, it’s the same advice I’d give today. Maybe with more detail, more examples, as I’m a better critiquer and a better editor. But the advice was the same.
It was because of my age. Because I was sixteen.
Being young doesn’t mean you’re ignorant. I have been through a lot in my life. Starting from moment one with the loss of my mother. Many other teens are going through similar situations. Some of them are going through worse. A lot of them are like me, and pour themselves into the one thing they love. The one thing that keeps them sane. And like me, a lot of them pour that determined will into writing.
I was looked down upon so often for my age. When I turned twenty, I cheered because it meant no one could call me a teen writer anymore. Because maybe finally I would have to be ashamed of my age, and that people would take me seriously the way I am. Not for my age, but for my brain. For my knowledge. For the fact that I spend hours upon hours every day researching things about writing.
Unfortunately it had a bad effect on me. Years of being put down got to me, and whenever someone older than me disagrees with me about writing, I start to feel embarrassed about myself and my views. It happened a few days ago. Not on purpose. My friend and I were talking about my story, and she mentioned a line that confused her. I asked why it confused her, and she said something that really got to me. Not just about something small, like adjectives or dialogue tags. It was about a massive foundation of my writing style.
I broke. Not gonna lie. I freaked out, and cried, and ranted, and was frustrated. And it wasn’t until later that I realized why. My friend knows a lot about writing. The people I talk to know a lot about writing.
But so do I.
And I forgot that. I constantly forget that I spend hours a day researching writing. Studying writing. Reading books. Studying people. Writing. Practicing.
Being a young writer is hard. You might get encouragement from your peers, and your parents, and your teachers. But if you step into the world of writing, you lose that all. People act like it. They say thank you and smile, but the minute you challenge their view the real story comes out. It’s hard. It’s stressful. And not all young writers are ignorant to writing.
I’ve been writing for a long time. All but five or six years of my life. Some teen writers are like me. Some are not. But it’s not fair for them to be treated like they don’t know what they’re talking about just because of their age. So please, if you know a teen writer, a young writer, then take a second to think about how you look at them.
It’s hard being a young writer. All the hormones, the parents, the school drama. Let’s not make it harder.