Friday, April 10, 2015

National Encourage a Young Writer Day 2015

Today is Encourage a Young Writer Day 2015! I am a young writer myself, and I rely heavily on encouragement from my family, friends, and professors. Unfortunately, I know that not every young writer has the awesome backup support that I do. For this reason (ie the lack of encouragement), Encourage a Young Writer Day is extremely important.

I'm a young writer myself and I understand how important encouragement is.
Photo courtesy of Sabrina Bailey from The Red Room Photography.
Now, what constitutes as “young”? I know a lot of people in their 30s and 40s who are aspiring writers. Don’t they deserve encouragement? Well, yes and no. Writing is a very difficult profession because it is an art form, and heaven knows artists are never satisfied with their work; therefore, all writers need encouragement. However, I believe that people who are older are typically better able to handle the pressure and hold themselves up better than people who are in their 20s or younger; they aren’t as fragile because they’re more experienced. BUT, age is relative. Compared to 70, 30 and 40 is young. Compared to 90, 70 is young. So wherever you fall on the age spectrum, listen up, because this day can be for you, too!

Writing is challenging. It’s an expression of internal thoughts, feelings, and desires. It’s not easy getting what’s inside to go outside. Emotions and dreams aren’t easily translated on paper, but there’s very little that compares to the feelings that come with successful expression. It takes time and patience to develop the talent of translating thoughts and feelings into words, phrases, and expressions. Unfortunately, some writers and dreamers are encouraged in all the wrong areas; they are encouraged to give up their daydreams and focus on something more… tangible and “reliable.”

If you are one of those unfortunate writers who has been encouraged to give up, listen to me: your dreams are not silly and they aren’t unreachable.

If you start to doubt whether or not you’re really a writer, the answer is yes. Writers write. What makes a writer a writer is not the ability to write perfect, beautiful poetry or prose the first time, every time you set your fingers on the keyboard or put pen to paper; that’s a fantasy and a complete lie. First drafts (and second, third, and forth drafts) suck. As long as you are writing (anything more complicated than a grocery list counts), you are a writer.

Writing isn't easy, but it's worth it.
Photo courtesy of Ashley Escola Photography.
Writing isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. As long as you are able to get words on paper or a computer screen (or even if you have to narrate your story and have someone else write it for you), you are succeeding at writing.

Don’t worry about being perfect. Don’t worry about what others will think about what you write. Focus on yourself and your story, and go write something!


For more encouragement for young writers, check out MelissaTagg’s guest post on Christy’s Cozy Corners. 

For more on how first drafts always suck, check out Anne Lamott’s essay here (warning: foul language ahead. But it’s definitely worth the read).

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