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Advice for Young Aspiring Writers

As an aspiring writer, the thought of your work being recognized or published can seem to be right at the bottom of the ‘impossible’ basket. But no matter your age, there are always obstacles in our way that seem insurmountable.

I am a young aspiring writer myself, and have hit that wall at many points in time. However much passion and talent a person holds for writing and literature, there is plenty of room for dissuasion and self doubt to creep in throughout the lengthy process. As a young person with an interest in writing but limited worldly experiences, it can be hard to be taken seriously as an aspiring author. In any case, though, this shouldn’t stop you from giving it your best shot. As one of my favourite authors, Ilsa J. Bick, said in an interview:

The more a writer writes, the better she will be. I am often envious of writers who started when they were in their 20s. They’ve had time to get better and better at the craft. Sure, a lot of their early stuff is crap, but so was–and is–mine, and I didn’t start writing until I was in my mid-40s. Age is not a magical inoculant that allows you to suddenly write well. Sure, I’ve accumulated a lot of worldly experience, but until I can write about it coherently and entertain you in the process, who cares? Everyone starts somewhere.’

It is something that is true of everyone, of every age, in every place. We all have to start somewhere and that somewhere is practice. In the way that athletes aren’t born muscular and fit, writers aren’t born wordsmiths. There are those of us that are born with a natural talent for writing, but just like the athletes, without conditioning we can’t unlock the star inside.

The same metaphor can be applied to young writers. You don’t see any young sporting stars that don’t spend a long time training before they even try for the top prize. Practice and training before recognition or publication is arguably the most important step of the way for a young aspiring author.

If you’re a young and aspiring author-to-be that is feeling discouraged, remember this: the only way to the top of the ladder is to climb onto the bottom rung first!

Kristen Nicholas


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