Today, I thought I'd share some thoughts about transitioning from being a teen writer to being an adult writing for teens! Because I'm only twenty, I've spent most of my life as a teen writer. Now that I'm twenty, I no longer count as one, and that is an interesting thing to think about. I almost want to have a crisis about it, except I'm too tired for that.
I started writing when I was quite young, as discussed in this post. By the time I was twelve, I had finished my first two novels and was sending out to publishers (I hadn't quite figured out the agent thing yet). I'm pretty obstinate, which is much of the reason why I'm still sending out. This is also part of why I was super passionate about kid writers getting taken seriously. I once got a rejection from a big publisher stating that they don't accept children because they'll be ashamed of their work later. That's probably the worst rejection I've ever gotten. I was furious.
Teen writers really have a rough go of it. So many people look down on them. There are even articles about why they shouldn't try for publication. I think that's wrong. Writing is a very unique career, one that takes a lot of personal time and education, and making a serious try for it in your teens is a very cool thing to do. You get to learn about writing and publishing in a period of your life when your brain is highly conducive to learning, and you've got so much emotion and heart to put into it. Teen writers should be encouraged and taken as seriously as any other writer while they learn the ropes of the field.
One of the things that teen writers hate to hear is that they're "good for their age." We just want to be "good." This descriptor, of course, is a mark of respect. But I think it can also be dangerous. Writing is one of the few careers out there where competition isn't as serious of an issue, meaning we don't have to compare ourselves to others as much. Comparison is, in fact, rather deadly. Clearly, we want to learn from others, but we also want to befriend them, make connections, and enjoy ourselves. Even more importantly, we need to be focusing not on if we're good in comparison to others, but on how we're improving over time.
Today, I thought I'd do a short post on bookish events like clubs and challenges. Seeing how voracious of a reader I am, it's kind of funny that, up until this year, I'd never been in a book club! However, I have spent some time on reader/writer-related activities
As a kid, I participated in reading challenges basically every summer, as well as related activities during school. Elementary school libraries are super cool, and book fair is even cooler. I did well at the challenges. I liked getting the associated prizes, but mostly I just really wanted to beat everyone at being the most awesome reader--which didn't actually happen, but I still was pretty impressive. It's great how much they encourage reading in elementary school, and I'm lucky to have come from a family that supports that.
I also went to library events like the American Girl camps, where you'd learn how to waltz and cook and drink tea properly or whatever. Ignoring the part where no one talked to me, I liked those. (My good imagination meant I could totally pretend my doll was real and we would be friends instead.)
As I grew older, these events stopped happening so much. Once you hit middle school, I guess they think you've probably figured out whether you want to read or not. I still did summer reading programs, but the entire thing became a much more private activity. I don't mind that, but there is something to be said for us book people being, you know, actually social. One of the best events I attended was the release of the last Harry Potter book, the only release event I've been to. It was fantastic. Harry Potter has such a beautiful fandom, and I first truly discovered the world of fandom and fanart and shipping and theorizing through it.
Hello, and welcome back to On This Day in My History! We'll take a journey through my diaries to see what was happening in my life on September the 20th through the years. Enjoy!
No September 20th entry in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, or 2004.
September 20th, 2005, Eleven Years Old (Sixth Grade)
There was a very beautiful sunrise, which I described in detail in my diary. I was annoyed at a girl in choir, decided P.E. was okay when we were doing dance, and hated social studies and math. At lunch, I talked to the abovementioned girl, who wanted to join my friend group, about how we didn't really want her around all the time, and was confused when she decided that meant she and I were no longer friends. At a later recess, one of my other friends told us about her shocking escapades with a boy a year older than us.
No September 20th entry in 2006.
I've now been in classes for three days, and so far, it's going fantastic! I'm exhausted, of course, but I feel really good.
Today's Wordy Wednesday is going to be a bit different. I'm going to share part of my recent YA contemporary project, #FibromyalgiaStory in a before/after comparison of the first draft and the current edit. This way, I can demonstrate my editing process while also showing you some of my writing.
Keep in mind that this is still in the editing process, so it's totes not a final draft, at all.
“Mom!” I bellowed, sticking my head out my cracked bedroom door. The cracks were a lá little brother Jakkob. I’d only managed to cover up parts of them with posters of my favorite music group, Evanescence. The rest of the cracks, unfortunately, you could see perfectly well.
Right now, I'm back at BYU - Idaho for Fall semester! This is my last semester as a sophomore, but also kind of my first semester as a junior? Online classes make things weird. Anyway, I'm excited and nervous, and I have a small cat jumping all over and being crazy.
All of that is good reminder of how I'm not much of a traveler. Going between college and home drives me nuts. I am perfectly happy sitting in my room on my computer or reading, because I am social like that. When I do travel, it's usually for a writing or music retreat/conference, which I do absolutely love! But one place I would really love to travel, on an actual just-for-fun vacation, is to Britain.
It was Doctor Who that made me realize how much I loved British culture and Sherlock that reinforced it. I already had many favorite authors from England, but I'd never really thought about how much it would be a fangirl's mecca until I got into those BBC shows. Now, I am dying to go there! My dear friend Julia was just there this summer, studying abroad at Oxford, and I am terribly, terribly jealous. I think I spend half my time being jealous of her, haha! But it's okay, 'cause I also love her and her writerly face. 😊
Today, I thought I'd plan out an ideal (literary-themed) trip to Britain. This is a very vague itinerary. I don't have a particular order because I don't have a central location (i.e. hotel) to map out from. I do know, however, that I would be using trains. Lots of trains. And buses. Because England.
The Bronte Parsonage Museum
The Bronte sisters are legendary authors of classic literature, and I'm especially a fan of Charlotte's Wuthering Heights. Stopping by the house in West Yorkshire where they grew up sounds pretty cool to me. I'm not sure what all you can do there without having to pay an extra tour fee, but I feel like just being at the house would be pretty darn awesome. They have new exhibitions and lectures every once and a while. There's also a classic Bronte-themed library attached.
Today, I thought I'd let you know where you can find me on the Internet! It's good to be accessible, as a writer, and I love to hear from other people! So here are the places where you can contact or follow me, my work, and my interests.
(For an up-to-date list, see the blog sidebar or the About Me page.)
Through This Website: You can contact me by commenting on mu blog posts!
E-mail: I have an e-mail especially for my writing career, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you creep on me, I will block you, but otherwise, let me know your thoughts!I I also have a weekly e-mail newsletter you can sign up for on the blog sidebar or on the front page of this site. In this newsletter, you will find website news, blog posts, a list of recommended YA giveaways, and a quote of the week.
Facebook: Check out my Facebook page! I'm the most active here in terms of my authorly career, with news updates, blog posts, book recommendations, and any cool posts I find on the web.
Twitter: I have a Twitter! I use it to stalk other authors, agents, and editors, and I post some personal updates, blog post links, retweets, and book recommendations as well.
Welcome to September! In a couple weeks, I return to BYU - Idaho (with Spartacus) for Fall semester! I'm now officially on Spring/Fall track, thank goodness, and I'm eager to return. I'll be taking primarily English classes along with a couple religious ones and a required science class.
Now, as usual, it's time for some humor! Please enjoy.
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