Thank goodness you’re here, because I know you’ll understand what I’m about to say.
I’ve wanted to write since I was little. I know you have, too.
If I ever see a scrap of paper, I get excited. You know the feeling.
A blank Word document on a monitor feels like a gift.
My hands usually to catch up with all the thoughts in my head. I love the feel of a keyboard under my fingertips or a pen in my hand.
I used to be a kid who loved to write. I’m 43 years old now, and I officially began my “writing career” when I was 40. I still have so much catching up to do, but one of the things I promised myself is to share whatever I learn, especially to kids who were just like me.
So, here’s an open letter to any kids (or the adults they’ve become) who love to write and who want to do it as much as possible:
Dear Writer Friend,
You realize how good we’ve got it, right? Our love of writing opens worlds beyond description, and not just on the page. Writing things down is just part of the wonderful world we’re part of. Talking about writing, sharing our writing, and reading others’ work adds so many layers to our own writing satisfaction.
There are lots of people who write, but true writers share a language of understanding with one another that is like no other.
Those of us who love to write are so fortunate. Ask anyone who loves to write and they’ll tell you it’s just something deep inside that needs expressing, and the options available to express that need are limitless. Journals, essays, poems, novels, blogs, short stories and letters are only a few of our choices.
True writers cross-train when they’re “stuck”. A novelist can take a break from her conflicted characters and write a magazine article for other writers about conflicted characters. A magazine writer can stretch her writing skills by outlining a picture book. A picture book author can sign up for a conference on eBook writing to learn how to share her work with more readers. The options keep going.
The writing community is like a family. We’ve got the crazy uncles we’re a little embarrassed by, the gentle, grandmotherly types who remind us we’re the very best in the whole wide world, the bossy sisters who try to outdo us, the cousins we see only once a year and wish it could be more often. We’ve got younger siblings who look up to us, and older, wiser siblings who take risks and show us the way. The family of writers is full of opportunities to learn from others and, most importantly, about our own talents and interests.
Keep writing, even when you’re tired. Keep writing, even when you wouldn’t share your work with your worst enemy. Keep writing until you feel written out…then write some more. As a writer, the best part of you is your deepest, most honest core. That’s where your voice is. That’s where your strength is found. That’s the place you’ll want to write from. You won’t always reach it, but it’ll never, ever go away.
Your Fellow Writer
P.S. If you’re a kid who can’t wait to be published, look into places like these to practice your skills. Most of all, have FUN, and check out these great websites for inspiration:
Amazing Kids Magazine: Here are the submissions guidelines
Click here for Websites for Young Writers.
Resources on Kids Learn To Blog
Genna’s World, endorsed by the Newberry Award Committee.
KidPub: Books and stories by kids, for kids.
The Young Voices Foundation, mentoring young writers.
The Betty Award writing contest.
Launch Pad magazine
Where else can kids hone their writing skills?