One of my favorite things about writing is talking to children who are just beginning their journey as writers. One of my daughter’s best friends is an aspiring writer. She’s only nine, but she is already filling her spiral notebook with pages of story. Just like I used to do, though I was a teenager when I started.
One of the biggest mistakes young writers make is comparing themselves to others. Whenever my daughter’s friend, or any young writer, asks me how many words I write in a day (and, goodness, that can range anywhere from 100 words to 3000) or how long it takes me to “write a book,” I elude the question.
“Write until you feel finished for the day,” I say. Or I’ll tell them, “Just write what you love. Don’t worry about how short or long it is. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks. Just write.“
I didn’t have older writers to help me along on my journey. Most authors don’t. We write because we have to, because we love it. But I think the greatest joy of all is being there to encourage young writers. In those early years, it’s just you and your characters. No deadlines to worry about, no tropes to consider, no one else to please. Just you and your stories.
So write on, young scribes. And enjoy every minute of it!