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Monday, June 20, 2005


Start Writing Early

I’ve interviewed a number of writers and often they have a career in one area then stumble into their writing late in life. Others started young and stayed with it. Maybe as a young person, they didn’t publish lots of material but they had an interest in words and reading.

For me, a high school English teacher saw some spark of life in my writing and encouraged me to join the school newspaper. That boost set me on a course to major in journalism in college. Then I made a left hand turn away from my writing into linguistics for ten years—but I wandered back into my writing and I’ve stayed in the field. During those years in linguistics, I did not write anything for publication except a few letters.

This month St. Martin’s Griffin released a book that I wish had been able to read when I was a teenager. I would have gleaned a great deal of information from it. Timothy Harper and his daughter, Elizabeth Harper teamed to write Your Name In Print, A Teen’s Guide to Publishing for Fun, Profit and Academic Success.

This month St. Martin’s Griffin released a book that I wish had been able to read when I was a teenager. I would have gleaned a great deal of information from it. Timothy Harper and his daughter, Elizabeth Harper teamed to write Your Name In Print, A Teen’s Guide to Publishing for Fun, Profit and Academic Success.

The book is excellent and covers a broad range of topics to introduce teens to writing. I loved this quote in the early pages of their book, “Getting published is less important than the process, discipline and goals involved in writing. Even for teenagers who don’t want to be professional writers—even teens who really don’t care whether they ever get published anywhere beyond their school paper—writing is something that can stretch their creativity and help them find their niche, and it’s fun.”

I love the emphasis that teens need to have fun in the process. Otherwise why write? If it’s drudgery then I’d rather the teen head into a different profession. Yes, writing involves craft and many other variables—but it should be something they enjoy doing. You can see my full review of Your Name In Print on the Teenreads.com website.

Think of the young people who cross your path today. Maybe they are in your family or extended family or your neighborhood. Could you be that person to drop some encouragement into their life and steer them in a different direction?

2 Comment:

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Macromoments Left a note...

Hey Terry, thanks for steering me to Teenreads.com. I have a niece who loves to write, and I will be sending her that link today. Bonnie

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger Beo Left a note...

I think your attitude toward youth is admirable. I wish more parents had your views.

 

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