It’s back to school season, and that means that some of you will be forced to begrudgingly analyse each and every word of a book that you perhaps don’t want to read- or at the very least, one you don’t want to read at school. We get it, we’ve been there.
Since we’ve been there, we also know for a fact that there are some among you who still have a lot of love in your souls for reading and writing in spite of your uninspiring English lessons. For those young folks among you who are penning fiction, or poetry, or anything at all, this article is intended for you. We hope to illuminate some ways for you to hone your craft and get yourself out there as a budding author.
#1: Don’t Stop
A piece of advice that we offer to all authors- but is particularly relevant to the youngsters among us- is don’t stop. This means a variety of things. Firstly; don’t get discouraged. When you’re young, it’s hard to interpret criticism as anything other than a personal attack, but you must bear in mind that wanting to improve your craft is to open your arms to criticism and accept it graciously. Secondly; literally don’t stop. Make sure you write often, as practice makes for a much better execution (we’re not going to use the word “perfect” here). When you’re writing, we encourage you to always finish whatever it is you’re putting together, even if you initially hate it and want to rip your hair out. Once you get to the end, you’ll have finished something, and you’ll have a rough draft to re-work.
#2: Keep Reading
“Learning from the greats” is a fantastic way to sharpen your abilities, so keep reading. Read your favourite authors, delve deeper into your favourite genres, move outside of your comfort zone and read new authors, new genres. Surround yourself with what you love.
#3: Communicate with other Writers
Writers can be an introverted bunch, but it will really benefit you to try to network with other writers; attend events, establish a social media presence and join writing communities, whatever you can to find people who are similar to you and can help you improve and get yourself out there.
#4: Get Your Work Out There
Feedback is ever-so-important, and we would advise any young writer who wants their work to be seen to post their work online, and submit to literary magazines and small presses. On one hand, you never know when something you penned is going to end up in a publication somewhere, and even if it doesn’t, you’ll have someone else’s opinion and feedback to refer to as you advance in your career.