Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Teenagers Can Write Novels" by Heather Paye

Self discipline takes on a major role in writing. As a writer you have no boss, no one to tell you when or where to write, or even how to do it. This is why you have to do that yourself, you must be the boss and the worker. You have to look at things this way – You don’t work, you don’t get paid. But, then again, I wouldn’t really call writing “working” so to speak.

Writing is an art, and art is a way of expressing yourself, which is why in art you need only write what you know, express yourself, and only aim to please yourself. That’s right, take a breath out; there isn’t so much pressure to do well, or to write the right thing. Anyone can write if they push themselves enough, when I started odds were against me, my grammar was something like that of a 2nd grader, and my punctuation was non-existent. I went from not using punctuation at all, to looking down on writers twice my age saying to myself: “How could they get something like that wrong? It’s simple grammar.” As I wrote I learned more and more about writing in general, you could say that it all came naturally as I wrote. And that was 5 years ago. I’ve hidden the first stories that I ever created from sight, they’re very scary, and almost completely illegible. But, they are good reminders of how far I’ve come.

The easiest part of writing is not always the beginning, but if you split the book up into four pieces, it would be the 2/4ths part, the beginning/middle part that is the easiest, after you get your book going in the direction that it’s going. The hard part is finishing it. You really have to push yourself. Sometimes I take a few weeks off of writing that particular piece so that my mind is fresh and I can finish the story easily.

Writing takes a little bit getting used to, but once you get in the groove it all becomes second nature. Writing has been used for billions of years and anyone can do it if they put their minds to it, no matter what the age. If you can spell words, you can write; everything else will come naturally. A great resource for aspiring writers is a community of every kind of writer there is, new, old, young, and experienced. Another is a contest that happens every November where you attempt to write a novel in one month. I highly recommend it to those who have a hard time finishing novels.

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Vivian Zabel said...

I was surprised to see this posted, but I had to leave a comment. Heather is correct about finishing what we start. Starting while the ideas are fresh and exciting is easy, usually. Following through is harder.

And that has nothing to do with age.

Nancy Famolari said...

Writing does require self-discipline. Heather expresses it well.

The Old Silly said...

Great article. I agree, writing is a wonderful discipline, and if more kids would learn to do it they would benefit in ALL aspects of their lives.

Good post!

Marvin D Wilson

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Great article,Heather. Staying focused is anything we attempt.

Thanks, Kathy for a great post.


KittyNadem said...

Vivian - Thank you for commenting, I'm glad to know that I hit home on that. And you're right, age has nothing to do with that, that applies to all writers, no matter how long they have lived.

Nancy - Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

Marvin - It's true, I have learned a lot from writing, and I can see the difference between me and other kids my age. And one this is for certain, writing keeps me out of trouble. LOL

Karen - Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

Crystalee said...

Very true points, Heather. Anyone can do anything they want, no matter their age. I think it's great that you're focusing so much on punctuation and grammar. They are often overlooked by many writers, young and old alike.

kathy stemke said...

Thanks for visiting everyone.

KittyNadem said...

Crystalee - I agree, many people do overlook the punctuation and grammer, some books I read and I just have to gasp, I'm saying to myself, how could this be published? And then there are those unpublished authors, some of those are just scary and I don't even want to venture there! LOL But, yeah, I am a perfectionist, so that could possibly be why I care so much about punctuation and grammar.

Kathy - Thank you for being a wonderful host this month. It was truely wonderful!