And the winner is ... Victoria Caswell (aka aspiring_x)!
On to our show...
Writing is a frustrating business. Everyone who has ever gotten a negative critique or a rejection on a query or simply contemplated that the odds of being traditional published are worse than being struck by lightning, already knows this.
So how, in good conscience, could you encourage anyone to take up writing, much less wide-eyed young people (like I will be teaching this summer in a workshop)?
Writing well is a tremendous skill to have in life. With it, you will be more successful in almost any endeavor. Creative writing helps hone the skill of story telling, as well as working those creativity muscles, which will also make you more successful in whatever paying pursuit you choose. More and more, story telling is a skill that crosses disciplines. Newspapers and non-fiction are becoming more narrative. My fourth grader made a commercial about grammar in class (because his teacher is awesome, and because telling a "story" about it beat the rule into their young brains). All the social media ways that we have to connect are miniature story bits told to tie our lives together.
Being a story teller will take you places.
I believe in being (gently) honest with everyone, including kids and teens. Publishing is a brutal business. Becoming a novelist is a hard, hard road to travel. But the skills you gain along the way are well worth the effort and will be used your entire life.
So I'll gladly encourage the teens in my workshop to write and write well.
Publishing...well, that's a different matter.
How do you encourage the young writers in your life?