ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

How to Be a Great Young Writer

Updated on October 31, 2012
Is this the face of a Great Young Writer?
Is this the face of a Great Young Writer? | Source

Early Ambitions

As a child, I wrote all the time, and apart from a brief periods where I toyed with becoming an archaeologist, all I ever wanted to do was be a writer. I wrote stories as all children do and was commended for my imagination, but I wasn't in it for the story telling. I just love words. I love using words. Maybe I just love the sound of my own voice.

I never became a great young writer. I was 35 when my first book was published, and that doesn't count as young. Now, with four published books behind me, I think I know what happened. If you want to become an author at an early age, then this is what you need to do.

Write, write, and then write some more.

Some writers are great at explanation. Some are great storytellers. Some create descriptions with a wonderful sense of place and time. These talents are not the same. Nor do they need to be. Writing is not a single discipline. You can be a great writer, young or old, without writing a word of fiction.

Write, write, and keep on writing. Find out where your talent lies, and then explore it. If you have natural talent, that's good, but it's not the end. Try to learn the tools of the trade. Using a word processor is an essential skill these days, but the tools of the writing trade run deeper than that. You need to know the language. I'm not saying you need to become a grammar nazi, but understanding the ebb and flow of words will help your create better sentences, paragraphs and, ultimately, pages.

No matter where your writing ambitions lie, you can further your education, learn more about your craft, and keep practicing.

The Two Tests Every Writer Faces

So, where did I go wrong? Did I stop writing? Did I fail to learn about the craft? Why, having started writing at age seven, did it take me another 28 years to become a published author?

Writers face two tests, and in the end, it's not about the words, though they are important. Writers need stamina, and that's something, which, in my youth, I lacked. I'd keep going as long as what I was doing was fun, and relatively easy. But when the going got tough? Well, I wasn't tough enough to keep going. I had lots of excuses. School work. A degree in Law (More writing than you can possibly imagine), a marriage and a job. Good excuses, actually, but still excuses. I had stories in a drawer, ideas in a book. The common factor? They were all unfinished.

It's not easy to keep writing every day. Bloggers know this. It's difficult to come up with topics for your posts. Freelance writers have the same problem finding topics for their articles. When you write a whole book, the problem is different, but it's still there. If you're writing fact, your first task is to work out the table of contents. What will you cover, and in how much detail? What order will you cover the subject in? That takes time, and speaking personally, I find it fascinating, but then there's the hard bit. Sitting down every day, to fill in those chapters with information. Every day. The same subject. Until it's done. Personally I think anyone who completes a book deserves a reward, because until you try to do it, you have no idea how easy it would be to just give up. When writing isn't your primary occupation (and it almost never is) there are always more important things which get in the way.


The Influence of the Internet

The internet has, in some ways, changed the game. There are many tools and services to help writers of all ages, and software (I use Scrivener) which can help anyone write, research and format a book correctly.

Anyone can start a blog and BAM, they're published. Amazon has made it easy to publish and sell ebooks. Right now, there are gurus advising thousands across the world that publishing for Kindle is where it's all at. The result is that everyone is out there and some of the fiction you can buy is quite simply drivel. I bought a book based on its blurb a couple of weeks ago, and it was clear that though there was a story idea in there, the writer had no idea how to express it. I was actually shocked at how bad it was. I was and am free to write a review of that book and warn others not to got there. I don't really understand why I haven't.

I think it's fear. Writing is personal. If someone rejects your book, it's as though they've rejected you. If you publish, someone on amazon might give you a bad review. It's so much easier to stick to the writing sites where supportive people will read your stories and tell you're they're wonderful, even when they're not.


The Second Test

If you pass the first test, you face the second. For every 100 writers, there are 80 who never finish what they write. Of the twenty who finish, it used to be said that 15 never even attempt publication, and of the five that do, only one succeeds. Why?

To succeed, you have to be willing to fail. You have to put yourself out there, accept rejection after rejection and still keep going. And that's hard. We all want to be praised and valued. In the past you'd pass your book around your family and friends, get comments, maybe make some changes, but let's face it, they are not your competition or your critics. The internet has changed all that.

If I Could Do It Again

What would I do differently if I could do it again? I wish I didn't feel old enough to ask myself that question.

The answer is, most probably nothing. In my teens and twenties I was too busy living to fit in the writing. I'm not convinced that's a bad thing.

Books are like babies, there is no right time to write a book just as there is no right time to have a baby. There is always something else to do, just as there is always something else to save up for before the family comes along. I eventually achieved my goal as a result of insomnia. I couldn't sleep so I got up and wrote to fill the time. My husband was enormously supportive. It was a slog. By the end I never ever wanted to see the book again, but the day it arrived from the publishers, all shiny, new and freshly printed, I felt like a million dollars.

Advice to Writers

I must have done something right. My entire family, husband, son and daughter, are now writers of one kind or another. They've seen what writing a book can do. It changed my life, as it could change yours.

Will my children become great young authors? I don't know. I don't know if I want them to. The teens and twenties are a great to time to live life and observe. Maybe they should sit it out for a while and leave the writing to the old folk who've been there, bought the T shirt and washed it.

What Do You Think Makes a Great Young Author? Leave Your Comments Here

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Amaryllis profile image
      Author

      Lesley Charalambides 5 years ago from New Hampshire

      Absolutely! Thanks for commenting.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image

      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 5 years ago from KOLKATA

      Very good article. At an young age generally everybody feels an inkling for writing something and he /she who can produce a complete write up is imbued with an ambition to become a writer.But that dream is often shattered in the absence of proper support and encouragement from relations and friends. I strongly believe Hub pages should give necessary support to such budding writers and those who have good ideas but are shy about writing.Thanks.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)