Thursday, September 02, 2010
What challenges do young writers face that older writers dont?
September 2 2010

So it’s my turn to put my two cents in. I stayed up half the night trying to come up with something brilliant to write that would make Lynda glad to have asked me to participate in this discussion, even after several panicked texts. Despite being published and living with numerous people reading over my shoulder, I really am a big baby when it comes to sharing my thoughts on paper.

About midnight last night I thought of the last part Nina’s post regarding confidence and attitude. When it comes to these things it doesn’t matter if you are young or old, write fan fic, short stories or full length novels, everyone needs to be confident that what they do is worth the work. Without that belief, why write in the first place? How could you finish a story and survive the heartless rejection of publishers? On the other hand, confidence can turn into arrogance. The last thing you want to do is assume whenever your pen touches paper every word will be pure gold. Not only is that annoying, but just plain wrong. It is difficult to strike a balance between humility and confidence, especially when something as personal as your original work is involved. For me at least, stories are like children. I don’t want to hear another persons negative feed back about my baby, but I also realize that I want it to be perfect before sending it out into the world.

Yesterday I was feeling hopelessly humble and kept thinking that I couldn’t possibly know anything about the topic ‘What challenges do young writers face that older writers don’t?’ How should I know? I have never been an older writer so I have nothing to compare my experiences to. Of course there is the problem of not being taken seriously like Nina mentioned. But that is a problem teens face daily. Whenever they decide to do something ambitious there are people who think they can’t just because of their age. Motivation is another problem, but not one confined to the younger generation. Success depends so much on the individual. Comparing age groups is an oversimplification. The old are just as likely to fail as the young because growing old does not mean growing up. I know plenty of adults that still possess the same negative traits that the young are usually accused of having. If you are driven, confident, fearless and open I don’t see why age would hold anyone back from their goals.

There is one area that young people might have an advantage over their older counterparts. Not necessarily when getting published in print, but writing as a whole. Writers that started before the computer age had to go it alone. That is not the case anymore. Publishing on the internet connects young writers to countless others that provide an audience and instant feedback. This also lets people who would never get published, not because of a lack of skill, a chance to get their work read. Fan fic is a wonderful example of this, but people do post their original stories, too. Lynda has often said to me that if for some unfathomable reason the last of her books was not published she would put them on the internet.

I don’t have anything left to say so I will turn this back over to Nina. Remember to comment!

Brilliant, Krysia! I think a lot of older people, myself included, are way more hung up about what constitutes adequate motivation to write than young people with less baggage about "to internet or not to internet". Audience. Ultimately, that's what any artist wants. For her work to be shared and appreciated. I think of my saga as my "fourth child" so I can relate to your comment on striking the balance, too. :-)
Growing up in the Internet age certainly gives young writers an advantage. There is a much smaller learning curve for them, and they are much more open to new ideas. Older writers tend to be used to what they've done before and unable to try new and different ways of getting their names out there. But not all older writers are like that, and with their life experience backing them up they can have quite a following online.

It's an interesting topic. Thanks for both of your thoughts.
You're very welcome, Tina. It's an interesting topic and young writers are only limited by their own imagination.

Great post, Krysia! I totally agree! And you've provided some great insight into this topic.
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link