My Best Advice for Young Writers

Write what YOU want to write.


When I was a young[er] writer, I didn’t know where to turn for quality advice. I’m no expert by any means, but here’s my advice for young aspiring writers. If you want to write, keep these things in mind.

Write what you want to write

Don’t worry about what other people are writing about or have written about before. What’s important right now is simply that you write. Write fairytales, write about people at your school and change the names. Write about your fears and your successes. Just put something down on paper. It doesn’t have to be good. It just has to be SOMETHING.

Show someone what you’ve done

It could be a friend or a teacher or a family member. It doesn’t matter who. Write something, and show it to someone you trust. Is that scary? Yes, it is. Being afraid that someone is going to rip your writing to pieces is completely normal, though. Your worries are completely justifiable. But there is only one way to overcome that fear, and that’s to do the thing you are afraid of. Some people will be nice and give you feedback. Some won’t say much at all. Right now, it’s all about building up your confidence and training yourself to be less afraid of putting yourself out there.

Do it because you like doing it

There are going to be people who try and convince you writing is not a hobby worth your time. There are going to be people better than you, and when they read their work out loud in class, it’s going to make you feel inadequate. Use that. Use it to turn around and achieve your dreams anyway. Write because it makes you feel good. Write because it is the only way to get your thoughts and feelings out. Write because you want to write. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

You don’t have to, if you don’t wan to

People told me I was good at writing, so I thought that was all I could ever do. No one ever told me I could write for fun and pursue other career paths. That made me extremely confused and doubtful by the time I got to college. It’s possible to love to write but not want to do it for a living. You can major in chemistry or religion or math in college and still “be a writer.” If you don’t want to make a living as a writer, you don’t have to. Some people like to write BECAUSE they don’t have to do it for work. That’s okay. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

The bottom line: just be honest with yourself. If you like writing about something, write about it. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Don’t be afraid to share your work. Write because you love to write – but don’t ever think it’s a requirement. Writing only works if you do it for the reasons you want to do it. Otherwise, it’s just spilling words onto paper that have no meaning behind them at all.

Good luck. Now get back to writing.

Image courtesy of Roco Julie.

You May Never Win an Oscar, but Your Work Can Still Make “A World of Difference”

Pixar films are known for their excellent storytelling, and Inside Out’s Best Animated Feature Film Academy Award win on Sunday night came as no surprise to most of us.


Whether you’re feeling discouraged or you’re having the best time of your life, a little inspiration from someone who has been where you are, and worked their way up to success in your field, never hurts.

Pixar films are known for their excellent storytelling, and Inside Out‘s Best Animated Feature Film Academy Award win on Sunday night came as no surprise to most of us. We laughed. We cried. We thought about our imaginary friends for the first time in 15 years (or longer).

Even more heartwarming than knowing our favorite animated film of 2015 won the award it deserved was the heartfelt advice Pixar’s Pete Doctor gave young creators while accepting the Oscar.

“There are days you’re gonna feel sad,” he said. “You’re gonna feel angry, you’re gonna feel scared. That’s nothing you can choose. But you can make stuff. Make films. Draw. Write. It’ll make a world of difference.”

And he’s absolutely right. We can’t always choose how we feel, but we can channel those emotions into our art, whatever it may be, and choose to create anyway.

Young creators have it harder than you might think (never forget that you were one once). They have dreams and aren’t afraid to chase them, but they also have people telling them they need a backup plan first, or that they can’t make a living doing their art, or they have support but no one telling them where to go or how to make it big.

Anyone can take Doctor’s advice though. It doesn’t matter if you’re stuck in a crappy freelance job or you’ve been trying to get published with no success or you’ve had some success and are just feeling burned out.

Your work doesn’t matter any less just because you aren’t having the success you’ve been hoping for or you’re not enjoying what you do as much as you thought you would. Your words can still make a difference to someone, or might make a difference at some point in the future.

You may never win an Oscar or publish a bestseller or have your stories read by millions of people around the world. That doesn’t mean your art, whatever it is, isn’t still worth doing. Sometimes it takes awhile to break through the white noise. Maybe you never will.

But we don’t just create to be noticed. We create because it is part of who we are. It helps us through various stages of our lives and makes us more self-aware. Finding an audience that will pay attention is just a side effect. Not guaranteed, but possible.

Keep telling your stories in whatever way suits you. It’s what makes you you.

Image courtesy of