At last we have some young people joining this blog, and that makes me happy–because there’s plenty of work for everyone in regaining cultural ground for Christ’s Kingdom, and none of us is going to live long enough to do it all. As is the nature of things, we’ll have to pass a lot of this work on to another generation.
Some of you, I’m sure, will want to be writers someday, if not now. I know what that feels like: I started writing science fiction novels before I started high school. I sold my first book in 1986. I was a casualty of the implosion of the horror market, no one wanted to publish my books anymore, but I kept at it. Had to! A lot of changes–for the better–swept over me, and twenty years later I published Bell Mountain, copyright 2010. Now it’s 2018, and I’m currently writing the 12th book in the series.
So my first tip to any teen or tween who wants to be a writer is, keep at it. The goal of publication is fantastically hard to attain. You wouldn’t believe how many books I wrote that never got published, and never will be. There is no substitute for perseverance.
And my second tip is just as simple: read. Read as much as you possibly can, especially the kind of books you want to write someday.
We learn by watching others do what we want to do. By example, and by imitation. How would you ever learn to walk, if you never saw anybody walking? How would you learn to talk, if you never heard anybody talking? Reading is just as important to anyone who wants to be a writer. Read, read, and read some more, and never, never stop.
We all have dreams of hitting it big while we’re still young. Like Stephen Crane, or F. Scott Fitzgerald. But most of us simply aren’t ready yet. We haven’t seen enough, heard enough, lived enough. An awful lot of living has to go into your writing. And you, as a writer, are always a work in progress, never finished, always room for improvement, always more to learn. I believe God knew I wasn’t ready, no matter how passionately I wanted to be published: and He knew best. If God ever decided to give us everything we ever prayed for, He wouldn’t be doing us a favor. Sometimes, when we think He’s pounding us, He’s really blessing us: and maybe we’ll last long enough to realize it, long after the fact.
Anyway, I wish to encourage young writers. Don’t stop–the Kingdom has work for you to do.