Finding the motivation to sit down and write can be difficult. Maybe all your drafts feel repetitive. Maybe that empty page brings butterflies to your stomach. Maybe the siren song of the internet is more enticing than an hour or two of free writing. Even for those who love to write, it can feel like a chore. Remember though, writing is a form of art. It takes practice, just like anything else.

Today is Encourage a Young Writer Day, and as some of our staff members are avid writers, we have some advice and encouragement for you!

“Don’t let anyone define what kind of writer you want to be. The best advice I ever got was to write what you’d read. Also, being published doesn’t make you a writer. Only writing makes you a writer. I encourage students to take a class in a form of writing they’re unfamiliar with – like screenwriting or creative non-fiction.”

– Sarah, Lead Advisor

“There is no one way to write. You don’t have to stick to one style or genre. If you don’t like something, scrap it. If you need a break, take one. Just don’t give up! Your goal doesn’t have to be to get published. Your goal should be to enjoy the process. Don’t be afraid of the drafts. If anything, they show you how much you’ve grown. When I was a kid, I participated in things like Camp National Novel Writer’s Month (NaNoWriMo) and then eventually Young Writer’s NaNoWriMo. Things like that with goals can be immensely helpful to young writers.”

– Brianna, Administrative Assistant

“The best advice I could give a young writer is to write what you know! If you love dogs, write about them! If you’re good at soccer, tell me about it. If you’ve embarrassed yourself by face-planting in front of your crush, I want to know more! It doesn’t have to sound perfect. It just has to come from some place real.”

– Janelly, Advisor

Overall, some of the best advice we can give you is to write and read. What you choose to read will impact what you write, especially if you love it. If you don’t know what to write, read what you wish you could have written. This will help you recognize what subjects you’re passionate about while learning more about them. You may find a hidden love for biographies, mountaineering, or cooking just by adding variety to what you read. Reading is like research for a writer, so don’t be afraid to get busy reading!

Write for the sake of writing. Just keep going. If lines of nonsense turn into paragraphs of nonsense, that’s okay. As long as you write, you will improve, and keep going as long as you enjoy it.