In the past several months, I’ve become acquainted with author Melissa Tagg. She is a Christian Romance writer, and her books are adorable! Her novels are set in small towns and are filled with humor, strong characters and inspiration. She loves Gilmore Girls and is slightly obsessed with NeedtoBreathe, flannel and candy corn! You can read more about Melissa on her website, MelissaTagg.com. For Encourage a Young Writer Day, I asked her to shares some encouragement for young writers.
My daughter is a young writer. She won the short story writing contest for her college this year and has gotten amazing feedback from her professors on all of her writing assignments. Several of them have encouraged her to publish her work. Encouraging young writers is near and dear to my heart!
I asked Melissa to write a post about how to encourage young writers for National Encourage a Young Writer Day 2015, and she graciously agreed. She’s been very busy lately with the release of her latest novel, From the Start, which I totally adore! Thank you, Melissa, for visiting my blog today and sharing some encouragement for young writers.
Melissa’s Guest Post
I’m pretty sure when I was a kid, I was the easiest child in the entire world to buy gifts for. Get me a cool notebook with a pretty cover (or even just a plain old Mead five-star would do) and some pens or pencils and I turned Maria twirling around on a mountaintop at the beginning of Sound of Music.
Notebooks and pens were an invitation for my storytelling imagination. I loved writing stories as a kid. I love writing stories now. Though, anymore, I do most of it on my laptop.
But there’s something I had as a kid that was even better than a plentiful supply of paper. And I’m not sure I fully appreciated or even recognized it back then. But I do today:
I had encouragement.
Constant, continual encouragement. From my parents. My grandparents. Teachers. Friends’ parents. My youth leaders. I was never short on people to encourage, spark and support my writing dream. That is an amazing, amazing thing.
And it’s something, I’ve realized as I’ve grown older, not every young person has.
Did you know today is National Encourage a Young Writer Day?
Truthfully, I didn’t until Christy told me about it and suggested it as a topic for this post. (Bless you, Christy! I heart blog topic suggestions. 🙂 )
And as I mulled over what to write, all kinds of potential encouraging words flitted through my mind—most of them in the form of tips and advice like:
- Find a writing community of like-minded dreamers committed to growing in the craft.
- Embrace rewrites—that’s where the real magic happens.
- Write flawed but strong characters.
- Blog or journal to develop your voice and interview people to learn to hear and write other voices.
But that’s encouragement you can find all over the place. What about encouragement for the young person who might not have a support system or family who recognizes and encourages her gifts? What about the person who’s heard all of the above but still isn’t sure his dream is worth the effort?
Here’s my encouragement for you:
Your dream matters…because you matter.
Your passions, talents and gifts didn’t form inside you for no reason.
They’re worth the work…the emotion…the growing pain…even the rejection that comes along with pursuing a dream.
If you have a story to tell, characters who won’t leave you alone, a love for words and craft, a knack for beats and voice and emotion on the page…
And if you’ve never heard it said or need to hear it again…
Go for it.
Write that book, that poem, that song. Get brave and show it to someone. Grow through constructive criticism, shake off useless negativity and learn to tell the difference between the two. Find someone to walk the writing journey with you. Pray and choose to trust God for the right open doors at the right time.
And go for it. 🙂