A quote inspired me to write this post. And not in a good way. In a I’M-GOING-TO-MURDER-THE-PERSON-THAT-SAID-THIS-WELL-NOT-REALLY-BUT-STILL.
Are you ready for it? I hope so. You’re going to need to be. Here it is:
“Young writers should be encouraged to write, and discouraged from thinking they are writers. If they arrive at college with literary ambitions, they should be told that everything they have done since their first childhood poems, printed in the school paper, has been preparation for entering a long, long apprenticeship.” – Wallace Stegner
By the way, I’m not actually sure if Wallace Stegner said this. I don’t think it matters, though, because people think this anyway.
They think, “Oh, look at that teenager, writing away. Isn’t that adorable.”
“Oh, look at that teenager, trying to talk about writing seriously. Just wait til they grow up.”
*Commence condescending chuckling*
“Discouraged from thinking they are writers.” Definition of “writer”: someone who writes. Which is why I find this quote so utterly ridiculous. In my humble teenage opinion, I believe teenagers should be ENcouraged to think they are writers.
News flash: young writers are getting published with astonishing frequency. Christopher Paolini. Ned Vizzini.Mary Shelley and Anne Frank (well, okay, so they aren’t exactly modern, but they still count!)
There are common thoughts that teenagers can’t write because they haven’t experienced life’s wonders or whatever; they’re too inexperienced; they haven’t sucked enough.
But let me give you an analogy: what is the difference between an adult writing adult fiction for the first time, and a teenager writing YA for the first time?
NONE. In my humble teenage opinion, that it.
So should teenagers be encouraged to consider themselves writers? OF FREAKING COURSE. Wow, I really am in a rage. I’m almost going to go full-out teenager temper tantrum (and you’d better watch out, let me tell you).
I know many talented teen writers. Maybe some adults just can’t see it.
Also, I’m sorry to the adults that think otherwise. I like you. Be my friend 🙂