Teens & Being Published

19 Mar

There seems to be some kind of common vibe going on in the writing community. Not necessarily all hostile, but there are definitely some angry undertones. What’s the controversy ? Teen Publishing.

Sigh, I avoid such topics, because of all the conflict surrounding them. I’m just not a confrontational person. (Funny considering I write rather vicious dystopian fiction…not the point but still) But I believe its time for me to release my opinion on the subject to the world, for what ever it is worth.

Let me start out by directing you to a rather brutal article on teen writing written by John Scalzi:

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2006/04/27/10-things-teenage-writers-should-know-about-writing/

He basically went on to say that Teen Writing Sucks and outlines how you have to wait not to suck in the future. As you can imagine the vast majority of the teen writer population blew a gasket and went on to type horrendously long winded and explosive thread comments, to which Scalzi replied (basically anyway) I’m right, you are wrong, end of story.

Was I angry about this?

In a way, yes. Mostly I was taken aback, at the lack of tact the so called “professional writer” used. You’d think that after “years of experience” that he’d understand, that getting people to listen to you involves a certain amount of objectivity and diplomacy.

I’m not saying this makes him wrong, or a bad writer himself, just one that doesn’t understand people, or simply doesn’t care. Both of which, in my opinion anyway, make him ignorant.

Making broad assumptions is never a good thing. Him saying ALL teen writing sucks seems a bit over bearing. Granted, I do agree, to a certain extent, most teen writers suck at the execution of writing, and have a lot to learn, but there are a few little nuggets, that are publishable today.

Do I think I’m one of them? Heck No! I understand that I have a lot to learn, and a lot to correct in my writing, but it’s not really for me to decide, as I can’t be objective.

Now that brings us to our main point, do I think teen writers should be published? Or even have the ability to? Well, yes and no to both. Personally, I think teen writing is a growing period of sorts, a time to explore your skill set, understand the craft, and decide whether or not you want to be a writer at all! Since you become the person you’ll be for the rest of your life during your teen years, it makes sense that the same things happens to the kind of writer you’ll be during this time.

What I’m saying is that writing changes, through out teen years, and most don’t understand what they are doing when they write. Thus most can’t get published.

As far as those who do have the ability, I feel that the choice is really up to them. You just have to ask yourself if you’re that good now, how good will you be in five, ten years? Would you be okay with putting your self out there at that age, and taking all the pressure it comes with?

To wrap it up, my stance on teen writers being published is as follows:

Most teen writing needs more development, and teens should view these years of their career as those that will make them NYT bestsellers! And those who have the ability to be published should take the option seriously and under stand its consequences.

How do you guys feel about teens being published?

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4 Responses to “Teens & Being Published”

  1. Sonia M. March 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    No writer ever stops learning about life and writing. If they do, their work dies. End of story. Yes, as a 34 year old woman, I write completely differently than I did back when I was in high school. I’d like to think I’ve honed my skills since then (even after a 15 year stint with writer’s block) but that doesn’t mean I sucked back then either. That’s like saying, because I (hopefully) will improve over the the years, that all my writing now sucks in comparison. I might as well never write because I’ll never be as good now as I’ll be someday. Malarky! Now, there are definite differences in my outlook and maturity now than 20 years ago…but I’ll have yet a different outlook and maturity in 20 more years. That’s the way life works for all of us. So why shouldn’t a teen write and be proud of it? You have something to say and a unique perspective. Your audience is likely to be more in your peer group but I think that’s true of any writer. We write from where we are right now. It’s arrogant to look down on any writer because that writer is younger. We are all growing and changing and learning. That’s the way it should be.

    • nkeda14 March 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

      Thank you for that Sonia! I have to agree with the whole “we are all growing and changing thing” that’s why I found his article so ignorant of the actuality of teen writing. Like I said we do have things to learn, and our writing (mostly) is not publishable, but as you said we should be proud of writing! Thanks for stopping by and commenting I hope you come back again 😀

  2. peacesigngirl21 April 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I actually just read his post yesterday. Was I angry? Slightly, yes. Sure, some teens’ writing may suck – including mine – but it’s still not entirely fair to assume all of our writing sucks.
    One of the worst parts was the comments. I only read a few, but from what I DID read, it seemed most teens were just sticking up for themselves – not others. Most were saying: “Well, most people’s writing may suck, but MINE doesn’t!” I recently posted on my own blog on how that wasn’t completely true. From the sections I read of the post, I thought it was pretty biased. He was just saying we flat-out sucked, like we had no chance of getting better until we were out of college. Talk about dream-crushing.
    I personally thought the post was pretty harsh.

    • nkeda14 April 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

      Yeah. I’m just wondering if he thinks that as soon as we turn 20 we will suddenly not suck? Like, BAM! you no longer suck, enjoy the rest of your writing life. LOL like I said he seemed pretty ignorant, and I had never even heard of him before.

      Thanks for stopping by 😀

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