Breaking News

YWP Participant Pep Talk from Gretchen W.

It's the middle of November. You have about half your word count done, and you're on track to finish early. But…

But teachers are piling on the homework.

But you're getting called to rehearsal every day.

But your friend is begging you to sleep over.

But you have so many chores.

But something cool is happening online.

But a new season of your favorite show just dropped.

But your favorite author just released a new book.

But, but, but!

You have so many reasons not to write — more excuses and responsibilities than you can handle. At the end of the day, is writing really more important than any of that?

Well, that depends on you. I can't answer that for you. But if you do want to keep writing, then you are going to need to find out how to manage your time so that you can write.

One of the first things you need to do is learn how to say no. Sure, you can't just stop doing homework or chores (sigh), but that new season or book will still be there next month. Or maybe you could even reward yourself with a chapter or episode after you finish your daily goal.

But what if you really don't have time? You've already limited yourself from spending hours reading books or scrolling on social media. Plus, you are getting way too much homework to have time to write thousands of words. However, you might be able to write 100 or 200 words while your mom is driving you to basketball practice. You might get 50 words down while you take a quick study break.

Now, I know that doesn't sound like a lot. Your writing buddy might be able to write 2,000 words a day, while you call it a good day if you write 300. Listen to me when I say THAT'S OKAY. Everyone writes at different paces. You might be rewriting every paragraph until you write the next, while someone else might just put words together without much thought. Both methods are valid. Writing isn't about having the highest word count in your friend group. It's about having fun playing in worlds you created from your mind.

Isn't that cool to think about? Your mind created entire people (or animals, or robots, or a million other types of characters). Your mind created every detail, from the color of their eyes to their deepest desire. Sure you might've taken inspiration from Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, but at the end of the day, it's because of you these characters and worlds exist.

We write to have fun. We write to explore. When all is said and done, isn't that what really matters?

Gretchen W. is a freshman in high school who can almost always be found with her nose in a book. When she's not reading or writing, she's acting or dancing. Gretchen also loves spending time with her friends and two younger sisters. Gretchen's favorite genres to write are alternate history and fantasy and she hopes to be a published author someday.

View All Breaking News