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YWP Participant Pep Talk from Srikala I.

Greetings, mortal beings! (If you happen to be not mortal, greetings to you as well!) You, presumably, are reading this as a YWP participant (like me!!) who needs a tip or two or a few for writing (also like me, most some of the time).

So snuggle down into the closest blanket and listen up:

1) Your worst enemy…

Do you hear that little voice in your head whenever you’re writing? The one that goes, “This is trash, utter garbage. Whoever allowed you near writing utensils, delete this now”? Yeah, that one. Destroy it.

Can’t resist that urge to go over and nitpick every single flaw you’ve ever made? I feel you. My personal tip is to just don't. Don’t look back.

What, you don't think your work is great? Or even good? Let me tell you: sooo many people have the ideas in their heads. They’re beautiful, stunning ideas, but almost none of them make them real. That's a brave thing, putting your mind out there. Keep your fingerlings away from that previous work and write your heart out!

2) I have no idea what to write, I have no idea what to write, I have—

Literally what it says. Keep typing, even if it’s just utter nonsense — eventually, inspiration will come (trust me on this one). It doesn’t even need to be coherent sentences! If you have a vague idea, a possible description of something: write now.

Keysmash until it feels right and type down random words. Sooner or later, you’ll be stringing a bunch of plot points together, connecting them in the middle with some relevant stuff, and voila! A functioning story!

Yeah, it’s a little rough, and there are bits and pieces which are utter gobbledegook — BUT! It’s there, it’s real, and you created it. Editing can come later, there’s time for that afterwards. Now is the time to write until your fingers become sentient and gain a mind of their own!

3) You’re doing excellent!

Sometimes, you feel like you should be writing more, but you can’t. Like, physically can’t. And it’s fine! Are you doing something related to your writing? Excellent! You’re on track!

Go with the flow, jumble up the letters 'til you feel the vibes. It makes the process of everything that much more enjoyable! Or sit down, listen to music, draw, paint, anything really — feel relaxed. Make playlists for your characters (and it widens your music horizons too!), sketch their clothes, paint their favourite flowers! Or not — do whatever you like! Make playlists that you like, sketch whatever you desire, paint what you want!

Browse the depths of the internet for things that make you snort with laughter. Create Pinterest boards with random pictures of birds (hahaha definitely not what I do). Sing opera badly until the neighbours bang on the door! The list goes on! (As for the last one… it might be best if you don’t.)

So, you’ve read this. Now, open up your writing journal or document, and do what you do.

Best wishes and happy writing! <3

photo of stacked pumpkins

Srikala I. (Year 8) can knit, embroider and crochet (just about) as well as recite 200 digits of pi and Act 1 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet from memory. She loves to read, write, and dramatically act out literally every single thing she reads and writes (of course). Her favourite thing to do is to knit soft toys! (She's made several animals and many, many pumpkins by now.) Once she's got her life sorted out she hopes to publish at least one novel.

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