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YWP Participant Pep Talk from Anna D.

At times, writing stories can be like living life. There are ups and downs, changes, and obstacles. But you can't let yourself get discouraged. Never let people, or challenges, make you think you're not good enough.

I want to tell you about some of my writing experiences, like writer's block. Every writer hates it. A few days ago when I couldn't think of anything to write, I went outside and sat down in the grass near our bird feeder. I just sat there, quietly watching birds land on the feeder, leave, and then return. As I sat there, ideas came.

The point is, one thing you can do to defeat writer's block is to sit down in a quiet place, and just think. Let your thoughts flow freely, perhaps out loud, in a place where no one except creatures can hear. It might feel weird, talking to yourself, or birds, but it worked for me!

Something else I want to bring up is something you might not have experienced yet. But, I know I have. Have you ever felt like you don't enjoy writing? Does it ever feel like a chore? If so, that could mean you’re restricting yourself. Sometimes, you have to break free of reality and be wild! Write about something you know could never happen! Write what you want to write about, not what you think you should write about. You could even create a story about a character who talks to animals, or even write a totally unrealistic story from the perspective of a squirrel. Write what makes you excited, and happy.

Keeping that in mind, there is a point in a story where you may feel bored. Completely and utterly, bored with your story. I have many times written the first page of a story, stopping after the second paragraph, already tired of it. At that point, you need to consider your own life experiences. What parts of your story have you actually lived through? Enliven your stories using your own adventures.

A short time ago, while riding bikes with my dad around a university, it started raining. We had to seek shelter under a tree! That is one adventure I want one of my characters to experience. So, why not have a character you created live through one of your challenges or adventures? Then, your story will have more heart and feel authentic.

Moving onto another topic—becoming a better writer takes practice. If you’re talented, don’t let your talent make you arrogant! Having talent doesn’t mean you can start writing an amazing story, without regularly working on your craft—one sentence a month won’t do it. You need to write on most days. If you want to succeed, practice, practice, practice. Even with writing, you have to earn success.

Remember, you aren’t limited to just writing books--you can write a pep-talk like this! You can write in a diary or journal; you can write whatever comes to mind on a blank sheet of paper. You can even write lists, like gratitude lists! I’m serious, just scribbling your thoughts onto paper, for 10 minutes daily, will help. Just write!

I end this piece of advice with a request: Don’t ever stop trying! Never give up, as hard as publishing your first, or any of your novels, gets, never give up. I wish all the success in the world to you, my fellow authors!

photo of Anna D.

Anna is eleven years old, from Ohio, and likes writing, being outside, and annoying her older sister! Her favorite type of books to read and write are young adult, fantasy, and a little bit of romance. She is the youngest child in a family of six, which means she's frequently impatiently waiting for exciting, coming-of-age adventures! She can be found on the computer searching for great writing sites, or arguing with her sister, playing backyard football with her brother, or just laying in the grass. In addition to writing books, she also likes to write advice pieces, which is why she's overjoyed to be writing this blog post!

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