Am I an Anomaly?

I am a teenage writer.  Pretty normal.

With a completed a novel.  A little less normal.

Who has poured time and energy into improving her craft.  Pretty unusual.

Whose writing might be publishable sometime soon.  Anomaly?

I’m just curious – how many other teenager writers out there are serious about writing?  I feel like the answer is not that many.  For example, if I Google “teenager writing tips,” I get a bunch of articles full of stuff I already know.  It feels as if everyone assumes that teenage writer = beginner writer.  Maybe that’s true to some extent, but I don’t feel like a beginner anymore.  Definitely not an expert, but not a beginner.

It seems as though there just aren’t many teens who are committed to writing.

In fact, on Critique Circle, there’s an entire forum committed to “teenage writers.”  But it’s almost never used.  Maybe most teenage writers simply never bother to get outside feedback on their writing.

I feel like I have this conversation every few weeks:

Me: I enjoy writing.

Friend: Oh.  That’s cool.  I’ve written a couple stories, but I’ve never let anyone read them.

Me: Nice!  Ever thought about writing a novel?

Friend: Haha, no.  You?

Me: Oh.  Well… yeah. I wrote a book.

Friend: …

Me: …

Friend: …you wrote

Friend: …you wrote a book?

Me: Yeah.

Friend: What?  That’s… wow.  Can I read it?

They’re always so surprised.  Taken aback, even.  It was a bit frightening at first, but now I’m more used to it.  I have a better idea of what questions they are going to ask, and how to answer them.

But seriously – how many other teenagers have written a novel?  I’ve heard of the few-and-far-between stories, like Christopher Paolini, who wrote Eragon when he was fifteen or something.

But I haven’t really bumped into a lot of other serious teen writers.  Most of my critique exchanges on CC have been with adults.  Most of the writing blogs I follow are by adults.  Most of the followers on my blog are adults.  (Nothing against adults!  I love you all!)

Most of the people that get their books published are adults.

So am I an anomaly?  And if so, am I okay with that?  Am I okay with one day telling my friends that I’ve gotten a book published?

Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe you’ve met some teen writers who know what they’re doing and have a semi-coherent plan for getting published.

But honestly, I haven’t.

That’s alright.  I’ll be an adult in a few years anyway.  And until then, I’ll just be what I am: a writer.  If I’m an anomaly at the same time, then so be it.

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3 thoughts on “Am I an Anomaly?

  1. I know how you feel. I was fifteen when I finished my first novel (I think… Maybe younger), and then it was an addiction. I continued to write story after story, finishing them. I didn’t want to publish them at that point. I was writing the stories I’d want to read later, and I didn’t care if anyone else ever saw them. It wasn’t until I turned twenty that I decided to start getting serious about writing and publishing. Growing up, I’d always been told it wasn’t a career, and I was raised to choose a career first and a hobby second, so writing became a hobby rather than a career.

    That mindset has changed – it started to in 2010 – and now my goal is to be able to support myself on my writing alone by 2018. Yes, that’s a ways off, but I have a plan and I’m working my way through everything, so it’s doable.

    I’m excited that you are looking into everything so early. I certainly wish I had. If I had a time machine, I’d go back and tell myself to.

    Also, if it makes you feel better… Amelia Atwater-Rhodes was either thirteen or fifteen (I can’t remember which) when her first book, In the Forests of the Night, came out. 😉

    Like

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