By Julia Elizabeth
As young authors, we often focus on the downsides of our youth, such as being unable to drive a car or work at a full-time job. We think people will look down on and underestimate us, and we worry that we’ll waste precious hours trying to convince people we can write well.
We become so fixated on the drawbacks that we forget we have assets. If we were to concentrate on utilizing our advantages instead of bemoaning our disadvantages, we could accomplish a lot more.
I’m going to do my best to remind you of and explain some of the advantages we have because of our youth. Although these facts won’t apply to every young author, I hope they help you in some way.
1. We have more time and freedom than most adults.
This doesn’t always feel true. What about school, homework, friends, chores, and the dozens of other activities that fill our days? However, compared to an adult writer, who would most likely be balancing a full-time job and raising children, we have plenty of time.
We also have more freedom. An adult who’s attempting to support herself with her writing can’t be picky about where she submits to and what she writes about, but we can. We’re able to focus on honoring God with our writing and crafting beautiful stories that show his power and love, whether forwardly or abstractly. Although an adult who’s striving to earn a living from her writing can’t afford to fail, we can.
Expecting failure may seem discouraging. However, somewhere along the way, you’re guaranteed to fail at something. Everyone does. As young authors, we can anticipate these failings, then do our best to learn from them and move on. Adult writers don’t have the leeway to spend years slowly building a platform, trying, failing, and trying again like we can.
2. We use and understand the latest technology.
Although we tend to overlook this, our familiarity with modern technology is one of our greatest strengths. Don’t believe me? Consider adults who have been writing and blogging for years. The technology they’re accustomed to dealing with will probably be outdated.
If they want to use newer technology, they’ll have to take courses, watch videos, or research how to work it. I know several adults who are far more knowledgeable about computers than me, but our generation has grown up living with this stuff, which gives us an edge.
3. We stand out because of our youth.
As young writers, we are basically children in an adult’s field. Most of the time, we are overlooked. But if we manage to prove that we are responsible and capable, people view us in a much different light.
We become memorable. Instead of wannabes, people see us as motivated and mature young writers who are growing our platforms and pursuing publication. If we’re memorable, people will more likely visit our blogs, join our email lists, and read our writing. Through this we can serve God, furthering his Word with our writing.
4. We have a unique perspective.
I believe this may be the most important point of all. There are thousands of books, articles, and poems in the world. Whatever you write about, someone will have written about it before. Your perspective is what makes your writing distinct.
As teenagers in the twenty-first century, we have a unique perspective on people, the world, and God. This will make our novels, blog posts, and short stories intriguing. We think differently than current writers, just as they think differently than J.R.R. Tolkien or C.S. Lewis.
We can better identify with our target audience because no adult writer has been a teenager in 2018. Thus we can minister to these readers at a closer level.
I hope that this list will encourage you on your writing journey! Remember, all ages have advantages and disadvantages. And since we haven’t perfected time travel yet, our best bet is to capitalize on the advantages we have at every stage in life.
Living in the middle of nowhere, surviving purely on tea and cookies, Julia Elizabeth is the kind of person who prefers a night of writing tragic character deaths until midnight to, well, pretty much anything else. She grew up reading Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Brandon Sanderson, and other amazing fantasy writers. Her goal is to write both fiction and nonfiction as amazing as theirs, always to the glory of God. At the moment, however, she’s working on conquering the terrifying creature of…nonfiction. If you want to read the really random stuff that she thinks of, as well as some funny stories, you can visit her blog, juliaisfictional.com.