One of the highlights of tour is getting questions from readers–and their parents. And without fail every night the subject of writing (and publishing) will come up.
Let me say this, I am a HUGE proponent of teens and young people writing if that’s what they want to do. Huge. Mega. Do it. It’s a good thing.
Where I get a little more iffy is on the subject of teens PUBLISHING.
Why? Because publishing and writing are two vastly different things.
Writing is shooting hoops in your driveway or playing in a summer league.
Publishing is joining up with the NBA.
In one you are learning life lessons and honing your skills and hopefully having a lot of fun. In the other, you’re competing with professionals who have massive expectations on you, your time, your life, and your general well-being. Can you make some money and brag about doing it at a young age? Sure. But you can also get seriously hurt and ruin your chances of a long and healthy career later.
So that’s why when parents ask about self-publishing (and it’s always the parents who ask–not exactly sure why) it bothers me (and bothers me quite a lot). Consider this article from the New York Times.
People want to skip ahead, go pro. And they want to know if I have any thoughts on the subject. Well, I do. Lots of thoughts. And occasionally I’ve considered writing them down here for the world to see, so imagine my tremendous pleasure in seeing that Maureen Johnson has already done it for me.
Seriously. If you want to write, and if you want to publish, and if you think that self-publishing your book in your teens is the way to become a “published author” then you need to go read this post by Maureen and read it RIGHT NOW.
I agree with everything she said 100%.
And now I’m going to go get to work on my book. Because it is my job.
PS: Seriously READ THIS POST.