Alrighty people, I’ve finally got things up and running.
If you would like to join my young writers club, The Voice of Youth, please say so in the comment section below. I will send you an invitation to become an Author of my new blog, the blog upon which the club will be based. As an Author, you will be able to create your own posts and contribute your own thoughts to the rest of the club. All I need is your “yes” and your username or email, and you’ll be admitted!
To get some people up to speed…
This club is for youths ages 15-22 (exceptions can be made though).
We are all about helping each other become better writers by sharing our work, constructively critiquing others, and discussing diverse writing topics.
For newly published/self published authors, we are all about promoting each other and helping each other get the most attention possible.
Participation requirements: minimal (we are flexible)
Rules of conduct: Be courteous. No bullying, threats, inappropriate comments, images, or publications of any kind. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in termination of your membership.
With all that out of the way, let’s have fun! 😀 😀 😀
Here’s the mission statement:
The Voice of Youth is a group of writers dedicated to helping each other write stories that promote the True, the Good, and the Beautiful, by providing constructive criticism, honest feedback, and promotional resources, so as to create a vibrant writing community with enough power to move mountains.
If you are on board with all of this, or if you have any questions, please feel free to comment!
So excited to get this started! If you’re interested, don’t be shy!!
Writing is at times a lonely endeavor. You start out with a sense of determination, as if writing and promoting your story is your destiny. The road seems long and challenging, but you’re ready to face whatever will come. Maybe there’s a mountain or two you have to climb, but the winding pathways of those mountains will have their serene moments, their glorious panoramas, moments of beauty.
You feel all of this before you start you journey…and then, well, the journey actually starts. And it’s a lot worse than you anticipated.
You thought perhaps the solitude would give you a sense of purpose, maybe even a sense of heroism, since heroes rarely actually share glory. But now you’re feeling as if loneliness is closing in on all sides, and you feel as if everything you do is worthless because there’s nobody to see the progress you’re making. Maybe it doesn’t even feel like progress, because no one is cheering you on.
The mountains don’t seem so fair when you’ve now got this negative outlook on your journey. Instead of being a journey filled with adventure and excitement, it’s a journey filled with struggle, stress, and fear. You thought you could carry the world on your shoulders, but now, the world is crushing you.
Writing…hmm…doesn’t seem so great any more.
So you try to find some friends, but you can tell your friendship doesn’t run deep. You share your feelings with them, and they share their feelings with you, but neither party is willing to drink what washes over them. You are both unwilling to engage each other and enter into each other’s lives. Secretly, you are both competing for the same prize.
You wonder if companionship is possible. You wonder if it’s even possible to break free of your loneliness, of your depression, of your stress. You cannot connect with anyone, you cannot find help, and you don’t know why.
Until you find the Tree.
Each person is but a mere branch. We tend to think that we are our own tree, growing up in the big, intimidating forest. But no. We are all a part of the same tree.
Big and small, young and old, something connects all writers. The moment we realize this, the moment we stop pushing and shoving. We stop fighting for attention. We stop cheating on each other, looking over our shoulders, and being dishonest. We stop patting each other, and ourselves, on the back. We become critical because we care. We become attentive because we want to be. We become a community.
We become what we were meant to be…a part of the Tree.
A Tree cannot survive without roots. One day, each of us will take part in becoming those roots. But this won’t happen unless we accept our role in being a branch…just a branch. Not the trunk. Not the roots. A branch.
I am a branch of this tree, and you are too, most likely. The Tree that connects us the part of ourselves that longs to set our imagination free; the part of ourselves that yearns for creative expression, that yearns for beauty, and truth, and goodness, and a desire to share this. We are all in love with the same thing. We are all in love with the Tree. We must only look deep enough to see that we are all a part of it.
Yes, that’s a long title. But I wanted to get your attention.
I am literally thinking up all of this on the fly. But wouldn’t it be great if a Young Writer’s Club was started on WordPress? Does something like this actually exist?
The purpose of the club would be to promote unity, critical thinking, support, and shared love of writing with other young authors.
Age range would be for people between 15 and 22. Exceptions could be made.
This would be more a MOVEMENT, not an official club. I would essentially “run the show”, but I would be equal to every member. If anyone has an idea for how to promote our club, or an idea for a direction we go in, please voice your opinion!
Once again, thinking on the fly…
We could meet once every week? Once every two weeks? Once every month? Preferably on a Saturday or Sunday, when people don’t have classes?
The only thing I am interested in promoting for personal reasons is the following mission statement:
(Insert name of club) is a group of writers dedicated to helping each other write stories that promote the True, the Good, and the Beautiful, by providing constructive criticism, honest feedback, and promotional resources, so as to create a vibrant writing community with enough power to move mountains.
(I’m still working on that last part, but it sounds epic, right?)
Let’s face it. What’s the power of old people? Experience.
What’s the power of young people? Fearlessness. Passion. Lots and lots of passion.
As a movement of young writers, I’d like to see young writers USING their passion. And using it for good. That part about the “true, good, and beautiful” in the mission statement wasn’t something I pulled out of my butt. That phrase is taken from what Ancient Greek philosophers and artists tried to proclaim and portray through their art.
We want to proclaim what is True because nothing is more wonderful to the mind than the Truth.
The Truth will show us, and therefore society, what is Good.
And, once we understand the Good, we can manifest what is Beautiful.
It’s a wonderful philosophy, isn’t it?
What do you think?
If you are within the age range of 15-22 and are interested in joining or have any questions, please comment or email me at:
Have you ever had these doubts? Of course you have. If you’re a writer, then you’ve probably wrestled with these fears before, or you’re wrestling with them right now. We constantly fear being rejected, being forgotten, or seeing our hard work go to waste.
The truth is, writing a story is a lot like being in a relationship.
“What if he doesn’t like me”
“What if I’m not good enough for her?”
“Do I feel bored with my relationship?”
It’s crazy how similar writing is to a relationship. What’s important to remember, I think, is that, as in relationships, we have to PERSEVERE. I mean, if a relationship isn’t good for us or the other person, usually we stop, right? Hopefully we do. And the same goes with writing. If a “story relationship” REALLY isn’t working out, meaning you don’t feel captivated by your own story, or you are feeling like it isn’t worth it, then maybe it’s time to find a different story.
HOWEVER, it’s okay to just “not feel it” some days. That happens in real life relationships…but that doesn’t mean the relationship is bad. Bad days happen. Good days also happen too. And it’s important to remember that and, once again, PERSEVERE.
You’re never going to get what you want and be where you want to be in ANY kind of relationship unless you persevere.
Rekindle your imagination. Think of your favorite parts. Rewrite and reread. Fall in love again. Make plans. Take breaks. And, most importantly, be patient. Great writers don’t fall from the sky, so you probably won’t either!
Writing a story is like being in a relationship. What’s your relationship like?
Yes, I know that pun in the title was cheesy. Getting on the “write” side of people? Seriously…
But anyway, what does all that mean?
Today, I want to briefly share my thoughts about writing etiquette…meaning the way you approach other writers, particularly through the blogosphere.
A lot of the time, we are excited about our own ideas and writing endeavors. And that is great. We should be. If we aren’t excited about what we’re writing, how can we expect others to be? We think we have totally awesome, unique stories, with attractive, relatable characters, twisted villains, crazy relationships that work out in the end…and we want to share our joy with others.
It’s totally common. Don’t ever beat yourself up for wanting to share and express your excitement for your own creativity.
That doesn’t mean you should be shoving yourself in other people’s faces.
Look, I get it, we all want to promote ourselves. Heck, we would all like to be PAID for our ideas, our stories, our hard, written work. Money is tight when it comes to writing, because you’re either a self-published author (like me), or your an aspiring author waiting for an agent or publisher to get back to you.
It seems like all of our problems will be solved if we simply earn ourselves a nice fat following. The goal is to have an audience that is so in love with your book, they love it as much as you do. But how do you go about OBTAINING this audience?
The Wrong Way
“Hi, I’m so-and-so. I just wrote a book that I think you’ll love. Would you mind following me so you can get all the updates on my story? Thanks!”
The first time you see a comment or email like this, you might be like “Oh, sure!” But by the tenth time or so, you’re like, “Seriously?”
To a degree, I think it’s always fair to give people a chance. If they want you to check out their book, you might as well do it…give them points for reaching out.
But the problem is, it’s annoying, or even rude, when someone makes a comment on one of your posts that is COMPLETELY unrelated. In fact, it’s sort of like someone being like:
“I found a new blog. I’m going to pitch my book to them!”
The problem with this attitude is that it creates a sense of CONSUMERISM. Everyone is out to get something, but no one wants to give. No one cares about community. It’s all about, “Hey, look at me!”
Everyone might be checking each other’s books out, but nobody will be SEEING.
The Right Way
If you have to pitch your book to someone, if you feel so inclined, be polite about it. Seriously. Validate the fact that you might be annoying them, that you aren’t trying to bother them. Essentially, be human, not some promotional robot.
However, the best way to gain the audience you want and surround yourself with people that are interested in your ideas is to be a PART of that community you desire.
Nothing can be gained without something being given first. You don’t have to watch Fullmetal Alchemist to believe that 😉
If you want an audience that’s crazy about you, find some people you are crazy about. Find other bloggers who like the same things, read the same things, and are fighting for the same things. I have discovered this by entering a community of aspiring writers…which, believe me, is a very big part of the blogosphere!
Become a part of a community. Comment without wanting something in return. Like a post without doing it to be noticed. And follow people out of genuine interest. What’s more, write about more than just yourself. Promoting your ideas is great, but it can be annoying to see an endless stream of somebody else’s dream showing up in your inbox.
I hope this post wasn’t offensive to anybody, and I hope it helped enlighten some of you! Thanks for being a great community!
Another subtle way to promote yourself is to do what I’m doing 🙂
I’d like to show you the cover of my book, and provide a link to where you can find it on Amazon (99 cents as an eBook, $12 as a gorgeous paperback):
A writer is not scared. He or she can’t be. We have to be willing to accept the challenges, the looks, the inner and outer demons, in order to truly say that we are writers.
We all get doubts. Is this career even possible? Will I ever go anywhere with my writing? Will anyone want to read my stuff?
A writer is not scared.
A writer is also not alone.
Every single day can feel like agony if you convince yourself that you’re alone…but you’re not. WordPress is a great place to make acquaintances with other writers and build a community. It’s hard to be a writer and feel like you are your only fan, you’re the only person looking out for you, you’re the only person going through all the struggles. Well, you’re not.
A writer is not alone.
A writer is also not a cry baby.
Look, nobody likes criticism. But, in the words of my father, criticism is the only way that we can truly grow. As writers, we need to be critics of ourselves; we have to be willing to let go and change what we’ve done, even though it hurts to do so. We have to be willing to listen to others, take advice, and be humble when an editor says “This is crap”.
A writer is not a cry baby.
A writer is also not a quitter.
So many writers…MOST writers, I daresay, could’ve quit. They could’ve said “You know what, I’m too busy. I can’t make time to write.” It’s so easy to make excuses, it’s so easy to just forget about it for one day, or resign ourselves to the belief that it’s not possible. We’ll never finish the book, we’ll never get a contract, no one will like us.
Lies. All of them. If you are a writer, than you cannot be a quitter.
A writer is not a quitter.
Or a cry baby.
Now get out there and do it. Write!
So I wrote a fantasy novel! It’s called Elithius. It’s only $0.99 on Amazon Kindle, and only $12 as a paperback. You can check it out here. You’re welcome.