As a children’s writer, I believe youth have more to teach me than I could ever hope to teach them. While I pull from past experiences and feelings in my writing, my everyday life is consumed by adult worries, joys, and obligations.
Most of my on-line writer friends are adults. Lenny Lee was the first child to follow my blog. I’ve learned much from the few years I’ve known him.
Lessons from Lenny Lee
1. Don’t let age stop you.
I think back to my youth. It never would’ve occurred to me to contact an author I admired, let alone start collaborations with other writers. And since the Internet didn’t exist when I was his age (man, I’m old), writers weren’t as accessible as we are now. Lenny Lee not only writes, but critiques other writers’ manuscripts. He’s part of the writing community!
2. If you want to do it well, learn it.
While I breathed books and liked to write, when I was his age, it also never occurred to me I could be a writer. I thought people were just brilliant at it. If not, then I had no right to pursue it. Didn’t know there was a whole craft to learn for everyone. See, he’s smarter than me. He actually finds out how this whole writing thing works. And does it!
3. Use your knowledge to give advice to other writers.
Clearly, I didn’t have a blog when I was his age (since the Internet hadn’t even been invented). When I started a blog 3 years ago, I didn’t think I had much writing advice to offer the world. Lenny not only learns about the craft of writing, but also shares his wisdom with others. He has written excellent posts on writing. I’ve learned from reading his blog.
4. Be positive.
I don’t want to admit how often I feel sorry for myself. Actually, read the archives, and you can find out. I’m sure Lenny Lee has down days too, but his blog is all advice and encouragement.
5. Have your own unique voice.
It took me YEARS to figure out how to find my voice as a writer. Read Lenny Lee’s blog and it’s all VOICE. His personality shines on his blog. I bet it’s the same for his fiction.
I can no longer call Lenny Lee a child.
He’s turning 13 TODAY!
Please visit this teen’s BLOG
and wish him a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
May you have many, many more.
It’s great seeing you grow.
“Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire. It was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing.”
- Oliver Wendell Holmes