Dear Young Writer: Advice to Your Younger Self

From Jeff: This is a guest post by my friend Edward Paz. Edward is a pastor, speaker, and writer. I am a big fan of his. He wrote this post at my request, and it was inspired by the “Dear College Me” campaign. You can follow Edward on his blog and via Twitter (@edwardpaz).
Young Writer
Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)

This is a letter I wish had been written to me when I began my writing career nearly seven years ago.

Dear young writer…

I know it hasn’t been easy.
I know you’ve been discouraged.
I know you’ve considered giving writing up all together.

But because I knew this day would one day come, today…

I want to encourage you.
I want to uplift your spirits.
I want to make you aware of three things I hope you will never forget.

(Please read through the rest of this letter carefully, every word was carefully selected to encourage you to become the writer you were destined to become.)

First,

Let me remind you: You are, indeed, a writer.

I know you have a hard time believing it, but it’s true.
You feel joy when you write.
You feel satisfaction when you write.
You feel alive when you write.

This makes you a writer.

Accept it.

Second,

Your writing will improve.

It will become more clear.
It will become more concise.
It will become more convicting.

But it will only become these things when it has become this thing: Consistent.

Believe it.

Third,

Your writing will bless more people than you can imagine.

It will challenge.
It will encourage.
It will inspire.

It will, one day, be the only source of life to a generation of people who are surrounded by death.

Envision it.

You are, indeed, a writer.
Your writing will improve.
Your writing will bless more people than you can imagine.

This is the truth.

But you will only experience the depth of these truths by following this very simple advice:

Keep writing.

Sincerely,

The writer you will one day become.

***

What advice would you give your younger self? Feel free to join the Twitter hashtag conversation #DearCollegeMe. Share in the comments.

*Photo credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)

52 thoughts on “Dear Young Writer: Advice to Your Younger Self

  1. Love this. I need to read this daily. Seriously. This BLESSED ME!  Thank you for this hug of words, this encouraging pat on the back to just keep doing it.  Blessings to you, as you encourage others!

  2. Don’t give up and continue the fight to find your voice. I have no background as a writer before I started in ministry, but I have come to accept the fact that I am and I need it. As I work on improving my writing, I am beginning to believe in it. Some days, it is all I think about.

    1. Glad to hear that you’re accepting your role as a writer Chris!

      Jeff’s blog is going to serve you well as you continue along your “writer’s journey!”

  3. Excellent!  I’ve shared this before but  I will share it again. I feared writing for many years.  I feared looking at the imperfect and the flawed.  I have so far to go.  Yet, now, I fear NOT writing more than writing.  Like you said, writing makes me feel alive.  Thanks, Edward, for the encouragement.  So glad I’ve discovered you and Jeff.  🙂

  4. I appreciate your distinction that you are a writer because it enlivens you, blesses others, because you thrive when you create. This is what makes you a writer; not a giant blog following or a shelf of published books. The passion has to be there, and this is where all good authors start.

  5. That’s lovely.  I’ll give a thumbs up to anything that helps confirm my writerly status.  As far as what kind of advice I’d give myself?  Go right to grad school.  Don’t stop for anything!  

  6. Now that I’m in my 30s I often look back and wish I had done this or that ten years ago, or had a better plan for my art career. I think you hit the nail on the head about consistency. Without it you lose your edge. (The question is, how do you become consistent without getting bored or turn into a hack?)

    1. “The question is, how do you become consistent without getting bored or turn into a hack?”

      Great question Brad!

      I’ve definitely become “bored” with many pursuits in my lifetime!

      But I would say, that when you do find “that something” for which you were created, consistency becomes more effortless and boredom is not as prevalent.

      Thanks for your comments!

      1. If I have to answer honestly, the boredom is really a form of Resistance. (More specifically, I’ve gotten bored with my subject matter, not my craft. The boredom [and lack of funds for supplies] have gotten me stuck.)

  7. Oh, how I needed to read this today…wonderful words…even if I’m not young. I think I’ve done a lot of things backwards, meaning not until later in life, but better late than never.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Edward.

  8. This was very encouraging.  I agree, consistency is key.  In fact, that would be my advice to my younger self… ‘stop giving up so quickly on things you were initially so passionate about;  you have to give yourself time for growth.’

  9. I found Edwards’ blog via Jeff about month ago.  And I really enjoy it.  Stout, succinct writing.

    The one piece of advice I would give my younger self would be that it’s okay to be me.  Too long I tried to be what everyone wanted me to be.  That’s the easiest way to make oneself miserable.

  10. I’d have to tell myself to get over trying to be perfect and just get on with it or “just do it”. There is no magic to writing, it’s just hard work. But, if you love it, it ain’t that hard.

      1. Hmmm… I kind of disagree with that. Pursuing your passion may be invigorating, but it can still be pretty hard. That’s why so few people do it.

  11. Dear Young Writer,

    Where did the time go?!  You are now 43 and there are a lot of things you have left unwritten.

    You had 24 hours a day that you filled with other things instead of filling a page or monitor with your words.  Wasted hours on things that did not matter and will not impact the future.  

    A photograph freezes time, but written words freeze your thoughts.  Words frozen on a page until they thaw and come to life on the lips of the reader.

    But hey!!!!  Your not dead, stop fretting about the past and get to typing while the hours are few.  An hour of typing equals years of enjoyment for the readers of the future.

    Your body will lay dead in the ground, but your written words will bring you to life in the hearts and minds of readers.

    1Corinthians  15:54-58

    So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

    1. “But hey!!!!  Your not dead, stop fretting about the past and get to
      typing while the hours are few.  An hour of typing equals years of
      enjoyment for the readers of the future.”

      I love that “Gospel Lab!” It’s never too late to do what God has called you to do!

  12. One word. Perfect.

    This is the post I need to read every time I doubt my ability to write. Like the commentors before me so succinctly put it, the passion to create is why we do this. If our heart isn’t in it then we will never find success. If we’re not patient and open minded then we will never improve.

    Thank you for the inspiration. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some more writing to do 🙂

  13. I quite often wish I could meet my younger self, boy life would be different now!

    We have to learn to live life without regrets though, and I try very hard to not beat myself up for what I have and could of done.

  14. Dear Younger Me,

    The going will absolutely get tough, but don’t give up. I know you get discouraged and tend to be hard on yourself when things don’t go according to plan, but in the words of a wise fish named Dory, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”

    Sincerely,
    Your older and slightly wiser self

  15. shoot!this letter is in the right moment and exact time! It motivates me after I failed an online test for creative writers 15 minutes ago.  I felt that I’m a dumbjerk who happens to have a stubborn muse but unable to put everything in writing. Maybe I am just too impatient to learn everything by overnight. Wisdom takes time and maturity. And if there will really be a future me as a writer,that’s a fulfillment I willingly share to everyone… as long as I never forget that valuable advice: Constant writing.

Comments are closed.