To a Young Writer

I was recently asked to write down some writing advice to a young person who loves to write and needs some guidance. There’s practically nothing I’d rather do. Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet” largely shaped who I am as a writer and a person today. The following is what came out of me. Please feel free to share it with anyone– young, or old, or in-between who needs a little help in this category. Writing ain’t for sissies, and we need a little hand-holding/nudge every-so-often. yrs. Laura

Write what you HAVE to write.

Don’t give up.

Write and write and write.

And write.

Don’t believe in writer’s block.

Don’t worry about getting published.

When you think you’ve gone deep enough, go deeper. And then go deeper.

Think of yourself as an archaeologist and you want to crack the case on the cavewoman.

What did she worry about? What did she do to find comfort?

Tell people, “I am a writer.”

Hold your head up high when they look confused, and even judgmental.

Allow yourself to be misunderstood in life and on the page.

Believe in yourself.

Only you can tell your story the way you can tell it.

When you sit down to write: get butterflies in your stomach. Feel like it’s a snow day.

Always believe that you have something to say.

Always know that you have nothing to say.

Say it anyway.

Be brave.

Be kind to yourself.

Believe. Receive. It’s all happening.

All you have to do is show up.


Filed under A Place For Writers To Share, My Posts

4 Responses to To a Young Writer

  1. kelly

    thanks Laura!

  2. Jan Myhre

    Thanks for the reminder. I need to post my guidelines again. In the business of living, I’ve let them slip away from me. They are these:
    Show up.
    Pay attention.
    Tell the truth…your truth as you see it.
    Refrain from being invested in the outcome. (those expectations will come back to bite you in the a$$)
    So it’s back on my bulletin board they go or maybe they’re there and I just need to uncover them again.

  3. I don’t think these words are useful solely for young writers; I’d say they’re a good reminder for all of us who dare to call ourselves by that name. As you know, it’s easy to get discouraged.

    So, thank you — again and again. :)

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