Charli's Thoughts on Writing

At the age of 12, I published my first novel My Brother Yak. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

If you want to try writing anything, whether it’s a book or a song or anything else, try to get your inspiration from your experiences in real life. For my book, I got most of my inspiration from funny things that my sister or cousins or family friends did when they were little, or even just stories that I heard. For some reason, parents love talking about all the weird things their kids do. Listen to conversations like that as much as you can.

Most of the stories I start I don’t finish, so when I started My Brother Yak, I thought it was just another project I was working on, and I didn’t expect it to turn into a real book. However, I got the feeling that I was going to finish it when I was about 2 chapters in. I had all these different ideas, and the story sort of just gained its own momentum. When you feel a creative burst coming on, just let it happen, and worry about the details later. The creative burst isn’t enough, though. Just like anything, whether it’s sports or math or anything, you need to practice. Every day, I would come home from school and go upstairs to my bedroom to write. Set aside time (at least thirty minutes a day) for you to practice writing.

For big projects, you can’t do it all yourself. You need people around you like family and friends who are interested in helping you to achieve your goal. You may need to ask for help from people who know things that you don’t. You can ask parents, family members, parents of friends, and many more. Ask for advice on how to move your project forward.

Know that if you ask for advice, that person will probably want to give you feedback. You need to keep an open mind to feedback because if your project is missing something, feedback will help you. When I was writing my book, I didn’t think I needed feedback because I thought it was already perfect. I was wrong. After I got feedback and edited it, I realized that it was much better after.

Speaking of feedback and advice, remember that the first and second drafts are never perfect. People will go through many drafts before they are satisfied with their project. Remember that the person who achieved their goal on the hundredth time failed and tried again 99 times. It might be frustrating to keep rewriting your work, but it’s actually not an obstacle; it’s part of the process.

To sum it up: draw your inspiration from real things in your life, just let a creative burst happen, ask for advice on how to move your project forward, know how to accept feedback, practice writing daily, and be sure to rewrite your work to make it better. Happy writing!

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