Friday, November 2, 2007

Writer's Block

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “those who can’t do, teach”. Well for me it is “those who can’t write, sell”. Like many booksellers, as a child I dreamed of becoming an author. I would imagine stories so clear they couldn’t be ignored. Actually, I still do. The difference is, as an adult, I’ve come to realize a certain amount of talent is required to write an entire novel.

Stories are still my life as a bookseller and I love sharing my favorites with my customers. My desire to write stays hidden, but will always be with me. In the store we have a very creative and talented teen writers group which meets once a month. This allows the teens to not only express themselves, but also to boost their confidence by reading their work out loud. Each month they have a writing assignment, which they select since it is their group. Last month they wrote letters to their favorite author. The goal was to express why they liked the book and how it made them feel, but not to explain what happened in the book since the author obviously knows. It amazes me how fluently these kids write in comparison to the way they speak. I actually understood every word!

For one member’s selection, however, rushing out to purchase a book by her favorite author would be impossible at this time. This member wrote a letter from a fan to herself as the author. Talk about creativity! Was this fair to the other members who actually read a book and wrote about that? Hey, this is purely for enjoyment. No grades here! Creativity is the name of the game when it comes to writing fiction. Isn’t it? I’m just a lowly little bookseller encouraging these kids to follow their dreams. What do all of you authors think? What is your best advice for teen writers?

As a side note: For all of you aspiring writers out there, check out NaNoWriMo which is the largest writing contest in the world and is going on right now!