The natural progression of a teenager as we all know is to finish school and get into college or an additional education that can equip them to get started in their career. This is typically the 4 to 5 year period between 8th and 12th grade. One of the most important periods of their life. And Writing; that individual experience of wordifying your thoughts helps in observing the world and committing to it beyond this natural progression
What parents often overlook
We all know that reading helps kids and so parents often insist kids to read at home daily, but when it comes to writing, it is not always insisted. What might be the reason? I reason I figured was may be because most parents thought that writing is something that comes only natural like singing or music. Yet though many parents force their kids to sing and play an instrument even if they do not have the slightest inclination, they don’t ask them to focus on writing. If you think the ability to write, to use words well is something that enhances both personally and professionally.
Well may be writing might not be that natural after all. May be one can be trained to write and with practice get quite good at it. The reason I say is we have often seen kids of musicians having an affinity towards music, even if they do not build a career out of it. But how many kids of famous writers do you know who have become writers themselves? Not many I guess and why is that? If it was a natural born talent, shouldn’t they all be writers. So May be after all writing is not a natural talent and something one can cultivate through a focus and a plan.
The Paradigm shift from short term to long term Goals
During the school years your teen starts learning the importance of short term and long term goals. From the short term assignments and tests to the long term college preparation and planning of the life ahead. It is a paradigm shift from short term goals to committing oneself for long term results.
Long term planning and achieving is not easy, not just for teens but also with adults. We all have at some point or other (and even now) fail in planning and meeting long term results. That being said a teen should also focus on a long term target other than the college planning. A disciplined writing regime focused on publishing a book is a great way to align and with this paradigm shift.
From Starting to Write to Publishing a Book
Yes writing a book is not easy as it takes commitment, time, imagination and knowledge. And Publishing can happen only once the writing is done. But then comes marketing your book and from their the journey for your book becoming a best seller. Let us be very practical here. All books written are not published and all published books don’t get readers and all books are not made best sellers by its readers. The effort to result ratio does taper down quite a bit. But then why do it?
Identifying the Passion
Think of your Teen who has may be 2 to 5 years to hit college. You sit with your Teen and ask them about their aspirations, plans in life and interests and you see that there are areas your kid is so passionate about. It might be things like gardening, cooking, poetry, movies, songs, sports, travel, photography…. Many times you might not be able to figure out if any of these passions can really build a career as the competition is fierce and you might be right.. but… But it does not mean their knowledge in these areas can’t be useful to the world. They could contribute to these fields and may be in the due course even build a career around it. Sometimes successful, but definitely they can start something that will make them happy and contented, because their passion could over time pay some or all of their bills as well…
A different way to cash on your Passion
The interesting thing is when we say passion many people will be envisaging their teen to be a sports person, singer, actor, painter, poet etc…. But Being good at the knowledge of something does not mean you have to be doing it. People often miss song writers, Sports writers, Travelogue experts, movie reviewers, authors, niche bloggers and the list goes on. There are more people enjoying a passion without necessarily indulging in it. More music lovers than singers and musicians, more movie goers than actors and movie makers, more sports lovers than sports people and so on… Writing and creating content to aid a passion is a great way to deliver something the world will love to consume and show your expertise and knowledge. Today and very much tomorrow is going to be the time of content; unique, viral and sticky content.
Observation, Imagination, Passion and Determination
Writing is an art that can span across any field without you really participating in them, it is an assemblage of four things observation, imagination, passion and determination. Understand what you love, observe the world of what you love, let your imagination travel through new areas of your mind and let your passion drive your determination. Fiction or non fiction, it does not matter, be disciplined and you will see that you start getting good at it.
The two types of Teen Writers
Now there are some who are more inclined to write so you can probably differentiate your teen as a natural writer and a trained writer. A natural writer who has always loved words since they first learned it, and then the trained writer whose passion has/will drive them to learn and write about what they love. Both these people can over time get good at the art of writing, because it is a skill that gets better over time. The ability to be creative and at the same time able to articulate about something you love will help you irrespective of the career you choose in your life
What is the next step?
The next step is setting a goal long enough that you can showcase your commitment for long term results. I would say anywhere from 1 to 3 years. Ask your teen to embark on a writing discipline. It is not writing alone; it is the process to delving deep into the area. Learning and thinking about what you are passionate about. Creating perspectives, observing the world around and feeling the heart beat of what you love.
Researching what you love so you can be as close to an living creative encyclopedia in that field. During this period from identifying a passion to writing a book on it, your teen would have travelled a long way observing, imagining and creating fresh opinions and articulations that they would not have done if they did not start writing.
The unique content and information your teen gathers would now be in a position to be published and marketed, as a book or blog or any other content media. The process of gaining knowledge would be a profound experience that will help them in the future
Fast forward a bit
Think of your Teen in his/her 11th or 12th grade with a book or a well received, popular, valuable and content fresh blog in her name. Something that can be showcased as a commitment to long term results and the ability to focus and discipline oneself. How does that Sound?
We have to also understand that every effort put in, every content created is not received in the same way. There are some content that are more popular than other. That is how content works. But it is the process of creation that fuels the passion to grow into something big. I believe graduating as a published author adds some value to the Journey.
I strongly believe anyone can be a writer, and also that everyone cannot be an award winning writer. But if you write a book on something, you will be more knowledgeable and good at it.
You will Be Content and Be PenPositive