Is it written in the stars?

This budding writer dreams of becoming a novelist but then the doubt creeps in.

Read on for words of wisdom from our elder on how to believe in yourself.

Dear EWC:

Hi I’m about twelve years old. At school or when I’m bored, I love to write stories. I’ve started writing a book, and all my friends love it.

To enhance my vocabulary, I’m using a thesaurus and other grammar tools. I want my book to be as good as possible. I have the storyline planned out and try to write every day. My dream is to become a famous novelist. I want my books to become movies. I want to write, sing and act for the world and make people happy.

Except when you think of it, so many writers are poor because they hung on to the dream I have. They failed to publish their book. What if I fail to? Every night I imagine these scenarios where I’m publishing books, acting and singing. But then I think “that’s never gonna happen“ or “you’re being ridiculous“.

Am I? I believe I’m a good author but when I try to write it’s so…hard. Even if writing is the only way to see if I’ll succeed… I’m still young but isn’t that when I should start pursuing my dreams? I just don’t believe in myself enough… What should I do? Thank you.

Folk replies:

You’re doing everything absolutely right! You have decided what you want to achieve in life and are working hard to make it happen.
There is no doubt in my mind that if you continue to work hard that you will become a good writer, maybe even a great one. But becoming a good or great writer is no guarantee that you will ever achieve your dream of becoming a FAMOUS one. The world isn’t always fair or just, and success in writing often has little to do with perseverance or dedication.
Lots of extremely talented writers have worked very hard, after all, without ever becoming a J.K. Rowling or a Stephen King. But this doesn’t mean you should be discouraged or give up on your dream. Not at all. If you quit because you MAY not become famous, you for sure will never become famous; but, on the other hand, if you hang in there and continue to work hard, your dream could very well come true.

You have already discovered for yourself that writing is hard work. And it’s lonely work too. In order to keep improving, you have to be disciplined enough to make yourself write everyday regardless of how you feel or what else you have to do. Some days you will not be happy with what you write, and you will feel discouraged. You might even have periods where your thoughts run dry, and you start to think that you don’t really have what it takes to be a writer. When this happens, you just have to plow through. You have to get up the next day, face that blank screen, and start writing again. And you also have to read – a lot. The more you read, the more you will learn from other writers about how to improve your own writing.

It’s great that your friends all love your stories. But not everyone will. Rejection is something that ALL writers have to face. This is why you have to believe in yourself and have grit. Praise is wonderful and it feels grand, but you have to believe in yourself and your writing even when others are critical. You have to LOVE your characters like they are your best friends.
Finally, you have to LIVE. You have to interact with the world and with other people so that you can use your own experiences and observations in your books.

If you do all this, you will develop as a writer. But to become a famous writer, you will also need a bit of luck. Luck, by its nature, is unpredictable. You can’t chase it or control it, but you can be prepared for it when it comes your way. Some twelve-year-old girl somewhere is going to become a successful writer. Why not you?


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