Often, we forget our history as writers. I think that we get so wrapped up in our own growth that our expectations rise and we often forget exactly where we come from. It’s really easy to look down on our younger writers and easily dismiss them as being “cringy” without giving them the chance to prove themselves. But that doesn’t help anyone!
It’s crucial for all writers to take a trip down memory lane and look at exactly how far they have come. No one started perfectly and no one will write perfectly. So why do we feel the need to turn our noses up at someone who is just getting started? Young writers know when older writers aren’t taking them seriously and that doesn’t make anyone write more. We should first be proud of our growth to see and to understand just how far we have come. And that warm feeling of success could easily be the warm excitement that another writer feels because they’re actually getting words on paper.
Younger writers can take constructive criticism very well. All they really need is just a bit more encouragement. I believe a lot of the time we are scared of hurting a younger writer’s work when they give us their work to read. I myself am guilty of this, I tend to be worried that I could say the wrong thing that could hurt their ego. But there’s no way to continue growing without a bit of gentle critique. Of course one cannot expect the beginning artist to have the same understanding, but just getting them warmed up to understand and take critique could give them worlds of help and understanding in the future.
Young writers can have places to grow! A lot of the time they don’t know where to find them, which is why you should support your local nonprofits. No one is obligated to actively go after newer writers and help them grow, but small gestures of shopping at local nonprofits does absolute miracles. Organizations like 826, and Writopia Lab especially benefit from people shopping in their stores. Those earnings go into funding amazing programs that will be the biggest aid when it comes to catapulting writers and shaping young writers into becoming more defined and professional. It’s a win-win.
It’s important to humble ourselves as writers. We are always growing but it’s important to know everyone is growing at a different pace. The writing community is small and we should work on growing and networking through the lens of revision and self discovery.
Emily Sanchez, Lead Editor for Visual Arts; member of Prose team