Recently, I had the privilege to speak with a young man about writing and publishing. The conversation started when a neighbor introduced me to her grandson, a bright, ambitious teenager who is thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo. Believe me, I was impressed that a busy, active teen at 15 years of age feels inspired enough to write 50,000 words in 30 days!
As we visited, I discovered he was interested in writing fantasy fiction. I wholeheartedly encouraged him to write his novel, and stressed that with the advent of indie publishing, the dream to publish is not so farfetched anymore. Of course, the journey from writing a first draft to a publishable manuscript can be long and arduous.
I realize this young man still has several years of high school and college ahead of him, but I like to imagine if he develops his talent early in life, he may be able to accomplish amazing things. An experience like NaNoWriMo may guide him in the right direction and provide the basis for doing what he loves in life. Of course, he may have other talents he may want to pursue that have nothing to do with writing. Still, it could be a great opportunity to test the writing waters and find out if he truly wants a career in the field.
When I saw his grandmother later, she thanked me for visiting with him about his writing dreams. She relayed his excitement at having met a published author and said he seemed so proud, even showing off my business card to his brother when he got home like it was a special gift. The truth is, I found him an inspiration. And, if in some small, unexpected way, talking about what I love to do helped him, then we both came away from that chance meeting for the better.
Good luck, my friend.