Writing a book is huge undertaking for anyone, let alone for a young person who could be doing almost anything other than slaving over a manuscript.
People of any age can start writing a book. The tricky part is finishing it! Completing a book-writing project demands perseverance. Uncommon grit. Grit is the very same stuff that toughens up rugby players, Japanese ama pearl divers, crocodile wrestlers, and those rent-a-clowns who do back-to-back kiddie birthday parties.
Writers young or old need Grit in mega-doses. It keeps the writer on track when an uninvited download of cool (or not?) ideas threatens to hijack the whole project. Grit galvanises a writer to work the saggy ‘muddle’ into a sleek, taut
middle. Grit talks back to self-doubt and puts that bossy-bottom inner critic in its place. Grit hauls the writer down the homestretch to The End.
Exhausting? Yes. Tough? You bet. Rewarding? Like nothing else this side of heaven.
Have you got the necessary grit to start and finish writing a book? Read on for some inspiration.
A Few Famously Young Authors
You may have read some books written by young people without realising it. Do you recognise any of these titles and authors?
- Mary Shelley was 19 when she wrote Frankenstein (1818).
- Anne Frank started writing Diary of a Young Girl (1952) on her thirteenth birthday. Read more here.
- Christopher Paolini started writing Eragon (2002) when he was 15. Originally self-published, the book went on to international acclaim and a series of four books with 35 million copies sold!
- JJ Halo, the Super-Cool Spyling (2009), was written by an eight-year-old Australian school girl named Miss Juliet Davies. The series includes four books.
- A 14-year-old Victorian school girl named Isobelle Carmody began writing a book titled Obernewtyn (1987). The Obernewtyn Chronicles just released its eighth and final episode, The Red Queen (2015). Just a month ago, Isobelle was named Australia’s favourite author!
Youth is clearly no obstacle in the publishing world.
Recently, the Australian publishing world was all abuzz about primary school girl Hannah Chandler who wrote a book when she was eleven. I Don’t Like Cheese (2015) is about a mouse named Mike who thinks he doesn’t like cheese.
Exisle Publishers say, “This delightful picture book explores how even the fussiest eaters can be tempted to try new flavours. And, if you’re anything like Mike, you might find you develop quite a taste for international cuisine along the way!”
Hannah, now twelve, is living the author’s dream life with a few more adventures in the pipeline for Mike the Mouse. She’s been interviewed on the famous book blog, Kids’ Book Review and in newspapers and magazines all over Australia. She now has her own website, and she’s even on YouTube! You can watch her talk about her experience here.
Inspired, Young Writer?
Go for it. Write that book! Pen that poem! Articulate that article! Do whatever it takes for however long it takes to bring your story-baby kicking, screaming, gooing and gahing into the world. You’re never too young to try. Be fortified with a mega-dose of uncommon Grit to achieve your biggest book dreams!
Know of some other books written by young authors? Share them in the comments!
Dream Big, CC.0 Public Domain
Video from Exisle’s YouTube channel
Cover image from Exisle’s Webpage
Other covers from booksellers