A writing friend of mine, Allison Hunter (author of Allison's Book Blog), recently was inspired by Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves, edited by E. Kristen Anderson and Miranda Kenneally (see Allison's review of this book by clicking this link) and she decided to write her own letter (see Allison's "Dear Teen Me" letter). Because her letter expressed so many important ideas for younger, and older, writers, I asked her if I could post some excerpts from it. She said yes, so here goes - here are some excerpts from a letter to her teenage self:
You don’t have a lot of friends, and you won’t in years to come, but the ones you have will be true ones who will stick with you in your darkest moments. You feel alone partly because the rest of your classmates have moms while you are growing up motherless
You will continue to face sorrows. Life will never be all rainbows. You need to be okay with the rain. In your twenties, your neighbors will give you a dog who will become your best friend. You will get him when he’s ten and he will only live another three years. It will take you months to move forward after his death, but you will and even develop a passion for rescue animals.
You will continue to struggle. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. No one gets it right the first time. And sometimes the best things only come to those who wait.
You need to accept yourself for who you are, because that’s how life will get better for you after high school.
I felt that this kind of honesty is important for a writer to have. What would you tell yourself? You have to know who you are, to be able to risk putting your most important thoughts and feeling down, and all of your stories should reflect your most important feelings. It's risky and scary, but authors that risk something of themselves are the authors that I most enjoy reading.