Tips for young writers

My Top Three Tips for Young Writers

 "I assure you that you can pick up more information when you are listening than when you are talking."From The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White

Observe and Learn

A writer must master the art of observation. Watch people in the park. Listen to customers at a coffee shop or fans at a soccer game. Pay attention when people speak to you and note how they use gestures or tone of voice.

Learn new things. Try out a sport or a hobby. Visit a museum. Go on a hike. Take a cooking or photography class. When writing you will often draw on personal experience so look for opportunities to learn.

Find the stories in everything around you. Pick out a stranger at the supermarket and imagine what their life story might be. Let your mind wander. Could the dry cleaners be a front for a spy ring? What would happen if you picked up the wrong backpack at the bus stop and found an odd piece of alien technology inside?


Read what entertains you and interests you. Stretch yourself. Discover a new genre. If you like scary stories great, but you might find something interesting in a western. Read novels, short stories, magazine articles, author blogs…anything that catches your attention. If you have a favorite book read it more than once and think about the points that grab your attention.


Learning by doing is the best way to approach writing. Decide on your Goldilocks time (one that is just right). Is it in the morning or evening? On weekends? Whatever you choose, make a commitment to write regularly.  It can also be helpful to set a goal. Perhaps you could write a page or two, or just a paragraph a day. When you’re working on a first draft, don’t expect perfection. Just get the words on the page. You can go back later and improve your work.