What advice can you give to a budding teenage writer?

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Your main tool is the English language, so learn to use it effectively. Grammar checkers are not reliable for writing fiction, so it is important to master the craft properly, including punctuation, grammar, and even more advanced concepts like the subjunctive mood. This will enable you to seamlessly transition between different registers when portraying various characters' thoughts and speech.

Avoid seeking advice on the technical aspects of writing, such as how to create a deaf character or make readers care about your protagonist. Instead, learn by doing and studying works of successful authors who have accomplished these tasks. There are no shortcuts or secrets; the key to improving your writing is by actively writing.

Do not worry about whether your writing method is acceptable. As long as you are able to complete some stories, any approach that works for you is valid. Advice on writing methods may not always be applicable to your style, so do not solicit or follow such suggestions. Discover what works for you through the process of writing, just as every writer finds their own unique approach.

Do not question whether it is acceptable to write about specific situations or characters. You have the freedom to write whatever you desire without seeking special permission.

Normalcy in your feelings about writing is subjective. It is perfectly normal to have a wide range of emotions towards the writing process.

Learn to trust your own artistic judgment. If beta readers express their dissatisfaction with certain aspects of your story, take their feedback into consideration, but remain confident in your ability to determine the best course of action. Their suggestions on how to fix the issues may not be accurate, especially if they lack experience in writing or editing. However, if different readers provide conflicting feedback, trust your own instincts and make the decisions that you believe are right for your story.

When an editor or beta reader presents advice that you know is valid, do not resist or complain about the effort required to make the necessary changes. Embrace their guidance and diligently implement the revisions.

Do not set unrealistic expectations for your first novel. Likewise, do not be discouraged by claims that it will be terrible. It is likely to have flaws, but these can be remedied. Reflect on my personal experience of revising and reimagining my first fantasy trilogy, resulting in successful standalone novels published by renowned companies. Therefore, even flawed early efforts should not be discarded.

Above all, enjoy the process of writing. Whether it remains a hobby or develops into a career, cherish and savor the experience without fixating on future uncertainties.

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