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Let Other People Support You

The letter below is part of an ongoing series featuring letters from authors to their teen selves. If you're a published author who'd like to participate in this series, we'd love to have you. Just click here and let us know you're interested. Today's guest is Laura Brooke Robson, author of The Sea Knows My Name, out now.


To seventeen-year-old Laura:

Keep writing.

You're on book number four right now; that probably sounds like a lot, but you're not going to get published until book number seven. You don’t tell people about these books because you’re afraid it will sound earnest, sincere, and hopeful. It’s all of those things. That’s okay. I know it's embarrassing to take yourself seriously. Do it anyway.

Also: Keep reading.

Consider reading, once in a while, something other than YA fantasy, even though this is what you'll end up writing. (Don’t worry.) But read books for kids, too, and then books for adults. Read poetry. Read nonfiction and read folklore. You can learn a lot about writing from YA fantasy, but I promise you'll enjoy the other stuff, too.

Also: Keep living.

Laura as a teen

Go out and feel feelings worth writing about. Make friends, and when those friendships fall apart, mourn them. Fall in love, sometimes with the wrong person. Study things that make you not realize time is passing. Swim and run and hike.

Most of all, don't feel like writing and living are two separate activities. You're allowed to tell people you want to be a writer. You're allowed to tell them that you are querying agents, even though you're worried they'll think you're too young. You're even allowed to show them what you're working on.

Someday, all those people are going to pick up your book. They're going to read it and send you nice emails that make you cry. People, by and large, want to support each other.

Let them.




About The Author: Laura Brooke Robson writes books about snarky girls and climate peril. She’s from Bend, Oregon, which means she’s contractually obligated to talk about the fact she’s from Bend, Oregon. As a college student, she did English shenanigans at Stanford. There’s a chance she’s currently living in Australia. Her second book, The Sea Knows My Name, came out last month.


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