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 Kit Frick, author of I Killed Zoe Spanos, which comes out tomorrow.
Dear Teen Kit,
I’ve got disappointing news: those two commercials you filmed a couple years ago? Those were the first and last times you’ll ever act on camera. And that awful senior year production of Bye Bye Birdie? Yup, your very last play.
You are not going to make it in Hollywood or on Broadway.
I know you’ve poured a LOT of time and passion into theater over the past few years, and so I don’t want to be a huge bummer, but the whole acting professionally thing? You’re not even going to try.
Is your mind blown yet? Your mind is totally blown.
But before you devolve into an anxiety spiral, hear me out. It’s not all bad news. That burning desire to find your creative path, that conviction that the arts are far more than a “hobby” or “extracurricular activity”? You were right! Take a breath. You didn’t abandon theater for accounting, okay? (Let’s be honest, that was never going to be an option. Sorry to break it to you, but you still suck at math.) Your first year of college, you’re going to have a choice between taking a writing class or taking theater. And you’re going to choose writing because you figure you can still audition for all the plays. But then … you’re going to fall hard and fast for that writing thing. It’s going to demand all of your creative time.
And at first, you’re going to feel some kind of way about all those auditions you’re skipping, all those plays you’re watching from the sidelines. (I guess that’s called the audience. But that didn’t make for a very good metaphor.) But soon, you’re not going to miss being on stage because you’re going to fall in love with poetry. And later still, you’re going to fall in love with fiction.
And now I’m really going to blow your mind. You ready? You’re going to get to write books—for a job. You’re going to help other writers too—you’ll edit, and mentor, and teach. You have a whole creative life ahead of you, and it’s nothing like you ever thought it would be, and it’s so much better.
I know you can’t wait to get out of high school. I know you can’t wait to get on with the future already. And I’m excited for you because things are going to get bumpy at times, and there are going to be big disappointments and heartbreaks and curveballs. But there’s so much good stuff ahead.
So hang in there.
About The Author: Kit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow from Pittsburgh, PA. She studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press and edits for private clients. She is the author of the young adult thrillers I Killed Zoe Spanos, All Eyes on Us, and See All the Stars, all from Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books, as well as the poetry collection A Small Rising Up in the Lungs from New American Press. Kit is working on her next novel.