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You Are More Creative Than You Think

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 Nicole Lesperance, author of The Depths, out later this week.


Dear Teen Me,

I wonder where you are as you’re reading this letter. Maybe you’re working at the salt water taffy stand, handing out boxes to sunburnt tourists to fill with sticky candy. Maybe you’re buried under a mountain of homework, or stressing about AP exams, or stressing about college applications. Maybe you’re out with your friends, driving aimlessly around Cape Cod in a big old boat of a car, blasting music and laughing until your stomach hurts. Or maybe you’re home, scribbling away in a notebook you never let anyone see.

I want to talk about that notebook. All those thoughts and stories and poems, all those letters you write and never send. All those words you shape and polish, those moments of absolute joy when it all comes pouring out of you. You think it doesn’t mean anything, it will never amount to anything, but it will. Sure, those melodramatic poems will make you cringe in a couple of years, but they’re all part of it — they’re building up to something you have no idea you can achieve.

Nicole as a teen

Right now, you’ve never even tried to write a book because you don’t think you’re creative enough. You know the creative types. They’re the kids who make art, who wear bold clothes, who are cool and vibrant and open to anything. The kids who aren’t too scared to say “I’m a writer” and send their work out to publications or contests. You think that could never be you. But you keep on scribbling in that notebook anyway, with no plans to ever let anyone see.

It's going to take you a very long time to finally decide to write a book, and then to send it out into the world. If I told you how long, you’d be shocked. Along the way, you’re going to stop writing completely. For almost ten years, if you can believe it. But then when you come back to writing, everything is going to make sense again, and it will be even better than before. And the confidence you’ve gained as an adult and a parent is going to help you push through to that last step.

You are creative enough. One day, you’re going to be holding a gorgeous hardcover book with your name stretching across the top.

It’s going to be way harder than you thought, and more wonderful and fulfilling than you could have imagined. You had to take your own slow path to get there, but it happened. Believe in yourself. Keep going.



P.S. Give your dad an extra big hug.


About The Author: Nicole grew up on Cape Cod and graduated from Wesleyan University. She spent a few years in London and now lives near Boston with her husband, two kids, and two rambunctious black cats. She writes young adult and middle grade books. In her spare time, she likes to practice yoga, knit, and read tarot cards. Her latest book, The Depths, comes out this Tuesday.


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