Saturday, June 7, 2014

Top Ten Tips for Young Writers, SR Johannes

SR Johannes, writer extraordinaire, author of the award-winning series, The Nature of Grace, is an expert on the YA genre. I've met many young folks who want to write, who have the need, the innate desire to write, that makes this post so vital. 

And by golly, these tips cross into every writer's realm, from younglings to, ahem, mature.

Top 10 Writing Tips for Young Writers

Starting out can be tough. It’s hard to know where to turn when you are just stepping into the industry. It can be overwhelming at times. There are a few thinsg you can do to get started on the right track:

1. Do your research. Find out what resources can help you find your way and read them. Harold Underdown’s guide to publishing is a great book.
2. Understand what you love to write and start there. Don’t follow the market, follow your heart. 
3. Make sure you set up a space to write
4. Get in a routine. Try to start with a schedule. It might only be 15 min but if you do it everyday, you start a habit.
5. Network. Meet other writers you can write with, critique, or go to with questions. SCBWI is the best resource.
6. Understand the business side. It is important to be aware that publishing is a business. (yes I know it sucks, but it’s true). Know this and it makes rejection and the tough times less personal.
7. Seek to improve your craft – no matter where you are in the field. This may mean reading books in your genre, taking classes, doing workshops, or joining a critique group.
8. Learn to take constructive criticism. This biz if full of it and you won’t get anywhere if you are not open to it.
9. Focus on the journey – your journey and that of your book. If publishing is your only goal, it might get discouraging if it takes longer than you expect so set some milestones to help you celebrate along the way.
10. Always be professional. It will take you a long way and this industry is small.

No matter what, love this process. Love your writing. Seek to improve and believe in yourself. Be prepared for ups and downs along the way. It is a tough business but it is a rewarding one. 

And if you are a true writer, it won’t matter, because you will always write – no matter what? And that love will take you far. 

* * * *

See all SR Johannes books here. 


  1. Always be professional and polite, because words online live forever!

  2. Those are good tips for writers of any age.

  3. I enjoyed reading SR's tips. It's great to hear what helped make her successful.

  4. Thanks for having me! happy writing!

  5. Enjoyed reading this post. I need to concentrate more on tips 1, 2, 4, 8 and 9. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Love this! It's so important for young writers to never stop learning and to engage with the writing community. There's so much support and inspiration!


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