Why I Write (for YA)

I’m accepting a challenge from Sarah Hetu-Radny, a member of my critique group, to give ten reasons why I write for children (or in my case, teens).  Sarah offers very informative posts about writing for children over on her blog, so check her out!

Why I write for teens:

1. I love coming of age stories.  This is a time in every person’s life where they can look at the future and try to figure out their place in the world.

2. I was a teen when I decided to become a writer.  (Eighth grade, in case you were wondering).

3. I have worked with kids and teens for as long as I’ve been working.  My first job was baby-sitting.  I also worked for my town’s summer recreation program, in the children’s room at the library, at group homes for children and teens with behavioral issues, and finally as a young adult librarian.

4. Some of my favorite authors are YA authors.  As a teen, I read R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, L.J. Smith, and many others.  As an adult, my favorite authors came to include Laurie Halse Anderson, Sarah Dessen, John Green, Leigh Bardugo, and many others.

5. I like to read YA.  And if I like to read it, why not write it?

The next 5 reasons are why I write, period.

6. My head is full of stories.  If I didn’t write them down on paper, they would come out some other way.  I also like art, but somewhere in middle school I started to become frustrated with expressing myself through art.

7. Writing is fun!  (Most of the time)

8. Writing connects me to a community.  Everyone thinks of writing as a solitary activity, but writing has led me to running writing workshops, joining writing and critique groups, and attending writer’s conferences, not to mention participating in Nanowrimo and making friends on Wattpad.

9. I express myself better in the written word.  This comic by Sarah Anderson explains perfectly:

10. The final reason I’m going to steal from Elizabeth Reyes:

“I write because I must.” 

There’s really no other reason.  Since I was young I’ve been putting pen to paper.  When I don’t write, I find myself growing irritable and unhappy.  Writing fulfills something inside of me that I can’t put into words.  So, “I write because I must.”

What are your reasons for writing?  

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