Today I get to teach kids about self-publishing and I am so excited about it! I was invited to Fisher Park/Summit Alternative School in Ottawa to be part of Open Your Eyes Day for students in grades 7 and 8. I'll have 45 minutes for my presentation (to 4 different groups throughout the day) to give them the salient points of writing and publishing.
There are so many things I want to say to these kids. Do I tell them how hard it really is to make it as a writer? Do I share with them the inevitable rejection letters and sales slumps that pave the road of good intention? Nah, not me. I'm definitely a follow-your-dreams type of gal, so I'm going to focus on hard work and positivity. I'll tell them to write because they love to write, and not for any other reason. I'll tell them to stop listening to the critic inside their head and to let the creative voice take over.
I'll tell them not to be boring! Write something interesting and be original. I'll say start a writers' group to share ideas and edit each other's work (as an editor, I have to bring this up!). I'll explain how they need to create tension in their writing and give their characters adversity to overcome. They could start a blog to share their stories with the world and get outside feedback on their writing. I'll show them how to use Wattpad to publish stories for free. I'll explain how to publish ebooks on Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords, and the advancements in print-on-demand publishing with CreateSpace.
But most of all, I want to impart the wisdom I hear time and time again from accomplished writers. The two things you can do right now to be a better writer are:
...and keep writing.