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Why I’m a Conceited Little Bugger

August 4, 2010

There is basically one reason. Here it is.

I want to get published as a writer before I am 18.

There, now that that’s out, you maybe wondering why that makes me a conceited little bugger. Well, to actually do it, I think of myself as able to do it. See where I’m going with this? A general rule of… the universe, I guess, is that you need to think that you can do something if you want to do it(Think ‘The Little Engine That Could’).

So I think that I can accomplish this goal. Back when I was younger, I wanted to get published before I was 13. Yeah. Okay. I realize now, of course, that this was an unrealistic goal. My story was crap and my writing was crappier, and I had my head full of the grand ideas of fame and recognition, “Oh wow, he’s that genius kid who wrote a bestselling novel before he was a teenager!” I don’t see it as a failure to do so now that I’m 15 and haven’t done this, because it was a silly and overconfident goal. Nobody in their right mind would have picked my horrible manuscript out of a submission pile and read it voraciously, thinking to themselves, “YES! WE MUST PUBLISH THIS KID! HE’S A PRODIGY!” I actually have a printed version of this story, and it literally pains me to read it. The only way I could have done this was to self-publish, which is a lot of money and kind of pointless, because all it is is making the book yourself just to see your name in print. 

I’ve come a long way, I hope, since age 10. I have learned to actually look for a story, and not mindlessly rip of ideas and toss in cliches every three pages. Originality helps, I’ve discovered, with writing. I’ve also established a love and a passion, maybe, for the art of writing. It’s something I love to do. It’s something I love to be associated with. I smile every time I hear the word, and whenever someone calls me a writer(That doesn’t happen much).  But plenty of people that I look up to say that there is not much point getting published as a teenager. You haven’t worked long enough, you haven’t learned enough, you haven’t screwed up enough. And to tell you the truth, I feel like this may be true. Obviously I am not a child genius, or at least nobody’s told me yet. I feel like I have a long ways to go. But I have come   long way in four years of banging at a keyboard and hoping something interesting would appear on the screen.

On the other hand(GAD that expression), I have received some validation from people who I can actually do this to some degree. I’ve even been encouraged to pursue publishing. Also, there are plenty of writers(Christopher Paolini, Michelle Izmaylov, and many others) who were successfully published during their teenage years. So I’m not alone. And at 17 or 16 or whatever it is, I don’t want to make a business out of it, I don’t think I’m that good, and won’t be until I’m a bit older. I just want to do it. Because if I can do it, than I have proof I can pursue it and I’m not just wasting my time. Besides, who doesn’t want to see their name on the spine of a book resting on the shelf?  Call it a personal goal. I might just publish a few stories in some magazines and call it an accomplishment, which it would undoubtedly be.

I am a bit of a believer in ‘youth culture’, as you might call it. Maybe that’s a bad term to use. I believe that kids my age have the ability to do things. They have fantastic ideas. Why not let them-us-chase these ideas? Most people don’t seem to think that a kid like me could successfully come up with a story and get it published, or think it should happen. It’s happened. And by gosh I will make it happen again. I want to BE a writer. I want to be able to say, “Yes, I have done it,” after all these years. I’ve apparently got some raw talent there. I am striving towards polishing that raw talent. And I hope God wants me to go there, because that seems to be where I’m headed. Doing something with your life this early seems strange to most people, but I feel like why not? You don’t know what you’re going to end up doing, but I do not want to end up in a cubicle somewhere. And since you don’t know, why not try things out? I don’t mean to toss aside my elders and people who have experience in life, that’s the last thing I want to do. I have extreme respect for anyone with more experience than me.

So why publish a novel or story or what have you  during you teen years? Why accomplish something like that before you’re an adult in the world?

Here’s what I ask.

Why not?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. emmafj permalink
    August 4, 2010 11:12 am

    OK hang on. Last time I checked you where 14. When is your birthday?

  2. jess permalink
    August 4, 2010 11:35 am

    wooooah. powerfulness! have you ever considered polititcs? or being a youth pastor? :p

    • August 4, 2010 4:47 pm

      Thanks! Politics, I have thought about but it would make my brain pop. Youth pastor… no, I don’t gravitate towards youth ministry. Don’t ask me why.

  3. Emerald Bentley permalink
    August 4, 2010 12:53 pm

    Jake, you’re a very inspiring writer

  4. Hailey permalink
    August 4, 2010 6:08 pm

    Jake. Why do you have to be so inspirational? Now I want to make goals just so I can say, “I did it.” I want to go do something now. Of course, then I’d have to pause my movie. And who wants to pause Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Not me. But definitely after it, I’m going to do something productive. Something that may very well effect my future. Thank you.

    And you most definitely are a writer.

  5. jess permalink
    August 5, 2010 3:13 pm

    yes hailey you are correct

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