Sometimes when I’m not sure what I want to do with my writing time, my husband will say, “Just Write.”
I borrowed a book from another library in our system called Just Write: Here’s How! by Walter Dean Myers with the afterword by a co-author of his in the tome Kick: Ross Workman. Mr. Myers received a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for this book and he’s a New York Times Bestselling Author of Monster.
Near the end of Just Write: Here’s How!, readers can read of the many writers’ awards which he earned! The writing book was intended for Young Adults and is such a clearly written book on the craft that I’m tempted to buy it.
He wrote on a variety of subjects and historical events over the years. The list of all his books from the very beginning in 1969 until 2012 took seven pages to compile! What a prolific writer.
As I read his book, I felt encouraged to use the gift of writing for the benefit of others. He also mentions that writing helps the author navigate through life as they learn about people and other cultures and other social classes within the same country.
He doesn’t mention his faith but he mentions his values, especially in regards to young people that made bad mistakes as immature, impressionable humans. He definitely feels young criminals should be given a chance to change and get past some wrong decisions. I agree. The human brain is not fully developed in the teen years for great decision making. The following website gave research confirming this idea:
“According to Abigail Baird of the Laboratory for Adolescent Studies at Dartmouth, the human brain continues to grow and change into the early 20s.‘We as a society deem an individual at the age of 18 ready for adult responsibility,” she states. “Yet recent evidence suggests that our neuropsychological development is many years from being complete.’”1
When I considered that Jesus told people to repent for the kingdom of God was near, (Matthew 4:17), it seemed clear He knows that young people test their limits, even in unsafe ways sometimes. I don’t think He would tell people to repent if they couldn’t turn from wicked ways to wholesome ways.
If you’re a writer from teen years on up, I think you’ll glean something from this book, even if you’ve written for a long time. Walter Dean Myers tells it like it is in the world of publishing: Hard work and revision and joy and purpose in penning words for readers.
I appreciated the personal examples of the techniques of the craft that he shared as well.
May God bless you!