For Parenting Writers

It can be an awkward thing to have a child pursuing writing seriously, perhaps even striving toward publication. Here are a few little tips to support you, the parent(s) as well as the budding writer.

Showing Support

Writing is a wonderful way to improve communication in a multidisciplinary way, incorporating grammar, structure, logic, creativity, psychological speculation, etc. But it is a skill as well as a gift. One grows in writing. It can take serious exercise with one’s mind, one’s time, and one’s relationships.

Some writers can be quite prolific, even at a young age. You do not need to read everything they write, although it they want to share, that’s great! Consider these gift ideas:

  • A box to keep copies of their writing
  • Notepads and journals
  • Maybe even software like Scrivener (Different for Windows & Mac)

Parents of writers, you don’t even need to read every little thing in order to validate your child’s writing experience. Give them a box where they can store their precious memoirs, notes, and drafts. I still have mine! Some writers are prolific!

Practicing Safety

Most basic internet safety tips apply: don’t post addresses or personal pictures online. Beware of crazies and stalkers. And, many people may steal online work: ideas, wording, etc.

Also, employers might google their name. Just saying.

Steps Preliminary to Publishing

Be aware that anything posted online is considered self-published. If your child wants traditional publication, be careful about what they may post to blogs or websites.

On the other hand, growing a market can be very attractive for agents, publishers, and future sales.

If you have a writer who is ready to publish things, this is what I recommend.

  1. Send it to a small circle (both peer and adult) for editing and review.
  2. If it’s really ready to be shared, let it be shared. However,
    1. It should be in an unchangeable format.
    2. It should be in some way protected from spanners. I can’t speak to various self-publication sites, but spam is likely mentioned under FAQs or Common Questions.
  3. If it really is ready to be shared, kids can self-publish through Amazon and it may be as easy as self-publishing just on a website. (Am I wrong?)

My own recommendations is not to spend money to get something published. There are predatory publishers out there who will charge money to essentially make you feel good.

Negative Comments/Hard Truths in a Writer’s Life

Parenting writers includes fearing nasty comments, hurtful reviewers, and, frankly, certain amounts of self-discontent sometimes bordering on self-loathing. It’s hard to be a writer and to know you can do better.

How can we help protect the impressionable from negative reviews and hurtful comments? Maybe a pseudonym will work.

You can also have a conversation with your child about why that child wants to write. Is it to hear good things about him- or herself? It might be. On the other hand, if a solid work ethic is part of this, your child may be better equipped than you realize to handle some of the writing woes that all of us face at some point. Often repeatedly.

Legal Things

Copyright laws are complicated and tricky in court. Don’t believe there can be easy tricks, and be careful about using found images!!!

To all you who are parenting writers, I commend you!!!

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