About this Feature:
Dear Teen Me (Edited by E. Kristen Anderson & Miranda Kenneally) includes advice from over 70 authors and I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour. My tour stop date is Tuesday October 30th, and on that date I’ll be posting a review, hosting a giveaway and sharing my own Dear Teen Me letter. In the meantime, I was inspired by the book and decided to invite friends, fellow bloggers, and authors to write their own letter. Through out the month of October I’ll be be posting them here. I still have space for anyone else who would like to participate-just contact me through email or by leaving a comment on this post.
Really, really excited to welcome author Janice Hardy today- I am a huge fan of her Healing Wars Trilogy. If you haven't read her series, I highly, highly recommend them as the Healing Wars Trilogy is one of my favourite series of all time.
Dear Teen Me,
I remember sitting in Mrs. Horton's American History class in high school, writing a letter to the future me in the oh-so-far-away year of 2000. (I cringe now thinking about how I'd be "old" by then) It seemed so far away, practically science fiction, and it's weird that 2000 has come and gone. I wish I'd saved that letter to see how close you got, but it's fitting that I'm writing back to that same girl now.
I don't remember much of what you wrote back then, but I do recall one detail: By 2000, you would be a published author. Even then this was our dream.
Teen Me, you got there.
It took a little longer than expected (2009, not too far off) and the road was nothing like you pictured, but the dream stayed alive and the words kept flowing. Some of them were the same words, so when you want to trash that prophecy novel, do it. And that Star Wars fan fic? Just don't go there. Trust me.
There will be bumps and tears and heartache between then and now. Boys you're crazy about will ignore you and some will break your heart. Some hearts you'll break. A few hearts you'll want to run over with your car, but you'll resist those urges and write really bad poetry instead. Never fear, no one will ever see those poems, though burn the letter you write to a friend about a certain boy in college. That won't end well.
You'll struggle with choices about what to do with your life. Where to go to college, what to major in. You'll make a few mistakes (Architecture? What we're you thinking?) but they'll all bring you to the right spots at the right time. Going to art school is a wise move and it'll give you the freedom to write when you most need to. Of course, you'll have to suffer through 15 hour days six days a week for a while, but it'll be worth it. The hard work you put it will give you the life you want later on, when it counts.
You'll be adventurous. You'll discover you love to SCUBA dive and will become a Rescue Diver. You'll jump out of a perfectly good airplane (even after having a roommate who "flew well but landed poorly" doing the same thing). You'll go whitewater rafting, but you'll chicken out on bungee jumping. It's okay. No one will blame you.
The guy issue? I know you swore you'd think about marriage when you hit 30, but you'll find the right guy at 24 and marry him two years later. (And when you meet him, no, he's not 17 though he looks like it in that T-shirt and backwards baseball cap) He's nothing like the "Mr. Right" you imagined in high school, but he's the best friend and partner you could ever hope for. He leaves you cupcakes on your desk, hides love notes in your pockets, and follows you to the gas station to pump the gas for you when it's cold outside. And you won't even think it's cheesy.
Most of all, you'll keep writing through life's craziness. Eventually you'll start submitting those short stories and the rejections will start flowing in. You'll realize you're not a short story writer and switch to novels. Then submit those novels. And get those novels rejected. A lot. Take heart, this too shall pass. Those who rejected you will accept you years later and it'll be all the sweeter.
You'll take chances and join online critique groups like Critters, and you'll meet a gal who will become your one of your best friends and a life-supporting critique partner. You'll join Finish Your Novel and meet another gal who will become your other best friend and yes, another worth-their-weight-in-chocolate critique partner. You'll help each other achieve your writing dreams. Best part, you'll have lots of laughs along the way.
You'll travel across the country and attend the Surrey International Writers Conference, not realizing it'll be the weekend that changes your life. Bob Mayer will make you cry, but he's right and you need to hear what he has to say. Donald Maass will inspire you. Carol Berg will say nice things about your writing (and you still feel like you two know each other from somewhere). You'll come home with a new passion for writing and write the book that will be your debut novel--The Shifter. (Only then it'll be called The Pain Merchants, so prepare yourself for title-changing fun)
The best thing I can tell you is this: It all turns out okay. Better than okay. Pretty darn good.
Oh, and your moisturizer and sunscreen routine? Keep that up. Seriously. You'll thank me when you get here.
Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy THE HEALING WARS, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her books include THE SHIFTER, and BLUE FIRE. DARKFALL. She lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one very nervous freshwater eel. You can visit her online at www.janicehardy.com, chat with her about writing on her blog, The Other Side of the Story (http://blog.janicehardy.com/), or find her on Twitter @Janice_Hardy.