I decide to share this because I feel there is still much too much stigma about letting our children pursue careers as artists. And yes, kids will do what they do regardless of what a mother’s heart feels, but we can still encourage or discourage certain behaviors, and I recently changed my mind about writing.
#It started with a mistake.
My son is fourteen years old and has always enjoyed reading. A couple of weeks ago he said to me that he wanted to grow up to be an author, to see his books on the shelves of stores. And I… well, I tried to be positive, but of course, the first thing that came to mind was the image of my baby boy standing over piles of rejection letters. Or worse, piles of his own books that were returned unsold!
So I gave him a non-committal “that’s great and all but you should still think about college first” mom response, and I think he felt my worry because he left me looking a bit deflated. That bugged me, so I started researching. Just how bad was the market for writers out there?
Oh, before I move on, I also found a very cool article over on Srcxp.com. It’s called “Things to Write About When Bored – 365+ Writing Prompts”, and I haven’t tried any of them yet, but I definitely will. I want to learn what writing feels like so I can share that with my boy.
#What I found.
It’s… well, pretty bad and tough, it looks like. It sounds like most authors never get published, and most of those who do never make a living out of it. Indeed, piles of rejection letters and unsold books are not uncommon. At least those were my findings, maybe you can find something else, let me know if you do.
Anyway, I still didn’t feel good, then I figured: there’s more to life than just professional success. So I started looking into writing can do for a person’s development, and… wow.
You know how people always praise reading and say we need to encourage our kids to read? Well, writing is like reading, but tenfold. It’s a huge workout for the mind.
Writing will increase mental organization skills, improve attention, develop verbal and recollection skills, improve abilities to visualize, reason, and problem-solve, among dozens of other things. People even swear by writing as a form of therapy, saying writing about their problems directly or through fiction helped them through the toughest moments of their lives.
I mean… honestly, I feel stupid I even had to research that. I got so focused on the business side, I forgot to consider the rest!
Sure it’s unlikely that my son will make a living out of writing, and I’m still going to insist that he goes to college or a trade school. But as far as hobbies go, writing is pretty good. It’ll help him grow, and while few writers make a living out of it, lots of them get some extra income out of to help pay the bills. It’s a good deal.
I’ll be encouraging him all the way from now on. No more hesitation. I really hope he keeps writing for years to come.