It is therapeutic. As an ex-teenager and the mother of a teenager, I know the experience shudders from ecstasy to the doldrums constantly and without any warning. We go from the height of excitement when an attractive person seems to find us attractive to wanting to never see another living being when even the cat ignores us. Everybody seems to want something from us. For those at school, teachers want a million essays for the next day. For the home educated, parents expect us to watch Science experiments when we’d rather be watching science fiction. We dream of the day when all our spots have vanished, the hair is glossy rather than greasy and we are in control. Teenagers can often feel that no-one understands them, that is why they go from storming out of the room with dramatic vigour to sitting in the corner with a face and mood to match and speaking to no-one. Getting everything off the chest in the form of a diary or private blog is therapeutic. It doesn’t need to be kept every day; it could be more like a journal and kept specifically for times of isolation, anger or depression. It can be destroyed once everything is off the chest – we don’t always mean that we would seriously like to put Mrs Alwaysright in the stocks and fling rotten vegetables at her but it feels good to write it down.
It raises your self-esteem. Apart from when my teenage son is acting on the stage, he is quite a shy person. One of his interests is Doctor Who, the television show whose main character is a 900 hundred year old timelord. The Doctor Who television reviews and book reviews he writes for websites and fanzines are extremely well received. His delight when his work is discussed and praised on forums and Twitter is obvious. Praise from people who do not know us always raises the self-esteem because it is based purely on the merit of the work.
It raises your profile. When we write about something with passion and expert knowledge, we become known for it. People who enjoy our work will pass it on to others. We become associated with the subject which we are writing about. Often when our self-esteem is low, we feel worthless and think we know nothing of interest to anyone else. This is not true. If we asked a roomful of teenagers to list their interests, we would find magazines, forums and societies who share the same passion. Therefore, teenagers writing about their particular hobbies could become well known for their insight into that subject.
It looks impressive on your resume. Competition for colleges, universities and jobs is fierce these days. The ability to write well should never be underestimated. Any employer, lecturer or professor will be impressed by a candidate who writes from choice. They will be even more impressed if the writer has gone to the trouble of getting an audience. Anything from letters to magazines, reviews, fiction and writing a play will demonstrate that the candidate is a self starter.
It gets you prizes. Writing has many advantages; one of them being that it can be profitable. I picked this up as a child. I have always loved writing. Seeing my name in print, in my favourite comic, was heavenly; however, getting a prize for it seemed unbelievable. Research your favourite magazines by reading them thoroughly and then write something positive but thought provoking about one of their articles. Who knows what could arrive in the post.
It is a great way of socialising. Writing is often seen as a solitary experience with the writer locked in the attic pounding away at the keyboard. This does not always have to be the case. Watching teenagers having a great time together because one of them has written a play proves the point. If we provide a vehicle for all the young actors and actresses out there, we will never be lonely.
- 6 Great Reasons to Work with Teenagers. (loonyliterature.com)
- How Drama Classes Give Teenagers Work Experience. (loonyliterature.com)
- Teen Ink…a Wonderful Resource Site for Parents, Students and Teachers (unlocktheteacher.wordpress.com)
- More on Writing Teen Characters (teengirlsthatwrite.wordpress.com)