My Child Wants To Be A Writer

Hold on to your panties, I'm about to get serious for a minute. (I know, right?) Sometimes even I have to step away from rants and pitiful attempts at humor. Some have said I'd be better off trying my hand at crab fishing, but I think that's because they want me to disappear at sea. Go figure.

I receive a lot of questions from people that want to break into the writing business. The questions that interest me the most come from parents. They ask, “My child wants to be a writer. How can I help him/her?”

My answer is always the same. I'll share it here.

If your child wants to be a writer, encourage them. Download a writing suite. I personally use Open Office. This suite is free and easy for novices, but powerful enough for advanced writers. Teach them to use the program or find tutorials. (I'll link to some in my sidebar eventually).

Read everything your child writes and wants to show you. Refrain from trying to correct their writing. I don't care if you are an English teacher- let them make mistakes. Making mistakes is how everyone learns. Praise the story, forget about sentence structure for now. Let them enjoy being creative.

If your child is older, you may think about writing courses. There are courses available all across the Internet. Recently I came across a tutoring/learning program for older kids. offers programs in fiction, novel writing, and screenwriting. The staff is populated by magazine writers and college professors.

The major thing with parents that talk to me about their kids writing is they wonder if writing is a phase. If it is, well, isn't that better than drinking and drugs? (my friends will chime in about lush writers, I bet). I wanted to be a writer ever since grammar school. During my late teen years, I forgot about writing, it seemed like a pipe dream.

Today I write fiction, non-fiction, ghostwrite, and own a small indie digital press. Not bad for what was once a 'phase'.

Encourage your child to read. Encourage them to write. You may be the proud parent of the next King or Rowling!