Adolescence. A phase I return to every time I introduce myself at a party or a networking event, learn something new, go dancing, get dressed, put on makeup, fall in love: Do I belong? Am I liked? Am I good, smart, beautiful enough?
Adolescence—coming of age—is a passage in our creative life, too: Who am I as a writer? Where do I want to fit in? What do I need to learn to get better?
I’ve been thinking about adolescence since YA (young-adult literature) novelist Carrie Mesrobian agreed to be our June guest for our Guac & Chips interview and Ripen Your Writing teleseminar (scroll down for info about both freebies and my free May teleseminar). One of my favorite books is the YA novel Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli, which I devoured in one afternoon while visiting my twin sister’s middle-school classroom in October 2001; I was thirty-six (and a half). I fell in love with Susan Caraway, the object of protagonist Leo Borlock’s fascination. Stargirl unabashedly marches to the strum of her own ukulele. I wanted to be her BFF; I wanted to be her.
Approaching forty-nine at the end of this month, I realize that, while I can’t reclaim my literal adolescence, I can be bolder, realer, more spontaneous and impressionable in this early stage of my writer’s life cycle. I can take chances and welcome failure. I can breathe into the growing pains. I can trust my unique voice. What can you do to accept your coming-of-age writer? Share in the comment box below.