Being a young author, and the lessons it taught me by Jonah Evarts
I wrote my first novel from the ages fifteen to seventeen. It was a long, tiresome process that went through astronomical changes over the course of its creation. By the end, I was a completely different person than I had been when I began.
Coupled with the fact that I’d kept the project in the dark until near the end of its time, I had gone about the process on my own, while going through puberty, and with an ever-changing concept of how I viewed the world. Those, in short, are the reasons that my first novel didn’t know what it wanted to be, and why I never gave it a chance to truly flourish.
Being a young author changes the way that you write in a multitude of areas.
As I said, puberty affects a teenager in… quite a few ways. I started writing the book barely having hit my real growth spurts, only beginning to figure out who I was in a school setting, and still not truly understanding what the Pythagorean theorem was. That last one isn’t relevant to my journey as a writer, but god, math sucks.
The reality was that I was constantly changing my identity, figuring out how life worked, and understanding new truths about the world every single day. And that changed the directions I took my writing.
For instance, after a break up, I would focus more on a romantic aspect than an adventurous one. But then on days when I was in a really good mood, the mood would swing the other way. It created an unfocused feel for my book with flat characters that I never gave a chance to grow in the way I did.
Then there was the fact that in high-school, being yourself can be scary. I had been a jock for most of my life, playing baseball, basketball, football, and just about any other sport they would let me play.
After a multitude of injuries and a loss of interest in some sports, I found myself at a crossroads. I decided that writing a book would be a good way to fill my time.
The problem with that was, that’s totally lame. I didn’t tell anyone about what I was doing, save a couple close friends and family members. That was a huge mistake. Being non-inclusive with my writing, especially my very first novel, really pigeonholed me to my own narrow and limited experience on life thus far.
My first novel was a mess… and it was the absolutely most valuable thing I’ve ever done in my life. I regret not a single word written on those pages, and I never will.
If I hadn’t gone through that process, I never would have believed that I could do it again. I never would have created something that some people go their whole lives wishing they could do. I encourage anyone who is wishing to write a book but isn’t sure of themselves to take a step back and realize that the first time doesn’t have to be perfect, not by a long shot.
While my youth highlighted the growth and constant change of life, those two things are a guarantee for every single person alive. You will change over the course of writing a book, that is a fact. You will want to never let anyone read it at some point, because it’s scary.
Being a young author only made those two facts evident to me and helped me shape the course of my next novel, which I’m incredibly proud of and is a humongous step up from my first one.
Writing will never be a set process, because human beings aren’t set creatures. Writing will never be easy to expose to the world, because fear of rejection is a human response. My youth exposed me to that very quickly, because as a teenager, you place yourself on a pedestal you believe the whole world is staring at.
Growth doesn’t have to stop you from creating something beautiful, in fact, with time and experience, it helps you form a story better than you could have originally imagined.
About Jonah Evarts
Jonah Evarts is only 18 years old, and began writing his debut novel when he was just 15. He lives in Manhattan, Kansas with two old people who gave birth to him, a twenty-something dude that lives in the basement, and two adorable canines.
Growing up as a military child, Jonah lived in Alabama, Georgia, Texas, and Korea (yes really) before coming to Kansas. He says that Kansas is boring. He may be correct.
Jonah loves movies, music, and the occasional writing of a book. He hopes to combine these three activities in the future, and make a career out of it. Support this poor man-child in his attempt to do something with his life.
About the Book
The Worst Kind of Love by Jonah Evarts
Genre: YA Fiction
This is a love story. Just not the kind you’re thinking of.
Jaden is dealing with some major heart aches as he enters his first semester of college. All he wants is to forget about his ex, find a new girlfriend, and get semi-decent grades. But life has much more complicated plans for him. Dauring his first day of class, he meets Cole, probably the most attractive male human being on the planet. Jaden is immediately overshadowed, throwing a wrench in his plans to find a girlfriend. It doesn’t help that the single girl he is interested in wants absolutely nothing to do with him.
That soon becomes the least of his problems, as old enemies of his mental health, family, and way of thinking begin to overtake his life. Jaden tells a story of friendship, learning, and love as he uncovers truths about himself and life. A journey of endurance and self-growth awaits him as he skates through the roller-coaster that is life with many movie nights and plenty of good food to help him get by.
He isn’t trying to have a love story, but he’s getting one anyway. With himself.
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