Young Writer writes: My friend… just died at the age of 12, writing has basicly been my escape portal, but I worry that I'll never be a real writer, like you. I really want to make other people happy, by spinning tales and stories, so, what do I do?--Grace
Grace, if you are writing, you are already a real writer. It's tempting to want to please others, but you must first please yourself. We are like singers who sing for the joy of it, even if no one is listening. The writers that last are the ones who understand that it is the writing that matters. That's the only way to survive the cruel and capricious nature of the publishing world.
So write to escape, as I did in fourth grade, when my mother was seven weeks in the hospital. Write to nail down that image or experience that might otherwise slip through the net of memory. Write to seize hold of the people you are not willing to give up. Write to give shape to concepts and arguments and to capture those sharp edges of the spirit that are worn away by time and weariness. You may find an audience, if that is what you want, but that is the only way to begin and continue. Good luck.