Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hung up on Dear Teen Me essay

After eavesdropping (true fact!) on a Twitter exchange between my lovely friend Saundra Mitchell and a new Twitter acquaintance, Sara Megibow, I learned about I was so excited that I e-mailed one of the founders, Miranda, and found myself with a slot slated for March 23.


I'll be writing a letter to my teen self. When I got the "yes," I was like, "Okay! I know exactly what I'm writing about. Topic done. Now I've just gotta pen it."

I opened Word the same day and wrote the first three lines. Totally happy with it, I thought. Then I froze. I just sat there, staring at those lines and feeling something wasn't right. I KNEW my topic. It was my story--I didn't have to come up with a plot or characters. What was the problem?

I mulled over it for a couple of days and was unable to bring myself back to open the Dear Teen Me by Jessica Burkhart document. Finally, I did what I should have done when I got stuck.

Me: So, this Dear Teen Me essay. Something's wrong. I was going to take the easy route. And I still can, but--

Kate: Don't take that route. Don't tell the "I had back surgery at thirteen, started writing and got a book deal story." You know that's not the story you really want to write.

Me: (Long pause.) I know. I know what I want to write. But I'm scared. It's scary! Part of it is from Sekrit YA Project. If I blog part of it now it'll be . . . out there.

Kate: It will. But think about how many teens you might reach who are going through that very same thing. Think if you could help just one of them by writing what you've already written in Sekrit YA Project.

Me: You're right. I'm going to do it. It's still scary.

Kate: It's okay that it's scary. It wouldn't be worth telling otherwise.

And so, I've got a Dear Teen Me essay due just before March 23. I haven't started it yet. I know all of the words. Exactly what I want to say and where I'm going to go. But I have to be in the right mood to write the piece. And, honestly, I'm not ready.

Maybe I will be on a rainy day like tomorrow.

Maybe I will be late, late one night when everyone's asleep and I'm on the couch with a soft light on curled up with a blanket.

Maybe I will early one weekend morning when no one's awake and the apartment is silent.

Maybe I will when I'm surrounded by people on the couch and a fave TV show is on.

Maybe I will when I'm just ready. And that'll come before March 23 because it's important to me and because I'm ready to give everyone a peek, no matter how tiny, at Sekrit YA Project.


  1. You'll find your way! It's hard to write some of these topics -- my post was also pretty tough. But believe me, it feels good once it's out there. Can't wait to read your essay!

  2. I'm going to say <3.
    But you're pretty damn strong.
    And brave.
    And I know you'll come out with something great.

  3. Good luck on writing it! I can't wait to read it!