An individual can write for many reasons. One might write to express emotions, to relieve stress, or even as an escape from an otherwise dull life. They could write for themselves, for fame and fortune, or just to share their ideas with the world. Sometimes, it can seem as though the writer is only a vessel – the host for a plethora of stories.
For me, I started writing as a way to unload all of the ideas bouncing around in my head. When I was seven years old, I got the idea for my first novel. Pages of feverish, scribbling writing followed – all in a type of handwriting that was both extremely excited and penned by a young hand. That idea took root again when I was eleven, eventually culminating in my first self-published novel at age sixteen.
As I got older, entered high school, and started to deal with an escalating level of stress, my writing slowly evolved into a sort of “safe place.” It’s helped me with grief, as well as equal doses of anxiety and depression. If the world outside gets to be too tough, I can call myself back to the worlds, characters, and technologies inside my head.
Many writers – including myself – are naturally introverts. In fact, that’s often what drives any given person to pursue this kind of career path. Extroverted individuals don’t do well cooped up in an office or a study for hours at a time, after all.¬ Writers often find it difficult to focus when surrounded by noise, conversation, or just outside stimuli in general.
Writing is my passion. Some people make music. Some crunch numbers like nobody’s business. Some can bend the will of a crowd around their little finger with just a few well-placed appeals. But for me, I prefer to show my soul through a literary lens… and I know I’m not the only one.
Others who got an early start – Christopher Paolini, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, S.E. Hinton – are by no means the only ones qualified to write. It’s basically a given that your first work will never be your best work, but the imperative part of the equation is not to give up. The more someone writes, the better, more inspiring, and more interesting their works will become.
As a part of Generation Z, also known as “the iGeneration,” I can say with confidence that the breed of writers currently entering the adult world will change it more than anyone from the past. Having grown up with much more interconnectivity (nationally and globally, thanks to the Internet), this generation’s works will reflect a hugely inclusive and engaged perspective. We’ve seen so much progress – good and bad, technologically and socially – and heard from so many different resources when it comes to what the world is like now.
We are a creative generation, plain and simple. We are the people who will change the world’s perspective on the human experience and change it for the better. As more and more young writers enter the global scene, bringing with them experiences and viewpoints of an international scale, they will have the power to influence millions – perhaps billions – of readers, from all kinds of cultures, orientations, and ethnicities. Hopefully, this change will be enough of a push to foster a renewed sense of worldwide inclusivity.
On that topic, as a science fiction author, I’ve found that inclusive content comes especially easily to that genre. Science fiction, by nature, is about expanding one’s horizons and finding new perspectives, which is exactly what I try to help my readers do.
This is especially prevalent when examining the steadily growing voice of minorities in the modern world. With a more inclusive social climate, more and more people are able to truly express themselves through their writing. As an example, authors supporting or belonging to the LGBTQ+ community can routinely publish queer fiction, which wasn’t always so widely accepted. In turn, these types of books can help with bringing more of a voice to any underrepresented community. Books brimming with respect and representation are, even now, making their way to shelves around the world.
Do some authors write to see themselves represented? Certainly. Do others write to shed light on issues that have been pushed to the side of the public view? I’d be surprised to find an author who hasn’t. Whatever the reason, writers put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to make the world a better place. And, as an author in the modern world, there are a lot of issues that still need to be addressed.
Writers aren’t going to run out of interesting stories, important topics, or touched hearts for a long, long time. The best we can do – the best any of us can do – is try, and keep trying, to innovate. And younger writers, the ones just coming into the field, have more time to change the world than any of us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maya Massarand is a science fiction writer. She published her first full-length YA novel, The Tasks of the Taken, at sixteen years of age. Having loved aliens and spaceships since her dad showed her Star Wars as a kid, Maya plans on bringing many more worlds to the page and the publishing house in the future. Her role models include Eoin Colfer, Kazu Kibuishi, Becky Chambers, and everyone involved with the creation of the epic sci-fi MMORPG WildStar. She hopes that her works can inspire young writers everywhere, and guide them in the creation of their own written universes.