Louise O’Neill’s: Advice for young writers

DENIS louise 2.jpgThe best advice that I can give to young writers is often the same advice that I give to young people in general, regardless of their professional ambitions.

Care less about what other people think of you.

Care more about how you feel about yourself.

Writing can be a difficult profession. You are often faced with rejection and criticism. Some people don’t understand what you’re trying to achieve or, even if they do, they might still simply dislike your work. That has to be okay. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but that doesn’t mean that their opinion is the ‘right’ one. Taste is so subjective and that’s a good thing. Some people will like your work, others won’t. Some people will like you as a person, and others won’t. Don’t waste your time trying to persuade people who don’t like you or your work to change their mind, it’s a waste of your time and energy. You need to learn to trust your own instincts, to listen to your own voice, and to stay true to your own vision. Again- this is true in writing or in life.

Too often, particularly as women, we are told that your stories are not interesting or they are not worthy of being heard. This is nonsense. No one can tell your story in the same way as you can. Don’t try and pretend to be someone that you’re not. I want to hear your unique voice. Dare to be different. Dare to be yourself. Know that is good enough.

Because it is. You are good enough, just as you are right now.

Be brave.

 

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill is out now in hardback, Quercus

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