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A Plea to Young Writers from Tonya Alexandra

September 26, 2017

Words || Tonya Alexandra

There’s a writer inside you.

You’re not sure how you know it – you just do.

Be kind to that small part of you.

Don’t judge or label it.

Don’t demand it prove itself.

Be gentle with it.

Give it time to reveal itself.

Feed it with experience.

Lap up life – its misery and its beauty.

Make mistakes.


Make big fat terrible mistakes that embroil you in humiliation, horror and fear.

You’ll survive.

You’ll be more interesting.

You’ll have something to say.

Write for yourself.

Forget humans even exist while you work.

Write for the pleasure – the magic of being able to express yourself.

Relish the process.

Use language that delights you.

Bring to life characters who are as complex as the people around you whom you love and loathe.

Throw them into impossible situations.

Let them battle in exceptional landscapes.

Free your imagination to fly wherever it desires.

Your first draft will be rubbish.

Your second will be just as bad.

Cut and polish.

Cut and polish.

It doesn’t matter if nobody reads your work.

You don’t stop swimming because you never made the Olympics.

Write for the same reason you run along the beach – to exercise your mind.

It’s fun. It’s free therapy. It makes you happy.

It’s who you are.

So write.

Tonya Alexandra is the author of The Impossible Story of Olive in Love and Nymph. She loves writing about magical girls in contemporary settings and believes finding ones creative thing is essential for all of us. The sequel to The Impossible Story of Olive in Love will be out in March/April 2018.

You can read our review of The Impossible Story of Olive in Love here, read a piece from Olive and Felix heregrab a copy here, and watch our Facebook Live conversation with Tonya here.


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