Hey Writers. This blog's for you. Whether you write to be published, keep a diary, or enjoy writing for the heck of it, we all have something in common-we get something out of putting the things in our head onto paper (or onto a computer screen).

I have had the privelege of meeting several young people who love to write, but have no one to share their interest. Now they do. If you want to post your poem, short story, ask a writing question, share a writing experience, whatever, this is the place for all you young writers. And, once in a while, I plan to give a tip on writing that I hope will be helpful.

One question I am asked often is: How do you come up with ideas for your stories? Actually, not a day goes by that I don't think of a story idea. Of course, not all of them pan out. The real challenge, for me anyway, is developing the idea into a viable, interesting story. My next blog will be about how I do that and I'll use my book Address Unknown as an example.

But, what about you? If you like to write stories,  how do you go about developing them? Or how do you decide what to write in your journal and what to leave out? On many of these questions we can all learn from each other.  

As I develop this blog and learn more about what you want, I plan to post more frequently, however, posting more frequently is a challenge for me. In fact, this whole blogging thing is a challenge for me. But, like everything else, it will come easier as I do it more. 

Let's start with the discipline required to become a really good writer. To write well has something in common with playing the tuba, it takes practice. So, with that in mind, set a goal for yourself to write every day. You know your schedule--when is the best time for you to write and how much time can you give it? Maybe you have to write on the school bus. The "when" doesn't really matter--just do it every day. 

Ask someone who writes better than you--your teacher, older brother, parent, neighbor, anyone--to read what you wrote and give you some feedback.  Over time, you will improve. Enter contests, write for extra credit in school, find creative ways to express yourself in writing. When someone in your family has a birthday--write a story about something she did that bring you fond memories.

I'm sure you can think of many other ways to get your writing out there. Good luck.